July 15, 2023 - The Rotary Club of Pago Pago's weekly meeting was a social occasion. The club met at the Flying Fox Gastropub for fellowship and to farewell members Marvin Raps and Richard "Q" Quintana who will soon be leaving American Samoa.
Club members filled the space with stories and laughter as President (Queen) Cherith Soliai formally wished Marvin & Q well on their next assignments. The Club Services committee provided cultural gifts to both departing members. First, they were given fresh flower ula (necklaces) as a sign of respect for their status in the club. Second, they were given a wooden rice spatula engraved with the words "Fia Ai" ("I'm Hungry") meant to keep them hungry for community service. Finally, they were presented with a traditional tanoa (wooden bowl) which is a symbol of tautua (service) in Samoan culture.
After speeches, dinner and drinks, the club shared a special cake prepared just for the occasion.
Marvin has been heavily involved in the club's service activities for over two years. Among his many contributions are the organization of large donations of food stuffs to Hope House, local shelters and the Juvenile Detention Center. He also facilitated large donations to the Give Light Initiative and countless golf tournaments for various community service fundraisers. Marvin is moving on to manage the Cost.U.Less in Barbados.
"I love this place," Marvin said in his farewell remarks. "Community involvement is so important to me. I love all the people and that's the reason I appreciate this (being a part of Rotary Club of Pago Pago)."
Q, likewise, has been an invaluable member of RCPP activities. As a Lieutenant (JG) in the United States Coast Guard, he is no stranger to serving others. His heart of service extends into his off-time, as well. During his time in RCPP, Q could always be counted on to lend a hand with dictionary distributions, Interact activities and 4-Way Test presentations. His sonorous singing voice will also be missed at the club's social functions. The Rotary Club of Pago Pago wishes Q the best on his next military posting.