Malua Theological College farewells Reverend Oka Fauolo

Ministers who are former students line the entrance road into Malua as the hearse carrying Oka's coffin arrives respect

APIA:The Malua Theological College paid tribute this morning to the late Rev. Elder Oka Fauolo in a special three hour-long service at the place where the late spiritual leader studied, taught and became Principal for 15 years. He also led the Church at its annual conferences at Malua as Chairman for two terms.

Among the mourners was His Highness the Head of State and Masiofo Filifilia, the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers, church leaders and relatives.

Oka’s body was then taken to his final resting place at his home at Fusi, Safotulafai, Savai’i Island.

The College Principal Rev. Afereti Uili told Talamua that the College was honoured to pay their final tributes and respects to one of the College’s “icon” and long serving Principal and teacher.

Rev. Afereti said that Oka had contributed a lot to the changes in the College and his name will always be remembered for his ‘perseverance and love’.

Rev. Oka passed away early morning Friday 13th April 2012. Since then, several organisations and churches had paid tribute to him.

The Head of State and Masiofo Filifilia lead the throng of mourners

A special service was conducted by the teachers and students of Avele College on Tuesday last week to commemorate the long service of Oka to the school.

Rev. Oka was an old student and College patron, an honour he took over from the late Head of State Malietoa Tanumafili 11. The school ended the service singing a song written by Oka especially for the school.

Archbishop Mataeliga Alapati led the Catholic leaders in a separate service on the same day to “celebrate a friend’s achievements.”

Mataeliga praised Oka for his service and contribution to the development of the church, youth and the community.

Last Friday night, a special family service was led by Oka’s wife So’oletaua who testified that Oka knew his time. She witnessed that Oka prepared everything for his funeral even where he should be buried, that is next to his mother at his home village of Fusi, Safotulafai tomorrow.

Rev. Oka served as a patron for several organisations and in the words of Archbishop Mataeliga, Oka was a friend to all and will be sadly missed.

A respected theologian and church leader he was also a respected linguist who led the national efforts to establish a Samoan Language Commission in January this year. A few weeks later, he resigned as Chairman of the National Council of Churches saying “Gods work for him has come to an end.” He died two months later.