To mark the 40th Anniversary of the Samoa Observer, a series of selected articles printed over the last 40 years will be re-published in the next two weeks, to show our readers the issues covered by this newspaper over the years and the personalities that made the headlines.
First Published: 20 June 2007
A new era has dawned in the history of Samoa. With his father’s statue in the background, former Prime Minister and Opposition leader, Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi, was yesterday sworn in as our Head of State.
The ceremony was held at Parliament House, Ti’afau. Inside, there was no seat left unoccupied by distinguished guests, relatives and friends of Head of State, His Highness Tuiatua, the first elected by Parliament, and supported nationwide.
Outside, no seats were unoccupied either. It was a time when the action of politicians, of Government slotted together with the will of the people into a perfect fit and to usher in a new era for Samoa.
His Highness Tuiatua yesterday stepped into a job his father Tupua Tamasese Meaole held 45 years ago, together with the late Malietoa Tanumafili 11.
In a prayer before Tuiatua took his oath o office, Archbishop Alapati Mataeliga, talked about renewal.
The Archbishop asked God this:
“May your Spirit enlighten and inspire our Head of State and other world leaders, to build together with their peoples, a new civilization of Love.
“May the cross become its banner, and sacrifices its language.”
“Let freedom be its dance, and peace its song?
“May the solidarity of peoples become its vision, and make justice its mission.”
“Let it be a renewed face and renewed language of Your Kingdom.”
His Highness Tuiatua said he was grateful for the opportunity to serve Samoa. His burden, as he put it, is “The responsibility of reciprocating your confidence.”
“How can I reciprocate your prayers, your love and your support?
“Filia and I are mere human beings, very conscious of our failings and shortcomings.”
“The one constant that sustains me in this historic moments is the firm belief that if we pray sincerely, God will answer me.”
Secular matter and duties await the new Head of State, however. It was why Government and the Prime Minister in particular wanted His Highness Tuiatua sworn in promptly. Government must go on and a Head of State was needed. In his task ahead, His Highness Tuiatua asked the country for more prayers.
“We need to pray to God to guide and inspire us in our efforts to develop our country spiritually and materially.”
Archbishop Mataeliga provided in his prayer for a new civilization of Love, some guidelines. He prayed, “Let its delight be in the upholding of the Culture of life, protecting the inalienable rights of all its citizens, especially the respect for the right to life, life from the womb of the mother to the womb of the earth.
“Do not allow this new civilization of Love to cower under the threat of the mighty and the strong, but let it rise to new heights of morality, so that your call to holiness may in the end become a reality.
“Lord may this new civilization of love dream always of a new heaven and a new earth, where all men and women shall become citizens of that city of light, the Heavenly Jerusalem, where you shall reign as King forever and ever.”