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August 25, 2007

Tuvalu flag raised - witnessed by Team Tuvalu

By Silafaga Lalua

Flag raising, ‘Ulufonu’ and gift exchange the traditional way was experienced yesterday morning by Team Tuvalu at Samoa College compound in a function to raise the nation’s flag.

This is part of the welcoming programme organised by Samoa for all athletes from participating countries where all team members gather at the school in an order arranged by organisers to raise their flag.

Tuvalu media’s Silafaga Lalua in Apia reports that Tuvalu was the second country to raise its flag, after Tokelau and reports say the event was a good experience for all as they were welcomed by an Apia district mayor to their country.

The mayor wished the team all the best for the games and he also encouraged all members of Team Tuvalu to take time to look around their beautiful country while in Samoa.

In response Chef De Mission Monise Laafai thanked the mayor for hosting such a significant function where Tuvalu can be involved and that Team Tuvalu is very happy to be here in Samoa.

He said the team has every reason to be happy because just last month Tuvalu was admitted into the Olympic family, the International Olympic Committee IOC, therefore is very proud to represent the country in sports and be here in Samoa to be part of the 13th South Pacific Games.

The team was presented with a traditional Samoa tanoa and club set while in a traditional Tuvaluan ‘alofa’ the host was presented with a mat, a fan and a shell necklace.