SAMOA LAUNCHES 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF

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INDEPENDENCE LOGO
Logo celebrates Samoa’s 50 year journey

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, Dec. 28, 2011) - The logo that encapsulates Samoas journey of 50 years as a politically independent people and nation has been launched and based on the Samoan fishing proverb "Ua sau le va'a na tiu, tau mai le va'a na folau, ao mau pea lago le va'a na fao afolau".

It literally refers to three canoes. The first canoe – which was out fishing - is returning from the deep sea. The second canoe is at berth on the lagoon. And the third canoe lies in the boat shelter on the beach.

The 1st of January, 2012, marks 50 years since the Samoan flag was first raised at Ti’afau.

On an overcast day in 1962, the New Zealand flag and the Samoan flag which flew side-by-side at Ti’afau since 1948 were lowered by then New Zealand Prime Minister Hon. Keith Holyoake (NZ flag) and Samoan Prime Minister Fiame Mata’afa Faumuina Mulinu’u II(Samoan flag).

Joint Heads of State Malietoa Tanumafili II and Tupua Tamasese Mea’ole then raised the lone Samoan flag to the apex of the flag pole signalling the birth of the Independent State of Samoa.

Samoa had become the first Pacific Island country to regain political autonomy.

This followed 63 years of foreign administration. First as a colony of Germany (1899-1914), then as a trusteeship of New Zealand (1914-1962) under a mandate from the League of Nations. Through the Fono Faavae – the Constitutional Convention (1958-1961) that comprised of representation from all districts in the country – Samoa adopted a national constitution based on Christian principles and Samoan traditions.

Later on 1 August 1962, Samoa and New Zealand signed a Treaty of Friendship which endures to this day. The treaty continues to underscore the warm and friendly relations between the two countries over the years.

Since 1962, annual Independence celebrations have moved from the 1 of January to the 1 of June. This is to take advantage of the pleasant weather in Samoa that time of the year.

Government this year decided to make 2012, a year-long celebration commemorating 50 years of self-determination for the country.

The official flag-raising ceremony next year will take place on 1 June at Ti’afau. A line-up of foreign leaders and international representations have been invited to this special occasion.

Government has also approved a week of national celebrations to coincide with this event. And in addition to a programme of sport and festivities, commemorative books and multi-media publications will also be launched during that week.

Other commemorative days of 2012 – including World Health Day, World Environment Day, Prayers and Fasting Week, Youth Week, Teuila Festival, etc – government has decided, will be integrated into this overarching celebratory theme of 50 years of political independence.

Dual celebrations programmes are also scheduled to be held in Samoa and New Zealand August next year to commemorate 50 years since the signing of the two countries’ Treaty of Friendship.

The year-long independence festivities will officially kick-off on the stroke of the New Year when Church bells will ring across the country.

All villages in Samoa will hold joint ecumenical services on New Year’s morning and a national church service will be held at Ti’afau at 7.00 that evening. It will be hosted by government and organised by the National Council of Churches. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi will deliver the national address during the service.

The theme for the year-long celebrations "Ua sau le va’a na tiu, tau mai i le va’a na tau ae o lo’o mamau pea lago o le va’a na fao afolau" draws from an old Samoan fishing proverb.

It literally refers to three canoes. The first canoe – which was out fishing - is returning from the deep sea. The second canoe is at berth on the lagoon. And the third canoe lies in the boat shelter on the beach.

In a humanistic context, it refers to the fisherman heading home from a deep-sea expedition, the fish-carriers (au taliva’a) in the shallow lagoon and the village elders – in the shelter - praying for the seafarers’ success and safe passage home - the tapuaiga.

In reference to next year’s celebrations, it can be interpreted as Samoa’s travels in the last 50 years. The daring fisherman - conqueror of the oceans, those who await his return and the prayers of those who keep vigil of Samoa’s journey, keeping the home fires burning.

Samoa’s voyage in the last 50 years has not been smooth sailing. It had to master the high winds and rough seas. Many times it had to rely on strong leadership and visionary stewardship as well as its dedicated crew to conquer what challenges the oceans conjured up.

Samoa is about to celebrate 50 years of this continuing journey.

Talamua: http://talamua.com/index.php

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