The Pacific Media observed a moment of silence to acknowledge and honour the hard work of Ilia Likou, Samoa Observer’s Senior Reporter, in Tonga yesterday morning.
During the official opening of the Pacific Islands News Association (P.I.N.A.), President Moses Steven started with a moment of silence in honour of Ilia.
President of the Journalist Media Association of Samoa (J.A.W.S.), Rudy Bartley, sent an email from Tonga expressing sincere condolences to Ilia’s family, Gatoaitele Savea Sano Malifa, Muliagatele Jean Ash, Mata’afa Keni Lesa and the Samoa Observer Group Family.
“Iri, as known to many in her media family, was a well-respected and liked news reporter.”
“She had the drive to do her work to the best of her ability and always had a very professional approach in doing her work.”
Mr. Bartley said a loss of a journalist is a loss for everyone in the media industry, whether it’s in Samoa or the Pacific. He said it is because of the common passion shared in the line of journalistic work.
“The bonds and the fellowships are hard to break as these have developed over many years of working alongside each other. Ilia is no different.”
“We will miss not just the working relationship, but also the fun times shared with Iri and I can say that it has been very hard to forget and very sad to think about.”
“Nevertheless, the work continues and the media work will continue as we carry on the work that Iri was a part of,” said Mr. Bartley.
He referred to the Editor of Samoa Observer Mata’afa Keni Lesa’s comforting words that Ilia was a very special person who possessed unique qualities that will be dearly missed.
“When it comes to her job, she was fearless and she was not afraid to ask the tough questions. The Samoa Observer and the media family in Samoa have lost a very committed journalist. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, loved ones and friends,” said Mata’afa.
“Ilia will be missed by all of us in the media and will also be a big loss to the Samoa Media.”
Mr. Bartley said as J.A.W.S. President: “I was very saddened to hear of her passing. I also extend the thoughts and prayers of the P.I.N.A. president, executive and participants of the summit now wrapping up in Tonga.”
“The J.A.W.S. would also like to express our sympathy to Ilia’s family during this difficult period.”
“May she rest in peace and the Lord provide her a place in heaven. “
“I am sure she will be the senior reporter for Merita and heaven news service,” said Mr. Bartley.