Our next book has been a labour of love for me and it’s way overdue since working on it for a couple of years but as it’s a more personal story.
I wanted to ensure that the right information was conveyed for audiences and lots of hours went into researching the background of the book.
It’s the story of my maternal great grandfather who was buried in Faleula in a lone grave next to a church on a corner.
Many times I’ve taken my children to visit the grave and view the site as well as to tell them the story of their ancestor. Oftentimes I’d drive past the site and acknowledge my mother’s grandfather of whom we knew not.
Not much is known about him except that it was an aunty who told me of his story in knowing that I was very interested in historical information about Samoa and also about our family histories.
In researching the information behind how the Influenza epidemic took such a devastating toll in Samoa was sad and the details quite horrific in that thousands died and yet many Samoans in recent times were unaware of this huge scale tragedy.
I also came to learn that some families have lost knowledge of their gafa (family genealogies) or were incomplete because key members of the family and holders of the knowledge had died during this time and no one was able to carry that information into recent times.
I am so grateful that I had family members who were able to share the information of my great grandad with me so that I can pass on his story to my children and beyond as it has shaped our Islands to what it is today.
It is the second book in our historical series and I hope that this series it will be able to inform our Samoan children, and other interested readers, of some of the important historic events that happened in Samoa. Lest we forget.