Celebration of service to Pasifika

An overdue recognition of Tupuola Apisaloma Taulapiu’s 25 Years of Service to MAGS was held yesterday in the F. W. Gamble Hall, with family, friends, colleagues and students gathering to pay tribute to his passion for helping Pasifika students.
Overdue because Mr Taulapiu has now been at MAGS for 26 years, despite his insistence that this was his 25th year. Some people claimed he was operating on “Island Time”, others blamed his education at St Paul’s College.
What everyone agreed on was Mr Taulapiu’s dedication and commitment to helping Pasifika students since he started as Pasifika Liaison at MAGS in 1992.
Tributes poured in from Mr Greg Taylor, Headmaster when Mr Taulapiu joined MAGs, previous Headmaster Mr Dale Burden, and current Headmaster Mr Patrick Drumm, as well as praise from Board of Trustees members – and many others.
The common theme was Mr Taulapiu’s willingness to go the extra mile for students, whether it was coming up with initiatives to further their interests or helping them out with food or a pair of school shoes.
For his part, Mr Taulapiu said it was, “All about we, not me”, and he couldn’t have done his job without the help of the school and the wider community. Among the may people he thanked, was Mrs Va Anisi, MAGS Pasifika Initiatives Co-ordinator, who had helped him to improve the lives of thousands of Pasifika students.
Proud of his Samoan and Solomon Island roots, Mr Taulapiu has been a driving force in celebrating Pasifika culture, including organising groups for Polyfest.
Stories were also told about Mr Taulapiu’s love of rugby league and his dancing skills, something he got to show off at the end of the celebration with a Samoan Siva.
Mr Taulapiu was presented with his 25 Years Service Medallion, and his portrait will go up in the hallway of the main building along with other members of staff who have reached that milestone.