Congressman Faleomavaega Eni today offered his deep condolences to Mrs. Laufasa Peni “Ben” Solaita, her children and her family, for the sudden passing of one of the most influential and well known sports leader, businessman and personal friend to many, Ben Solaita. In a sympathy letter expressing his sorrow, Congressman Faleomavaega wrote Mrs. Laufasa:
“It is with deep regret and great sorrow that I write to express my sincere condolences on the untimely passing of your husband, Peni “Ben” Solaita. Such a misfortune is often times hard for any of us to understand; and for it to befall at an unexpected and unfortunate manner is something only the benevolence of God can explain in time,” Faleomavaega stated.
“Ben was best known for his passion for sports locally, regionally and internationally. His drive to perfect all kinds of sports he was involved in -- be they baseball, soccer, volleyball, golf, rugby and especially fautasi racing – placed him as one of the most outstanding and well known sportsman and sports leader in the territory. This earned him the position of being the President of the American Samoa National Olympics Committee, a post he held for over a decade, up to the time of his death,” the Congressman wrote.
“His intelligence and contemporary knowledge of global affairs placed him well before his time, and his love for what he believed was good for the people of American Samoa made him so well respected and loved in the community,” Faleomavaega continued.
“On a personal note, I talked with Ben two months ago, and we spent hours discussing issues involving sports and especially our young people, both living in American Samoa and in the United States. I had hopes to re-establish our communications and follow up on our previous discussions soon – but now this tragedy has occurred, and I am without words to express my deep sense of sorrow to you and the family,” the Congressman reminisced.
“At the same time, I also would like to extend my condolences to High Chief Levu Tulafono, Ben’s older brother, and the Solaita family, during this time of sadness. Ben’s sudden passing will leave a great void in all of us whom he touched; and I pray that God, in His everlasting grace, will grant comfort to all of your family sooner. Please be assured of my continued respect and esteem,” Faleomavaega concluded.