Episode 1: Namulau’ulu Tala Cleverly - Sa'ili Mālō

From Sa’ili Mālō - Seeking a Better Life, 12:00 am on 26 May 2020
Tala in her garden at Hataitai

Tala in her garden at Hataitai Photo: Samoa Capital Radio

Samoan | English

"E leai se nofoaga e tutusa ma lou aiga​."

Na tu’ua e Tala Samoa i le Tausaga e 1950.  Ua 90 tausaga le matua o lona soifua ma ua 70 tausaga talu ona aumau i Niu Sila.  O se tagata e sogasogā ma sa’ili mālō mo le Pasefika.  Sa galue faafaipule i le Puleganu’u a Ueligitone, na avea fo’i ma sui o le Norman Kirk Trust ma o ia fo’i sa taulamua i le faavaega o le PACIFICA, o se faalapotopotoga na ta’ita’ia le itupā o tama’ita’i Pasefika e fesoasoani mo latou lava.  O le faamuamua a Tala ina ia fesoasoani mo tagata Pasefika.

Sa a’oa’oina Tala i le a’oga a Taupousā i Samoa ma na galue faa-shorthand typist ma le book-keeping i se ofisa Loia sa i Samoa i na taimi.  Sa malaga mamao mai i le vasa mo Niu Sila i le va’a o le MV Mātua ma na ui mai i Tonga, Fiti, faato’ā taunu’u mai lea i Lyttleton. (O le MV Mātua sa iloa e Niu Sila ma le atu Pasefika o le “banana boat – va’a fa’i")

Ina ua taunu’u mai i Niu Sila sa ia matuā maofa i lana vaaiga.  I le faagasologa o lona iai i Niu Sila sa taunu’u ai i Ueligitone ma ia galue ai i ni galuega e iai le book-keeping ma le shorthand typing i le Social Security Services ma le faleoloa se’evae o Hannah.

Ina ua mavae nai taimi na nofo ai i Ueligitone, sa fai ai loa lana faai’uga ina ia faalelei lana gagana Igilisi ma na fai ai loa ma ana a’oga pō i le Wellington High School.

Sa faaipoipo Tala i le 1957 ma e to’a lua o la alo ma le to’a tolu na vaetama mai Samoa.  Sa tatala lana faleoloa i le 1970 e faatau ai oloa ma mea taulima mai Samoa.  E lē faagaloina e Tala, Samoa, ma e talanoa so’o lava faapea: “E leai se nofoaga e pei o lou aiga”.

Sa faae’e iā Tala le suafa matai o Namulau’ulu

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Tala Cleverly and the Chairman of the Norman Kirk Memorial Trust, Dr Peter Swain

Tala Cleverly and the Chairman of the Norman Kirk Memorial Trust, Dr Peter Swain Photo: Samoa Capital Radio

English | Samoan

Tala left Samoa in 1950.  She is 90 years old, having resided in New Zealand for 70 years.  She has been a trailblazer in the Pacific community: a former Wellington City Councillor, and trustee of the Norman Kirk Trust she was one of the pioneers of PACIFICA, an organisation run by Pacific Island women which assists Pacific women.  Tala’s passion has always been helping Pacific people.

Tala was originally educated at a Nuns’ school in Samoa, and worked as a shorthand typist and book-keeper at the only law firm in Samoa at that time.

She made the long journey to New Zealand across the Pacific Ocean, on the MV Mtua; stopping at Tonga and Fiji before finally arriving in Lyttleton.  The MV Matua was well known and referred to in popular speech as “the banana boat”.

She said when she arrived in New Zealand she was overwhelmed by everything.  Her journey eventually led her to Wellington, where she had a number of jobs, including book-keeping and typing for Social Security Services and Hannah’s Shoe shop.

After living in the capital for a while, she decided to improve her English and took night classes at Wellington High School.

She was married in 1957, and has had 2 children of her own as well 3 adopted children from Samoa.

In 1970 she went into business for herself and opened a shop selling Samoan handicrafts.

Tala has never forgotten her beloved Samoa and has always said, there is no place home.

Tala working to register Pacific People to vote in the election

Tala working to register Pacific People to vote in the election Photo: NZ Archive: 22799028

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Samoa Capital Radio / Si'ufofoga o le Laumua Trust

Samoa Capital Radio / Si'ufofoga o le Laumua Trust Photo: Samoa Capital Radio

Sa’ili Mālō is a series of stories recorded by Samoa Capital Radio for RNZ in the Samoan language told by early settlers who came to Aoteaora to seek opportunities and a better life for their families.

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