Can you hear Mangere from there?

Mangere erupts in Tua fever

It doesn’t matter that it’s the middle of the night – not in David Tua’s NZ home town of Mangere, not tonight. Once Shane Cameron hit the mat, somebody set off fireworks (thanks for scaring my dog!) and as soon as the match was over, all of Mangere it seems hit the streets – with or without cars.

Except for me. I was only out cause I had to make an urgent shop run. Honest. And on my innocent way to the 24 hour grocery store, I only once or twice or 20 times tooted in response to the excited honking from all the other cars on the road, and then I only found myself on Robertson Road (where David Tua’s family happens to live) by accident after making a few wrong turns on my way home – I’ve always had such a horrible sense of direction.

Anyway, it took me 20 minutes to get down that street – it usually takes 5 – because several cars were parked on the meridian in front of the Tua home, and on the roof of those cars were several scantily clad, fairly intoxicated Samoan boys waving Samoan flags. Spectators lined the street for blocks each way (did I mention it was after midnight?) and car loads of happy hamos inched past the festivities with loud, jubilant contributions of their own.

At one point a cop car hit its sirens and sped past us to the scene of the party, but they didn’t do anything about stopping it, so we’re gonna go ahead and assume that the cop was Samoan, too. [FULL STORY]

Samoan Independence Day 2009

I whispered to Gwen that we had to walk with the S.T.A banner, the government departments had a requirement to walk, so we had to leave our comfortable seats (JUST before the food was coming out! LOL) and walk gwen through the grassy outskirts to meet up with our S.T.A colleagues.

We got there just in time, I took Gwens bag and Tiara holding case and told her I’ll hold it as I rushed her to walk in front of our banner. Gwen ran as fast as she could to the front our line, and I tried to find a place amongst the guys in the back..

As the march progressed, Gwens bag fell out of my hands and all of her stuff fell out, so I had to scramble to pick up everything while the line of our staff was moving (shux, talk about embarrassing) and mind you, Gwen’s bag was a bright PINK fala style thing..

…from Screaming Tree, Adventures in Samoa

Samoa’s independence comes and goes

Some Samoans (usually, the same ones every year) gather at the Malaeola Hall in Mangere to watch the Samoan flag raising ceremony (which by the way, it’s the same flag that flies on the pole every other day) done by either a visiting dignitary or the current Miss Samoa NZ, and then attendees make a hasty retreat into the hall for warmth and performances from church choirs, youth groups and the long tatalo’s by the most senior of all visiting church pastors and priests at the beginning, middle (for the food) and the end (which usually is said with only 30 people remaining in the hall…cleaners mostly). Given good weather, usually somewhere in Auckland, a Samoan kilikiti tournament is being held….and that’s Samoa’s Independence day celebrated in New Zealand.

…from Tamavalevale