First Responders Honored during Vailima International Marist 7’s

NEOC Chairman receives award from MSJSC President at Apia Park stadium.

Samoa’s first responders were honored by the Marist St Joseph’s Sports Club (MSJSC) during the 33rd Vailima Marist International Sevens held at Apia Park last weekend.

President of MSJSC Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio presented the Interim Chair of Samoa’s National Emergency Operations Centre Agafili Tomaimano Shem Leo with a plaque to honor and show appreciation for all frontline staff working tirelessly to keep Samoa safe from the global coronavirus pandemic.

It has been over twelve months since Samoa has been in a perpetual State of Emergency with special measures to ensure its borders remain safe from covid-19.

NEOC Interim Chair Agafili Tomaimano Shem Leo receives a special recognition award from Marist Sports Club President Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio.

So far Samoa has had no community cases despite the many repatriation flights bringing hundreds of stranded Samoan citizens home from around the globe including seasonal workers, sailors on international shipping lines, and medivac cases of citizens seeking life saving treatment overseas.

Matnieul Lauli’i Lions during the Minute of Applause for Samoa’s frontliners during XXXIII Vailima Marist International 7’s.

In an added honor to Samoa’s frontliners, a special “Minute of Applause” was observed by the whole of Apia Park stadium after the national anthem was played for the Tupua Fred Wetzell Cup Final match.

Players of Matnieul Laulii Lions and the Faleolo Jets from Aana stood clapping for a whole minute joined by all in the stadiums, for the doctors, nurses, customs officers, immigration officials, airport security, quarantine, stevedoring services, drivers and cleaners who are all called upon to secure our borders during flight and vessel arrivals.

Samoa has one confirmed case on isolation at Motootua National Hospital and a special team of health care workers are in camp, away from their families, to monitor the 16 year old round the clock.

Agafili expressed his appreciation and thanked the Marist St Joseph’s Sports Club for the honor and recognition that he says, means a lot to the hundreds of frontliners making the sacrifice for Samoa each day.


Sina Retzlaff