Friday 9 October 2020, Fugalei Apia. It will be a sad White Sunday celebration for Fugalei stall owner, Evelina Pereira of Vaiusu who had her purse with over $2,600 tala, stolen from inside her shop on Friday afternoon.
The 35 year old had sold much of her White Sunday order by midday on Friday and says she had actually placed another order of clothes with her suppliers, to see her through to the end of Saturday.
At about 1.30 pm on Friday afternoon, one of her regular suppliers of earnings popped in to her stall. The man is from her village of Vaiusu. Evelina says she purchased 35 pairs of earrings from him at $5 tala a pair.
About ten minutes after the man left, Evelina looked for her purse in which she had over $2,600 tala but could not find it anywhere.
“I had sales of around $1,900 tala that I had made, from early this morning to now.. all my White Sunday dresses and girls puletasi..”
“I also had $700 tala in there that my older brother in Brisbane sent for my mother. I had just picked it up from Western Union this morning,” said the distraught small business owner.
Evelina has operated a stall at Fugalei for 8 years and says this is the first time something like this has happened to her. She says she has yet to pay her suppliers, her sewing ladies and her elei printing boys.
The solo mother of one said none of her customers can reach the inner shelf where she had placed her purse.
She left the stall to go seek a “faipelē” witch doctor’s advice as to who may have taken her money.
Evelina says she does not know what to do about her suppliers and their family White Sunday expenses, nor does she know how to tell her mother that the money from her children overseas has been stolen.
Evelina says she will go to the Police after she sees the faipelē.
“I want to take a police officer with me..and hopefully they will own up and give back my money.”