With the Miss Samoa Pageant still to be staged next month, the Samoa Events Inc (S.E.I.) has already had to deal with a pre pageant drama out of Australia.
An incomplete application from Miss Samoa Victoria Beauty Pageant for a Miss Adele Fa’aosofia to S.E.I. did not meet the requirements or adhere to the rules of the pageant and was duly rejected.
Miss Fa’aosofia was then sponsored by another group, Miss Samoa Victoria Inc which meticulously followed the pageant rules and sent in an application which was accepted by S.E.I.
The original group, Miss Samoa Victoria Beauty Pageant has since lawyered up and appealed for reconsideration of S.E.I’s decision.
However the Samoa Events Inc (S.E.I.) in charge of the Miss Samoa Inc. Pageant stands by their decision.
They have rejected a second application from the Miss Samoa Victoria Beauty Pageant group out of Australia for their candidate to participate in the upcoming Miss Samoa 2017.
It was for “certain reasons”, they said.
This is according to Samoa Events Inc Attorney, Fagaloa Tufuga, in response to the Samoa Observer questions.
Fagaloa made it clear that while Adele Fa’aosofia, a confirmed contestant was initially with Miss Samoa Victoria Beauty Pageant, she is now represented by Miss Samoa Victoria Inc (dba Victoria Samoa Advisory Council Incorporation).
According to Fagaloa, S.E.I. granted their application given that they met all of the requirements.
Fagaloa said: “My client maintains all participants have been dealt with and managed professionally in accordance with the rules.
“And they are looking forward to hosting yet another successful Samoa Beauty Pageant.”
Meanwhile, the Miss Samoa Victoria Beauty Pageant has also retained an attorney who had since appealed to S.E.I. chairperson, Laeimau Oketevi Tanuvsa to reconsider their decision.
However it has been to no avail.
Principal Solicitor Paul Lewis on behalf of Miss Samoa Victoria Beauty Pageant points out their Law Firm was retained by ‘Miss Samoa Victoria Beauty Pageant and were given instructions.
Chairperson Laeimau first denied the Miss Samoa Victoria Beauty Pageant’s application in her 7 August, 2017 letter.
She noted that Samoa Events Inc. conducted due diligence and a background check on the information they received from Miss Samoa Victoria Beauty Pageant.
“S.E.I. has considered your application and has rejected it due to the following reasons: the Registration received from you on Wednesday 2nd August 2017, was incomplete; forms were unsigned, as requested in the forms for the signatures of the contestant and sponsor there was missing information such as education, attainment and extra information to be filled by the contestant (100 words).
“S.E.I. received a copy of the ASIC (Australian Securities & Investment Commission) from you which stated the date 3 August 2016, with the next renewal date 3rd August 2018.
“Furthermore, there is also a statement that says that the record of registration issued by A.S.I.C. on 12 July 2017. “Based on the information which you have submitted, S.E.I. accordingly carried a due diligence check on the Australian Government - Australian Business Register, ABN Search.
“Your ABN # 78 875 311 928 for “Miss Samoa Victoria Beauty Pageant”, clearly stated that your ABN status was active from 03 August 2016 to 26 June 2017.
“But it also says that your ABN was cancelled on the 26th June 2017 until current.”
Laeimau pointed out the cancellation of the ABN on 26th June 2017 means the pageant held on July 29th 2017, indicates the business was not registered.
“And therefore, you did not comply with the rules of the Miss Samoa 2017 Pageant that S.E.I. sent to you on Tuesday 20th June 2017.”
Laeimau then noted the relevant rules from the Government of Samoa for S.E.I. to implement the Miss Samoa Inc.
Furthermore, Laeimau indicated that Miss Samoa Victoria Beauty Pageant did not pay the registration fee for the candidate of $300WST.
Regarding Fa’aosofia, Laeimau stated that she sent a signed letter to the Miss Samoa Directors and Organizing Committee, acknowledging her intention to participate in the Miss Samoa 2017 pageant.
“And she has explicitly stated that she does not wish to be represented by the Miss Samoa Victoria Beauty Pageant business name.
“She has chosen to be represented by Victoria Samoa Advisory Council as Miss Samoa Victoria Inc, for the Miss Samoa 2017 Pageant,” she said in her letter.
However Paul Lewis Principal Solicitor, who represents Miss Samoa Victoria Beauty Pageant in his rebuttal letter dated 8 August, 2017 sought another chance to participate in the Miss Samoa 2017.
“We ask that you reconsider your rejection and, to assist your reconsideration.” Mr Lewis said his client accepted that the application, while sent within the deadline was incomplete.
“This was due to circumstances beyond their control and their genuine intention was to complete the application to your satisfaction at the earliest possible opportunity.”
Mr Lewis says they have submitted their revised application included in the letter.
They also attached signed forms and the information pertaining to education, attainment and extra information to be filled by the contestant.
Furthermore according to the Attorney, they also sent an extract from the Australian Securities & Investments Commission database on the Business Name ‘Miss Samoa Victoria Beauty Pageant’ as at 8 August, 2017 and they also provided an ‘Historical Details Record’ produced by the Australian Business Register in relation to the Australian Business Number (‘ABN’) 78 875 311 928.
He explained “the cancellation of the ABN, to which you refer, was a very short-term technicality that has been rectified as attested to by the ‘Historical Details Record’ produced by the Australian Business Register.”
Furthermore the ‘Historical Details Record’ produced by the Australian Business Register, shows that registration of the ABN was current at the time of holding of the pageant on 29 July 2017, says Mr Lewis.
He further pointed out that ‘Miss Samoa Victoria Beauty Pageant’ was a registered business at the time of holding the pageant and our Client was not in breach of the rules of the Miss Samoa Pageant 2017 competition.
“Our Client is ready, willing and able to meet the requirement of paying the $300 tala for registration.
“Miss Adele Faaosofia is a registered participant in the pageant operated by our Client.”
Mr Lewis says: “for your records and information, a completed application form by Miss Adele Faaosofia along with the Terms and Conditions that she agreed too.
“We particularly refer you to rule (9) of ‘Section VII Obligations of Contestants’, which reads: The winner of the contest is obliged to follow the winner’s obligation and enter into contract with the Miss Samoa Victoria Beauty Pageant, abiding by the rules outlined in the document called “Contract between Miss Samoa Victoria winner and the Miss Samoa Victoria Beauty Pageant.”
“Your attention is also directed to rule (1) of ‘Section IX Winner’s Obligation’, which reads: Miss Samoa Victoria shall be responsible to Miss Samoa Victoria Pageant Organisation and CANTOA Group of Companies during her one year reign.
“Accordingly, we advise that Miss Adele Faaosofia does not have authority to enter into separate negotiations with the ‘Miss Samoa Directors and Organizing Committee’ nor does she have the legal right to be represented by ‘Victoria Samoa Advisory Council as Miss Samoa Victoria Inc’, or any other party for the Miss Samoa 2017 Pageant.
“For her to do so would be a breach of her contract with our Client and, your allowing such now that you have been put on notice, will be seen as your aiding and abetting such a breach.”
Mr Lewis says in his letter: “there is a vociferous minority within the Victorian Samoan community who have recently defamed our Client’s operations and, on instructions, we will shortly be turning our attention to assist our Client in extinguishing their concerns and thereby reuniting the community in their support of the organisation of our Client, ‘Miss Samoa Victoria Beauty Pageant’.
“Our Client is a well-respected organisation within the Victorian Samoan community, with the majority of the community giving them their full support.
“It is on this basis and for the reasons stated above that we can assure you that our Client is the correct and proper organisation for you to be dealing with in regards the Miss Samoa 2017 Pageant.
“Accordingly, we again urge you to reconsider the rejection of our Client’s application to you,” says Mr Lewis in his reconsideration letter to S.E.I.