Congressman Faleomavaega today extended his personal condolences in a letter to the children of the late First Lady, Afioga Maeataanoa Susana A.P. Lutali on the passing of their beloved mother. The full text of the Congressman’s letter is copied below.
Le Fanau Loto Fa’avauvau:
O ‘upu a le atunu’u: “Tālofa e, ua motu le 'asoa, ua solo le falute, ua tāfea pulu i vai, ua matala le māfutaga fa’amātua ma fanau, ma o ai o le a tu atu e fa'alāvefau i le pule fai to'atasi a le Atua?”
O upu o le Tusi i le tala a Paulo ia Timoteo: “Timoteo, ‘aua e te fa’avaivai, ona o le malosi’aga o lo’o i ou tua, o le fa’atuatua ma le mamana o tatalo a lou tina…o le Atua e na te ‘aumai, o le Atua fo’i e na te toe ‘ave ‘ese…’Amu’ia e loto fa’anoanoa, ‘auā e fa’amāfanafanaina i latou.”
It is with grave sadness that Hina and I express our deepest condolences in the passing of your mother and grandmother, and wife to one of American Samoa’s greatest governors, the late Governor A.P. Lutali – First Lady Afioga Maeataanoa Susana A.P. Lutali.
The peacefulness of her passing is a reflection of the kind of person that she was in life – always active and strong, yet very humble and full of grace. The modesty and courage she had consistently shown through her support and participation in various local and national women’s organizations, despite her difficulty in health lately, made death the furthest from Susana’s regular routine. Many have felt that perhaps she had outlived death for now, and it would catch up with her at a different time later on in life.
Susana was a dedicated First Lady committed to doing all sorts of projects to beautify our territory by organizing women's groups to grow plants and trees along the roadsides. Along with it, Hina was always at her side to help Susana, and it was like a mother-daughter relationship, and I know Hina had always appreciated her close friendship with Susana.
Upon learning of Susana’s death, Hina said: "I am greatly saddened to learn of my dear friend's passing-- and just a tremendous First Lady like Susana whom I love very much, and who was such a great example in my own life. I want to convey my sincere sympathies to her daughter, Josie and all her children at this time of mourning.”
I was privileged enough to serve as Governor Lutali’s Lieutenant Governor, and he was famous for saying: E lē o ‘upu ae o galuega, “action, not words.” Governor Lutali and I had a very close working relationship, and as everyone knows, he was a man who said just enough to make his point, and behind the silence, one could feel the enormity of a great woman. In retrospect, I can honestly say, First Lady Susana really epitomized what the late Governor said – E le o ‘upu, ae o galuega.
I think her greatness was in her spiritual faith in God, her religion, and in herself and those she loved. She was a devout Catholic and a sincere Christian. When I was selected as Governor Lutali’s running mate in the 1984 election, Susana took my hand and said: “It will be a lot easier if we all believe that God will just allow us to win…but then we’ve got to work harder at it.” It was then that I understood what Governor Lutali meant: E lē o upu, ae o galuega.
Fa’afetai ma fa’amalo i lo outou tausi matua. ‘Amu’ia Susana ua ulufale i le fiafia o lona Ali’i, ma ua nofo i le saofa’iga e ‘atoa iai li’o o le masina. O la ma’ua tatalo ma Hina, ia vave ona līua e le agaga o le Atua Alofa le fa’avauvau ma le fa’anoanoa o lo’o ia te ‘outou le fanau, fa’apea le ‘aiga atoa.
With deep sympathy,
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA
Member of Congress