24 May 2022 Apia Samoa. Prime Minister Hon Fiame Naomi Mataafa has set down the purpose of Samoa’s year long 60th independence celebrations, now set to remove the focus from the usual programs at the Tiafau malae in Apia, to instead be celebrated within each village across the country.
“We believe that centring our celebration for independence in communities truly reflects our journey over these 60 years,” states the Prime Minister. “It is also a tribute to our forefathers from all districts who led our movement for independence. We remember their offering and sacrifice”.
The Prime Minister says the 60th Independence programme has been designed to promote the spirit of participation and inclusiveness.
“Our journey over these many years is a testament of our unity as a nation, our faith in the Lord, and perseverance in trials and tribulations,” says the Prime Minister.
“We would not have made it this far, if we had not steered together, through the divine guidance of our God.”
Fiame says that centring independence celebrations in communities truly reflects Samoa’s journey over the past 60 years.
The yearlong celebration, from 1st June, 2022 to the 31st of May, 2023, we will have a blend of Government hosted, and community led programmes throughout the whole year, says the Prime Minister.
“The commencement of our celebrations will be signalled by the ringing of church bells and seting off of sirens across the country at 12.00 midnight of Tuesday 31st of May”.
The Prime Minister said a calendar of events has been developed for the yearlong celebrations, to be released in the near future.
“An open invitation has been sent out to communities and organisations that wish to include their programmes and events in this calendar.. ”
“In this connection, I am pleased to announce that the programme for the celebration of our 60th anniversary on the 1st of June will be undertaken in all districts and villages in Samoa”.
Fiame says this will be the first time Samoa’s independence will be celebrated throughout the whole of Samoa.
“The celebration programming and implementation will be at the discretion and guidance of the respective Council of Chiefs in each district to organise a thanksgiving service in the morning of Wednesday 1st of June..”
The Prime Minister adds that as per usual, the 1st of June is a public holiday.
Government will hold the official flag raising ceremony at Tiafau, on 1st June 2022, however, due to health restrictions for COVID 19, only a few will be invited to this event.
“It is our hope that conducting celebrations in each district across the country, will provide a golden opportunity for more participation and inclusion of our people, while adhering to health measures to contain the spread of the COVID 19 virus,” said the Prime Minister.
Further, Cabinet has approved that all cultural entertainments and other events planned for Samoa’s 60th independence celebrations will be held in September, together with the commemoration of the Teuila Festival.
The Prime Minister also acknowledged the Samoan diaspora across the world.
“I am aware that many of you are also planning your Independence celebration in respective countries you live..
“We acknowledge your contributions and continued support for our country and families in Samoa..
“On behalf of government and all our people at home, we wish you all the best in your celebrations”.
Fiame then called for continued observance of health restrictions for celebrations held in Samoa.
“I would again place importance on continuing to observe health measures to help minimize the spread of the virus”.
The Prime Minister says details of the programme would soon be released by members of the Independence Committee, “from now on until the 1st of June”.
“May God bless the celebration of our 60th Independence anniaversary”.