Methodist church dedicates NZ$7million Church at Faleula
By Unumoe Esera
APIA: Friday 29th June 2012: A few days to the start of the Methodist Church annual conference at its headquarters at Faleula, the Church yesterday dedicated a significant monument called Malumalu Uesile – a $7 million tala Church named after the founder of the Church John Wesley. A special dedication service was held yesterday to bless the new church.
“It’s been 60 years since the Malumalu Uesile at Matafelefele began in 1953. Today we dedicate a special service for the opening of Malumalu Uesile at Foga’a, Faleula,” said the General Secretary of the Methodist Conference, Reverend Vaiao Eteuati. He also gave an account of the construction work.
The entire construction of the church cost $7 million NZ dollars. The church had allocated the amount of $4 million but as the work progressed it came to the total of 7 million NZD. The construction started 13 July 2009 and was blessed by the former President Afereti Samuelu and finally completed three years later.
The carpenter for the church was Lemalu Saeni Lemalu from Papatoetoe, in Auckland New Zealand. A team of 40 people on a construction team completed the job.
The architect who designed the building was Elisara Brown from Utualii and Henderson New Zealand. Many other companies worked on separate parts of the church. Leatoa Tinai and Gordon Associates, Fonoti Uatisone for electrical supplies, AV Systems provided the sound systems, Patrick Boon of South Pacific Cladding Limited, Fepuleai Tui did the carpet and tiles work, and Jesus Builders from Papatoetoe, Auckland provided the chairs and tables. Lepao’o Tanielu Mu’a Company, Transworks Limited and National Carries Limited constructed the fence surround the entire church compound while welding was done by the teachers and students of the Laumua o Punaoa Technical College – an educational branch of the church.
Ninety percent of the materials used were shipped from New Zealand. Reverend Vaiao said that there was no problem with funding of the church’s construction work as the Congregation was well prepared but the delay was due to the shipping of the materials from New Zealand to Samoa.
President of the Methodist Church Tupu Folasa II gave the responsibility to the workers and was confident that everything would be completed by Apineru Lafai and Lemalu Saeni Lemalu.
On the day of the dedication, money gifts of $112,500 were donated by church members in a traditional ta’alolo presentation, other monetary gifts from invited guests amounted to $41,050 and $20,000 given to the carpenter.
The Head of State Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi and Masiofo Filifilia led the long list of invited guests that included Governor Togiola Tulafono of American Samoa and his good lady, government dignitaries and heads of different denominations and members of the church. Celebrations and customary gifts were presented after the official ceremony.
The church is gearing up for its annual conference that starts next week.