Samoan Community Council of San Diego elect new officers for 2014-15.
By Albert Ainuu
On Tuesday evening 12/17/2013 the Samoan Community Council of San Diego held its annual election meeting to select a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. The meeting was held at the Jacobs Center in national City where the SCCSD has its offices.
The meeting was attended by members of the organization which is a non profit organization that is approaching its 20th year of existence. The meeting began with a delicious pot luck dinner which typical of a Samoan function was very filling and heavy.
The first position open for elections was President and Kiki Solia was again successful in her bid for the position. Following that there was the Vice President position which was contested and Stanley Lauifi was elected to be the new Vice President.
The Secretary position was contested and the winner of this was Ken Nededog who is of Guamanian descent. He was close winner against Alosina. The last position was Treasurer and Cathy Paiva was again successful and selected to the position which she has held in the last administration.
The new administration is a good combination of young experienced individuals who can continue the organization's function as a service provider for the Samoan community. The members were very positive that the elections were decisive and conclusive.
The organization was very appreciative of the services of the outgoing officers Estelle Taumua and Leina Bell. They have been a big part of the past 5 years of activity ad have done such a superb job.
Click on pictures below for enlargements
The outgoing administration were Kiki Solia, President, Leina Bell, VP, Estelle Taumua, Secretary, and Cathy Paiva, Treasurer. These were the backbone for all the good activities that were done in the past 5 years including the Senior Citizens service that the SCCSD has been involved in and other programs.
The new administration will be meeting to discuss future plans before the organization meets in January, 2014. The new leaders are looking forward to the new year and ask the Samoan community to support their efforts.
Good Luck and Congratulations.
Pacific Island Festival Association completes election for the President and other officers.
Story and Photos by Albert Ainuu
The Pacific Island Festival Association's big celebration each Summer is the premiere event for Polynesian, Micronesian and Melanesian entertainment, food and handicrafts. This event takes alot of manpower as well as organization to pull off every year. The organization has done this for 9 years now and this next festival will be the 10th Annual PIFA festival. But what is so amazing about the people who do the hard work each year is they do it as volunteers.
The Election for the PIFA officers and Board members was held on December 4, 2013. The membership gathered and when the names were presented for the approval it was unanimous that these would be the Officers for 2014. President: Rudy Tai; Vice President: Joseph Taumua, Treasurer, Chrystel Brace; Secretary, Aiga "Marie" Taumua.
Click on pictures below to see enlargements
The Board of Directors for PIFA were Alaisea Alice Pauu, Janelle Fejeran, Jasmine Cone, Jordan Martin, Kiki Solia, Pat "Cookie" Schwenke, Penu Pauu, Salani Faiivae-Harrison, Sam Aimpliciano, Steve Madrid.
After a Pot Luck Buffet the members all congratulated the successful candidates and the meeting was adjourned. We anticipate that this 10th year anniversary of the PIFA festival will be an exciting and special event for those attending and the hard work of these Officers, Board Directors and Members will be well worth it.
TK Tilo Lighthouse Bible College Graduates 17 Bachelor of Theology Scholars in Lemon Grove.
Lemon Grove, Saturday December 5, 2013
It was a beautiful morning in San Diego and the crisp winter air was fresh and envigorating in Lemon Grove where the TK Tilo Lighthouse Bible College prepared to hold their Graduation Ceremony at the Samoan Independent Full Gospel Church. The Ceremony was the culmination of a 2 week training which was taught and presided over by the staff of the TK Tilo Lighthouse bible College.
The ceremony would have 17 Bachelor of Theology and 15 Associate of Theology recipients. These students were from various cities throughout the USA including San Diego, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Alaska and even Texas.
Click on pictures below to see larger photos of the graduation.
The ceremony was presided over by the President of TK Tilo lighthouse Bible College, Rev. Dr. Faavaina Tiumalu Tilo who also accepted the Degrees of the Graduates. Her son Rev. Elder Dr. Rudolph T. Tilo the chairman of the College was one of the speakers. The keynote speaker was Rev. Eddie Aiono from Compton, California.
The Graduates who received their degrees were:
Bachelor of Theology
Christian L. Tausaga
Fenika A. Sola
Laupata F. Tausaga
Lepetia A. Letuli
Salamo N. Alefosio
Tauelia Taualo, Jr.
Uelese Tulia Kolia
Associates of Theology
Aveaomalo Falealii Tausaga
Faifili F. Vaiolo
Faitele Petelo Taaga
Junior T. Chang
Mai S. Tausaga
May Agae Fusi
May Faitasi Tautala
Mayline A. Gatoloai
Sabrina D. Bishop
Sherri N. Alefosio
The graduates celebrated their success the night before at a banquet for the entire College staff and students hosted by the Samoan Independent Full Gospel Church of Lemon Grove under the leadership of Reverend Pastor Ulalei Tausaga and his wife, first lady Mai. That night was a combination of Grad and Christmas celebration. This was the first such training held here in San Diego and it was considered a great success by all who participated and judging by the comments from those who attended, it was a very well coordinated event.
Samoan Independent Full Gospel church of San Diego celebrates 10 year Anniversary.
Sept. 20, 2013
By Albert Ainuu
Located in Lemon Grove, a suburb of San Diego, is a small but vibrant congregation of Samoans who are members of a Samoan Christian Church called the Samoan Independent Full Gospel Church under the leadership of Pastor Ulalei Tausaga.
Last Friday, Sept. 20th they celebrated their 10 th year in existence, an anniversary that was confirmation of a vision the Pastor had when deciding to start this church over 10 years ago. Pastor Ulalei and his wife had struggled through hardship and sacrifice to establish their flock and are now seeing the rewards of their hard labor as more members join and worship God through this denomination.
Not only Samoans are attending this church but many others from other races are finding that this church meets their spiritual needs. African Americans, Whites and Mexicans are all wearing puletasi's and lavalava's and thriving in the Samoan cultural influence of this congregation. It is a testament to the friendly nature of our people and the positive warm influence of Pastor Ulalei and his wife that so many people from different cultures and races feel welcome in his church.
But the message of this congregation is one of service and fellowship. They accomplish this by providing the community at large with regular services and help free of charge. These include Food Bank and Food distribution to the poor every week, as well as a Soup Kitchen where the members of the Samoan church cook good food and feed hundreds of people every week who are unable to take of their own needs. They hold this Soup Kitchen every Monday from 5-7pm at the Church hall. These services have attracted a wide range of people to their church and it has provided the people of Lemon Grove with a lifting of their burdens. We wish Pastor Ulalei Tausaga and congregation well with their ministry and look forward to their next anniversary.
Their celebration began with a Worship Service at the Lemon Grove Lutheran Church where they hold their services. They were blessed with the presence of Pastors from Samoa, Pastor Tilo and others from within the San Diego area. First Lady Mrs. Tausaga gave a heart warming account of how the ministry began and the growth they have been blessed with until today. The Samoan church has access to the Lutheran Churches facilities and are working hand in hand with this congregation in providing services to the community.
After the Worship Service everyone went over to the Hall for a Samoan Feast. And it was one big feast. The special guests were provided Lobster and Big Samoan Crab, as well as the Samoan stand bys of Chop Suey, Povi Masima, BBQ chicken, Fish, Ham, Beef broccoli, taro, potato salad, fresh salad and so much more. After the dinner people were encouraged to take home plates of food, which was happily accepted by those in attendance.
PIFA Fest 2013 a huge success!
September 21 & 22
Ski Beach, San Diego
The biggest Pacific Island Festival on the West Coast happened last weekend in San Diego. PIFA as it has been appropriately named, was packed with over 150,000 visitors this year. This festival has been on going now for 19 years and each year it has gotten larger and larger. The vendor Booths surround the entire perimeter of the park and there were those who thought this event had outgrown the park.
The entertainment this year was superb as usual. From all corners of the Pacific Ocean the sounds and beats of the drums were evident throughout the festival. The theme Drums of the Islands was well represented from the opening parade to the dances and bands that were featured on stage. This is such a huge undertaking every year and the volunteers of this organization have proven they are up to the task. There are Food booths, handicraft booths, Village demonstrations, Information booths and stage and sound that gets set up and torn down by an army of volunteers. There are so many stations that have to be manned during the festival and its not lost on Le Malae how much work goes into such a large undertaking. These volunteers and committee members are the true heroes of PIFA.
This year's PIFA committee was headed by Rudy Tai, and the execution of the festival was first class as usual. There were alot of different island performances including the Samoan Community Council Dancers (see below), and then many of the Guamanian and Chamoro dance groups there. Always a crowd favorite Siaosi Veimau's Naleo o Kalani Dance group were outstanding. Several bands performed there and this year a new band out of Arizona came on stage at the end of Saturday's performances, Remedy. They concluded the day with a cool blend of Soul, Reggae, R&B and Samoan songs. It was a most enjoyable two days of just relaxing and kicking it island style at Ski beach. Good food, good company and good entertainment are the formula for success and PIFA has it down.
Mermaids sighted at the HEIVA Festival, san diego
August 11, 2013
The Heiva Festival in San Diego has been only operating for a few years but is steadily gaining popularity and this year the Samoan Sisterhood also known as the Mermaids splashed down at the San Diego City Center where the Heiva Fest was going strong. It was a 2 day festival featuring all Tahitian Culture, from Tahitian dance competitions to Ukulele playing competitions, the event was well produced and organized by the team of Lindsey Reva McNicol, Maeva Tarahu McNicol, Coco Tirau, Beth Draisey, Babe Valero and others. The Advisors for the team included our own Salani Faaivae Harrison and Penu Pauu, who so happen to also be Mermaids.
Who are the Mermaids? All we know is they are an elite group of event connoisseurs who all reside in San Diego. They are all Samoans, all beautiful and handsome and they know how to have fun. Lets just say if the mermaids are at your event then its a good event. The Mermaids are as follows: Salani Faiivae Harrison, Alice Pauu, Kalala Foxworthy, Rosey Delaney, Lani Love, Maeva Tarahu McNicol, Penu Pauu. I dont know if this is official but these are pictures of the mermaids at the Heiva Festival San Diego 2013.
Watch the Slideshow below.
San Diego's premiere Sporting Franchise is the San Diego Chargers Football team. They have been a part of the San Diego landscape for years. Included in their storied past are a number of Samoans who played here. None was as loved and admired by all San Diegans no matter what the race, color or creed, as number 55: Junior Seau. He passed away suddenly in 2012 leaving a grieving city as well as family and friends. But he was remembered with respect and joy at his funeral and the memorial service held for him at Qualcomm Stadium where over 30,000 came to pay tribute including NFL Hall of Famers such as Jim Brown, Marcus Allen, and John Elway. As a Samoan athlete he probably never knew what an impact he had on the city, but his play was legendary for its ferociousness, lack of fear and speed. he will always be San Diego's favorite son. He left a tough legacy for any player trying to fill his shoes, not to mention a Samoan football player. But many Samoans have come through San Diego and been very effective.
Toniu Fonoti, a guard, was the leading O lineman who set the path for #21 LT, LaDanian Tomlinson to make all those yards and TDs he has been credited for. Toniu hailed from Kahuku and hit San Diego at the right time for LT. Between 2002 and 2006 LT favored running behind the 350lb Samoan Guard and he was rewarded with a multitude of 1000 yard rushing seasons.
Recently Malcom Floyd, a wide receiver, became perhaps the first Samoan wide receiver in the NFL. Samoans known for strength and not speed now had a wide receiver. Malcom Floyd and Vincent Jackson were a deadly pair of outside receivers during the height of the Charger passing rennaisance, with Antonio Gates as TE. Malcom Floyd's mother Leataata is Samoan.
The year 2013 brought in a major coup for the San Diego Chargers. They drafted Linebacker, Manti Te'o from Notre Dame in the second round. he was a finalist in the Heisman, a winner of the various defensive collegiate awards, but was plagued by a slow 40 in the combines and a minor scandal regarding catfish. Nevertheless the Chargers saw an opportunity when he fell out of the 1st round and snapped him up when they had the chance in the second round of the NFL draft. For that San Diego Samoans are thankful for the catfish scandal because they would never have had the chance to draft such a quality player without that. Now that the NFL Season is upon us, we all wait with anticipation for Manti to lead the Charger Defense like he did the Notre Dame defense all the way to the BCS championship game.
Samoan Community Council Dancers get ready for PIFA
By Albert Ainuu
Sept 14, 2013
It was a beautiful San Diego day as usual. The air was cooling down as the day was ending. 5 oclock in the afternoon in South East San Diego is when people are just starting to unwind after a long day at work. But for the Samoan Community Council they are just beginning their dance practice for the PIFA performance next week.
The dancers include most of the youth from within the community. Young men and women moving to the rhythm of the music as their instructors provide direction gave the Market Creek Plaza a Polynesian flavor that is unique in San Diego.
Helix High School football team rebounds from Punahou game with shutout.
September 6, 2013
Helix High School's Highlanders Varsity Football Team won their game against Northridge High School's Knights who travelled all the way from Layton, Utah with a complete game. On this particular warm Friday night Helix clicked on all phases of their game and won 32-0. This was their second game of the season and it was a well deserved effort with scoring coming from the offense and special teams on a punt return. Anchored by a stingy defense the Highlanders did not allow the visitors to score.
Helix High School has one of the best football programs in San Diego. They always have a solid contingent of Samoan players and this year they have Xavier Tuitele, Joseph Tauanuu, Joseph Toilolo, and Reuben Leasau. Recently an alumnus of Helix was drafted into the NFL. Levine Toilolo is now a member of the Atlanta Falcons as a tight end.
Helix now is even at 1-1 for the season after dropping their first game against Punahou High School of Honolulu. Punahou is Hawaii's number one ranked team. It also is the alma mater of Rookie Charger linebacker, Manti Te'o as well as the President of the United States, Barack Obama.
AUMAGA SAN DIEGO BBQ 2013
Aumaga Members enjoying the BBQ with friends and family
Sunday, August 11, 2013 at the beach in Mission Bay, the Aumaga of San Diego held their annual BBQ in honor of the members of the San Diego Aumaga who had passed away. There were over a hundred people there enjoying great BBQ and music, volleyball games, tag of war and just hanging out.
The leaders of the Aumaga were there and they had T shirts with the names of Prince Leota, Oliva Auimatagi, Eveni Mata'u and Ieti Siliva, available for anyone who wanted one.
The Aumaga of San Diego has been around for over 34 years according to Tuilaepa Laa Lafoga. The group is similar to what the Aumaga are organized to be in Samoa. This is an organization of men who put together programs for the benefit of the men in the village. They are a social organization here in the USA, but they hope to accomplish many of the same objectives as Aumaga in Samoa which is to lift up the community with positive actions and protect the community from problems that may arise.
The current leaders are Seugagogo Bernie Sherman, Sio Meredith, Junior Ilaoa, Leifitele Aliitama Sotoa, Joe Yandall, Tuilaepa Laa Lafoga and Apelu Johnson.
We wish them well in their plans for the future of the Samoan Male Community in San Diego.
Alaisea "Alice" Pauu's Retirement party rocks.
The day was warm, the food delicious and the music cool, at Liberty Station where the family of Alice Pauu celebrated her retirement after a long and distinguished career at the Sheriffs Department in San Diego. There were alot of friends and well wishers there as well as family from as far away as the Bay area and Los Angeles, all gathered to celebrate the retirement of Alice, who has been working as a Sheriff deputy for many years.
There was alot of good food, laughing, reminiscing and grooving to music Alice's brother Suka Falo, a DJ in his spare time, provided that had the crowd dancing to old favorites like Electric Slide. The celebrants started coming around 12 noon. The park was extremely well prepared with jumpers for the children and other facilities.
As the sun began to set the Polynesian Dance group, TAUPOU, with director Kiki Sotoa-Solia provided a show that was very exciting with a variety of dancers from the very young to senior citizens. After the dancers put on great performance the finale was a taualuga featuring the guest of honor, Alice. This was where the family and friends all came to throw money as she danced the traditional Samoa Siva with great skill.
One of the highlights was when the entire group of family and friends came together for a group photo. Hawaiian Kumuhula Leinaala came with a special headpiece which was very extravagant. Everyone enjoyed themselves. This was a special event and all who came were impressed by the love and the respect everyone had for Alice. We wish her well and good luck in the next phase of her life, retirement.
Aumaga of San Diego meeting
The Aumaga of San Diego had its mtg at Sio Meredith's residence on Friday evening (August 23, 2013) to discuss the results of their Annual BBQ held August 11, 2013 and plan future events. Those in attendance included Seugagogo Bernie Sherman, Sio Meredith, Junior Ilaoa, Leifitele Aliitama Sotoa, Tuilaepa Laa Lafoga, Maiuu Fuimaono, Opetaia Samoata, Namulauulu Albert Ainuu and others.
Those in the meeting were in agreeance that although the BBQ was a resounding success, they can improve to make it even more family friendly next year. There was also discussion of setting up a website for the Aumaga. This would be subject to the approval of the Aumaga. After the meeting there were heavy refreshments provided by members of the Aumaga and also with the help of Mrs. Meredith. More meetings will be held in coming months.
Samoan Festival 2013 a HUGE success.
Samoan Community Council SD after meeting to plan the festival.
The Samoan Community Council of San Diego once again put on an awesome Festival for the community this past weekend August 17, 2013 at Market Creek Plaza in San Diego. It was attended by over a thousand people of all races and nationalities and President Kiki Sotoa-Solia was very happy with the way everything went. As they met on Monday evening at the Jacobs Center to do a final recounting of the event she stated to the committee members her appreciation for their great work in bringing together all the elements of the festival in such a way that was cohesive and enjoyable for those who attended.
Every year the Samoan Community Council puts this event on with the help of the Jacob's Center a non-profit foundation which helps the communities in the South East San Diego area. This year was scaled back just a bit but the program was definitely well organized and entertaining as church youth groups presented their Cultural Dances and Songs with such enthusiasm to the delight of the people watching. The groups represented this year included St. Rita's Catholic group, Souljahs for Christ and Vista Methodist.
The event began with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem by Matty and his sisters. The Kava Ceremony was next which is always a cultural requirement whenever Samoans are gathered. Individual performers included Pino Express, Lea Love and DJ Don Maine.
This year the Emcees Leifitele Aliitama Sotoa and Tuilaepa Laa Lafoga were on point as always with Samoan and English translations of what was happening. These cool gentlemen are also the Radio personalities for the Samoan radio show broadcast weekly in San Diego.
One of the highlights of this years event was the performance by the group Remedy from Arizona. They definitely rocked the house with their cool four part harmonies and island reggae style. Another important transition was the crowning of the new Ms. Tausala, who accepted her crown from the 2012 Ms. Tausala, Crystal Leilua. She will hold the crown for the year 2013.
The Food Booths, Information Booths and Crafts Booths were a major attraction all day. One group that showed up and were very interesting were the Samoa Savages Bike Club. They rode in on their Harley Davidsons and made people stop and look at the shiny metallic/chrome finishes of these powerful road hogs. It was interesting to see them wear their colors which included a Samoan Flag on the front.
The 50-50 raffle was a big part of the festivities as the MCs were able to award winners all day with prizes provided by sponsors such as Tatau and other companies. The grand winner who won $250 was............okay we cant reveal that information because the winner has to pay bills and doesnt want her friends and family aikalafuing from her.
All in all, the event was well organized as members of the Committee were well placed to handle their responsibilities and the attendees had a very good time enjoying entertainment, eating good food, watching interesting people, buying crafts, T-Shirts and Cultural handicrafts, and just hanging out with other Samoans. Congratulations to the Samoan Community Council for a job well done. Faafetai tele.
(for pictures of the event go to the SCC SD website and in here the Photo Gallery)