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Samoan Independence to be celebrated

Samoan Independence to be celebrated at Pioneer Stadium

Pioneer Stadium will host the city's Samoan communities during
celebrations of Samoa Independence Day on Monday, 5 June, with cultural
performances by church and school groups throughout the day. Entry if

Starting at 10am, about 12 groups from all over the city will take part
in cultural performances, along with well known musician and singer,
Felise Mikaele from Samoa, and the Island Fever Band from Christchurch.
Some of the winners of the Schools Samoan Speech Competitions would also
feature, and traditional Samoan food stalls would provide for the hungry

On 1 January, 1962, Western Samoa became independent of New Zealand. The
national holiday, however, is marked as Samoa Independence Day on 1
June, and continues to be celebrated by the Samoan community in New

New Zealand first occupied what was the German protectorate of Western
Samoa at the outbreak of World War I in 1914, and continued to
administer the islands as a mandate and then as a trust territory until
1962, when Samoa became the first Pacific nation to re-establish
independence in the 20th century. Samoa dropped the "Western" from its
name in 1997.

Tagaloa Su'a, the chair of the Samoan Council of Chiefs in Christchurch
said the events were being hosted by the Council of Chiefs and Mafutaga
o Faife'au (Combined Church Ministers' Forum).

As was traditional, Samoans marked such days by thanking God with a
combined church service at the EFKS church at the corner of Linwood
Avenue and Dyer's Pass Road on Sunday 4 June, followed by dancing, music
and food the next day, 5 June, at Pioneer Stadium, she says.

"Everyone in the city is welcome. This is not just an occasion for
Samoans but for our Canterbury brothers and sisters to come and learn a
little bit more about what makes the Samoan community as proud and
strong as it is.

"We are a very family and community-oriented people who continue those
ties in the communities we migrate to. Hopefully, Christchurch city
gains from such strength," Tagaloa says.


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