A friend of Samoa and Tiavi’s newest resident, Geoff Pritchard, has made two families in Siumu very happy at the beginning of 2013.
The Australian whose business has been exporting coconuts from Samoa for over 30 years yesterday visited Palalaua College at Siumu to meet two students whom he has offered to pay for their tuition and exam fees for 2013.
Easter Tofaeono and Loretta Leota, both 17, are the first of many students from the village who will benefit from the “Gabrielle Pritchard Scholarship Award” over the coming years.
The award is in memory of Mr Pritchard’s daughter, Gabrielle, who died in Samoa 22 years ago as a result of a car accident.
During the brief meeting Mr Pritchard emphasised the importance of education.
Speaking about his daughter, Mr Pritchard said the scholarship award is something she would have initiated.
The businessman also urged the students to aim high. he told Ms Tofaeono and Mrs leota that they “must be an inspiration for other young people coming through.”
Mr Pritchard was accompanied by dear friend, Uaea Apelu, during yesterday’s presentation. Mr Apelu said he would monitor the student’s’ development to determine if there are any other areas where they might need assistance.
Meanwhile the scholarship is awarded to the top Year 12 students. the winners are chosen at the end of the school year.
Mr Apelu said the scholarship is an opportunity for Mr Pritchard to serve his community since the businessman has just completed a home on the hill above Siumu.
Principal of Palalaua College, Tofi Tunuufai, was extremely grateful. She said Siumu – and Samoa – needs more Good Samaritans like My Pritchard to help develop education.
She assured Mr Pritchard that the students would do their best to reciprocate the generous gesture.
Article by jasmine Netzler, The Samoan Observer, 10th January 2013