14 May 2005

American Samoa celebrations marking Swains Island anniversary

7:14 am on 14 May 2005

About 200 performers representing Swains Island and the Tokelau Community in American Samoa are to provide traditional song and dances during a celebration marking 80 years of Swains Island being part of the Territory.

The Swains Island lawmaker, Alexander Eli Jennings, said the group had been practising for weeks, and was looking forward to the first time such a celebration had occurred.

The Tokelau Samoan Community group of about 100 members from Apia, Samoa are to take part in the celebration.

American Samoa's Governor Togiola Tulafono is expected to address the gathering.

Located about 320 kilometres north of the territory's main island of Tutuila, Swains Island has an average year-round population of 20.

Mr Jennings is a certified airline pilot and mechanic, who wants to see the implementation of air service to the remote atoll.