His Highness Tui Atua on Joe Keil

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SON AND FATHER: Nathan and his father Joe Keil.

SON AND FATHER: Nathan and his father Joe Keil.

Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Ta’isi Efi 

LDS Chapel, Lotopa, 8 September 2018


Eulogies are about identifying values and vision.  They are about identifying those things worth remembering and passing them on to present and future generations.

When I was invited to give a eulogy for Joe today, I was very happy to do so, because Joe became a warm and valued friend.  A high point in our friendship was our trip to Germany and Rome in February 2014.  

In thinking what I wanted to say, I consulted Celine.  We talked and she confirmed what I felt.  What identified and defined Joe – the husband, the father, the son, the brother, was for me, his relationship with Nathan.

Celine shared that when Nathan was born they were told that there could be challenges in the future.  They knew that there would of course be challenges, and there were in the beginning, but in the end, that did not matter.  They welcomed their baby into their lives and decided to call him Nathan, which in Hebrew means a gift from God.  He has become, she said, in every way God’s gift to their family but especially to Joe.

For people who knew Joe and his family well, it was a joy to watch Joe and Nathan interact.  They were more like brothers than father and son.  Joe always insisted on taking Nathan to whatever public and social events he was attending or involved with.  

Nathan became not only a guest at these events but a principal personality. He would be there with Joe at the Miss Samoa pageant, the Joseph Parker boxing matches, and whatever else Joe and Celine were invited to.  Nathan became more than a part of their party, he became the life of the party.  I am told that his sense of fun and his joy of living makes him a much sought after presence in Apia’s social scene.  In my observation, this was because Nathan was able to be himself.  And he could be himself because of the love and support that he got from his family, particularly from Joe.

When Joe died, the whole family gathered around him and prayed.  When the prayer session ended, Nathan without any prompting stood up and gave a speech.  He comforted and thanked all the family who gathered to honour and show love to his father.  Celine said she couldn’t get over how calm and mature Nathan was in his manner and his speaking.  Teary-eyed she reflected on how proud Joe would have been.

Celine’s story about their decision to name Nathan – Nathan, their gift from God and about how Joe bonded so closely with him, is a story that for me defines Joe, his character and his legacy.  He was a truly beautiful human being, a most loving husband and compassionate father.

This is how I will always remember Joe.  I love you Joe.  Thank you for your kindness to me and my family.

Ia manuia lau malaga. Soifua. 

Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Ta’isi Efi
Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Ta’isi Efi

 

Fa’amasamoa o le molimau 

O molimau i maliu, o le faailoilo o mafaufauga ‘anoa ma le faautaga alualu mamao.  O le faailoilo o mea e ao ona manatua ma faasoa i tupulaga fāi mai o le aiga.  

Ina ua valaau a’u e fai se molimau mo Joe, sa ou talia ma le fiafia.  Auā ua avea lava Joe o se uō mafana ma le tausaafia.  O le tulu’iga o le matou mafutaga vavalalata o le matou malaga na alu i Siamani ma Roma iā Fepuari 2014.

Ina ua ou manatunatu i la’u molimau e fai, na a’e ai se manatu e lelei pe a ou savalivali mai iā Celine.  I la ma talanoaga, na ia faaalia ai lona matuā lagolagoina o la’u mau.  O le mau faailoilo o Joe – o le tane, o le tamā, o le atalii, o le uso; i la’u vaai, o lana mafutaga ma Nathan.  

Sa faaalia fo’i e Celine, ina ua fanau ia Nathan, sa aumai le tuualalo a le falema’i iā i la’ua, e ono i ai ni faafitauli e aliali mai i le lumana’i.  Ae le’i  atu popole i ai, pau lava le mea o le fiafia ua maua le la tama tama ma ua faaigoa iā Nathan, o lona uiga i le gagana Eperu o le meaalofa mai le Atua.  Ma ua avea lava ia , o Nathan lea, ma meaalofa a le Atua i le aiga aemaise ai Joe.

Mo ē mafana le mafutaga ma Joe ma lona aiga, o se mea mata’ina le mafutaga a Joe ma lona atalii o Nathan.  E foliga o se mafutaga a se uso  ae lē foliga o se mafutaga a se tamā ma sona atalii.  Soo se mea lava e tala’i i ai Joe, po o se sauniga faalemalo, faaleekalesia pe faaleaiga, e pulunaunau lava e ō ma Nathan.  Ma i nei mafutaga ua lē gata o le malo tali ia Nathan ae o le tama ‘autū.  O ia lava e matua’ina ia siva ma faafiafiaga. E ō i le tausinioga a le Miss Samoa, i fusu’aga a Joseph Parker ma soo se mea lava e tala’i i ai Joe ma Celine. O le taufiafia o Nathan ma lana aga mālie, ua avea ai lava o ia o se tagata tausaafia i nei mafutaga.  I la’u maitau ua māfua lenei mea ona ua lē suatulia pe matamuli.  E māfua ona to’a ona o le alofa ma le lagolago a lona aiga, aemaise ia Joe.

Ina ua maliu Joe, ona gasolo atu lea o le aiga ua li’oli’o ia Joe ma fai le latou lotu.  Ina ua mae’a le lotu, tula’i mai loa i luga ia Nathan e aunoa ma se isi na fai i ai ma ua fai le lauga.  Sa ia faamafanafana ma faafetai i le aiga sa pale atu e faaalia lo latou alofa i lona tamā.  Fai mai Celine, ua te’i ia i le to’afilemu ma upu ‘anoa sa ia tautala i ai.  E maligi lava loimata o Celine ma fai mai, tafefe i se mimita o lona tamā pe a na o ola ma faalogo i ai.

E taualuga lava le tala iā Joe ma Nathan auā o le faailoilo lea o Joe le atalii, Joe le uso, joe le tamā, Joe le tane, Joe le tuagane, Joe le tagata fai aiga lelei, Joe e alofa i le fanau, Joe e tautua malo.

O molimau ia o le soifuaga o Joe ou te manatua ai pea o ia.

Faafetai i lou agalelei iā te a’u ma lo’u aiga.  Ia manuia lau malaga. Soifua.  

© Samoa Observer 2016

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