The weeklong Family Reunion for Aiga Sā Utugā and Sa Ti'avegā ended last Friday at their home in Samusu, Aleipata.
The gathering was mainly for the heirs of Utuga Tāai and Si'ologa Fuimaono Tāai's four children namely Iole Faasuamale'aui, Vaitele Maugatai, Utuga Kerite, and Faaaliga Tāai who are descendants of Utuga and Ti'avega family from Samoa, New Zealand, Australia, and United States.
"Despite the weather being really hot and rainy at the start of the week, it did not dampen the high spirits of everyone including the very elderly members of our family who travelled from outside of our village."
The theme for this year is "O le tautua ma le faaaloalo e afua i le alofa" meaning To serve with respect begins with love. The banner also highlights the saying "E lele le toloa ae ma'au i le vai.
It emphasized the importance of understanding and staying connected with your family roots for unity and support, no matter where one stays.
The theme song titled 'O lo'u aiga' was also prepared by team Samoa who hosted this year's reunion. Utuga-a-le-matemate Faamanatu Faaaliga is the current matai who has been looking after the family for about 40 years.
He expressed his appreciation and was grateful to all their tama fanau for the support. The Samoan values of tautua, fa’aaloalo and alofa are important in families and although our family is very 'ausage' with only a few people to serve, work the land and occupy houses, but the good Lord has blessed us with the growing number of today's generation with so much talent.
Fuimaono Viliamu Kerite from Wellington was also overwhelmed with the support and thanked the organising committee - the Team Samoa for their amazing work.
The reunion started with registration on Monday followed by welcoming 'ava' usu from the village, a thanksgiving lotu, and the genealogical history of the family on Tuesday.
Wednesday was an ava ceremony by the younger generation, sports day, fiafia night and performances. Thursday was a day at the beach and overnight with dinner and talent quests and at the nearby resort.
The reunion ended on Friday with evaluation and plan for the next reunion which will take place in January 2022.