Episode 6: Taesega Elisala-Sidler - Sa'ili Mālō

From Sa’ili Mālō - Seeking a Better Life, 12:00 am on 26 May 2020
Taesega I E Sidler reading her bible at home

Taesega I E Sidler reading her bible at home Photo: Samoa Capital Radio

Samoan | English

“E leai ma sona manatu na te tu’ua Samoa a o laitiiti.”​

Na fanau Taesega Elisala-Sidler i Samoa, i le aso 25 July 1930.  Ina maliliu ona mātua i le 9 o ona tausaga sa tausi ia e le uso o lona tamā.  E leai ma sona manatu na te tu’ua Samoa a o laitiiti.

O Tesema i le 1958 na fai atu ai le tuafafine o le uso o lona tamā, la te malaga mai i Niu Sila.  I lenā taimi e leai ma sana tupe na i ai ma sa aitalafu lona pasese e £40 mai se loia.

Na te manatua se lagona uiga ‘ese i le fai Kersimasi ma le Tausagafou i le sami.  Na taunu’u le va’a i Lyttleton ona aga’i atu ai lea i Ueligitone ma tulau’ele’ele ai.

A young Taesega

A young Taesega Photo: Samoa Capital Radio

E pei o isi tagata Pasefika na taunu’u i Ueligitone i na taimi, sa lolotu i le Newtown PIPC.  O se tasi o faifea’u o le Ekalesia, o Reverend Pepe Nokise, ma o ia lea na faamau ma lona Aunty o Lili’a.

Na maua le galuega muamua a Taesega i le falesu’isu’i ma o i’inā na a’o ai lana su’isu’i ma lana Igilisi.  O taimi na, o le tele ia o avanoa faigaluega ma sa faigofie ona sui lau galuega.

Sa feiloa’i Taesega ma lona to’alua Siamani i le Newtown PIPC.  Na faamanuiaina i la’ua i le fanau e to’a lima.  O se tasi e ‘aveva’alele, o leisi e foma’i ma le faipisinisi.

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English | Samoan

“As a child she never thought about leaving Samoa”.​

Born in Samoa, on 25 July 1930, Taesega Elisala-Sidler’s parents passed away when she was just 9 years old.  After her parents’ departure she lived with an uncle.  As a child she never thought about leaving Samoa.  

Taesega I E Sidler outside her home

Taesega I E Sidler outside her home Photo: Samoa Capital Radio

However, in December of 1958, an aunty asked Taesega to accompany her on the long sea voyage to New Zealand.   Taesega didn’t have the money, so she borrowed £40 from a lawyer to pay her fare. 

She recalls how strange it was to experience both Christmas and New Year’s while at sea.  The ship arrived in Lyttleton before continuing to Wellington where she finally disembarked.

After arriving, like many new Pacific migrants in Wellington, she attended the Pacific Islanders’ Presbyterian Church.  One of the Church’s Ministers, Reverend Pepe Nokise, was her Aunty Lili’a ‘s fiance. 

Taesega found her first job in a Wellington tailor’s shop where she learned how to sew and more importantly, to speak English.  She said that in those days there were plenty of work opportunities and it was very easy to go from one job to another.

Taesega met her German husband at the Newtown Pacific Islanders’ Presbyterian Church in Wellington.  They were blessed with five children: amongst them is a pilot, a doctor and a businessman.

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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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