4 Jun 2003

Samoa celebrates 41st Independence Day

5:14 am on 4 June 2003

Hundreds of people gathered outside the Parliament Building in Samoa to mark the country's 41st Independence Day celebration.

The head of state, Malietoa Tanumafili II, addressed the crowd, which included Samoan cabinet members and government officials as well as American Samoa's lieutenant governor, Aitofele Sunia and Congressman, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin.

The 90-year old Malietoa, who had been suffering from ill health last month, expressed gratitude to the country's forefathers for their contribution and to the countries and organisations which partner Samoa in economic development.

He also thanked leaders of villages and districts and told the youth that they were the future of Samoa and needed to respect the traditions and customs of the country.

A state luncheon was held and there was a fautasi-race gala and prize-giving ceremony.