Congressman Faleomavaega today expressed his deepest sympathies on the passing of his relative, Senator Liufau Tanielu Sonoma Unutoa, of Aua, and extended his most heartfelt condolences to his lovely wife, Mrs. Sive Mata’utia Liufau and their children on this sad occasion.
“High Chief and Senator Liufau was a great man who committed his life to serving his community and family. His whole life has been dedicated to public service – as Senator for Maoputasi county and chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, as chairman of the Development Bank of American Samoa, as meteorologist at NOAA weather office in American Samoa, and as senior matai of his family and village of Aua as well as county of Maoputasi,” Faleomavaega said.
“Perhaps it is Liufau’s work at Tafuna weather station for over 30 years which he is most known by people in American Samoa. I recall years ago, when meteorologists Liufau and Mase Akapo Akapo urged me to get federal assistance to improve the services of our local weather station. With their assistance and by working together with the National Weather Service offices in Hawaii and Washington, DC and my colleagues in Congress, I was able to secure close to a million dollars in special funds over several years to upgrade the weather sensing equipments, increase the number of staff, and including a new building, hence tremendously improving the services of our weather office in American Samoa.”
“Without doubt, it was by the strong leadership and expertise of meteorologists Liufau and Mase that really prepared our people and might have helped save many lives in American Samoa and around the Pacific area during some of the most devastating hurricanes we have experienced in past 20 years. Their exemplary performance was eventually recognized by NOAA during its largest awards ceremony ever in May, 2007 in Washington, DC where the American Samoa weather office was praised and awarded for its excellent service to the Territory.”
“With the passing of High Chief Liufau, the people of American Samoa have suffered an enormous loss. He was a very humble and kind-hearted leader. He is admired for his many accomplishments and praised for his contributions to our Territory. He will be sorely missed by all that knew him.”
“Again, I extend my deepest condolences to High Chief Liufau’s wife – Sive and their children on their loss. I know that mere words cannot suffice to ease the pain that is yours but I hope that you find comfort knowing that the burden of your loss is shared by many throughout Samoa.”
“And to my Liufau-Unutoa family in Aua, my thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time as we mourn together the passing of a great man and a caring leader of our family – Afioga i le Matua, Liufau Tanielu Sonoma Unutoa,” Faleomavaega concluded.
During a visit to Washington, DC by HC and Mrs. Liufau, Faleomavaega gave them a personal tour of the U.S. Capitol. Here, they posed for a photo in front of the George Washington and Thomas Jefferson statues inside the Capitol Rotunda.
[File Photo – May 12, 2007]