Monday, August 21, 1967





By Tom Kaser

 OSI Information Officer



Owen Stewart Aspinall was inaugurated as American Samoa’s 45th chief executive Friday. In an inaugural address that followed, he outlined three goals he hopes to fulfill as governor of the territory:

1 — To show the world that the true face of Samoa is “that group of islands you have dreamed about ever since you read Robert Louis Stevenson as a child...a group of beauti­ful, lush, tropical green islands and some of the best, most hospitable and loveable people that God ever saw fit to walk the face of the earth.” He added “we must keep these islands beautiful” and said the Samoan smile and hospitality must not be allowed to trade places with the determined struggle for monetary profit.”

2 — To continue to bring to the people of American Samoa the basic amenities of life, including an educational system “that will give Samoa’s young people the choice of re­maining either in the land of their birth or of going wherever they wish in the world and being able to compete with people anywhere.”

3 — To work constantly to maintain “the doctrine of compatible cultures, which simply means taking the best of the culture of the United States, or western world, and uniting it with the very best of the old Samoan customs.”


20 Chiefs Will Be His Advisors



Fulfilling a promise he made at the time of his appointment as governor to establish closer contact with leading chiefs, Mr. Aspinall said in his inaugural address that he has appointed four chiefs to select 20 chiefs to act as special advisors to the governor on matters of territorial planning and programming. The four who will recommend the advisory council are High Chief Mauga, High Chief Rapi Sotoa, High Chief Lauvao Lob, president of the Senate, and High Chief Maugututi’a Tuia, speaker of the House of Representatives.

One of the first matters to come before the advisory council, the governor said, will be the appointment of a lieutenant governor, for the territory.



Chiefs Satele, Lolo Speak At Inauguration


A warm day greeted the crowd that gathered on the Fagatogo village green for the in­auguration of Governor Aspinall. The governor, his wife Tafa, and his official guest, French Admiral Jean Gouttier, arrived at 9 a.m. for a pre—inauguration ceremony that included the traditional drinking of ‘ava with Samoan chiefs.

The governor received his cup, tipped a few drops on the ground in front of him and said, before drinking: Ia manuia Samoa” (“May God bless the people of Samoa”).

The inauguration ceremony itself began with a large parade consisting of Boy Scouts, members of the Women’s Health Committee, village groups and three bands. The oath of office was administered to the new governor by Chief Justice Edward Hyden.

In a speech given by High Chief Satele, district governor of the Western District of Tutuila, Governor Aspinall was praised for his educational and professional background and his experience in “the professional triangle” of American Samoa — attorney general, terri­torial secretary, and, now, governor.

High Chief Lauvao Lob, president of the Senate, called for a unity of efforts in American Samoa, supporting the new governor “in times like this when the future of our peo­ple remains hanging in the balance.” He added: “We must refrain from the promotion of factionalism and the pursuit of personal aspirations. We gain strength in unity, and we must have unity if we are to master the complex probelms that confront us.”


Governor Attends Fiafia, Inaugural Ball


The inauguration, included: a ta'alolo under the direction of High Chief Fuimaono and entertainment by representative groups from Menu’ a and both districts of Tutuila.

At the end of activities on the malae, the governor and invited guests attended a fia-fia at Faga'itua vil1age, sponsored through donations from members of the Inauguration Committee.

Saturday night Governor and Mrs. Aspinall were guests of honor at a benefit Inaugural Ball held at the Air Force Cafeteria in Tafuna. The ball, sold out to capacity, raised money for the Boy Scout movement in American Samoa.




The following is the text of Governor Aspinall’ s inaugural address:

I have had two occasions to be in Washington, D.C. in the past four months, once to; confer with President Johnson and Secretary Udall about my appointment as governor, and once to be sworn in as governor and meet those people that I will be working with in the further­ance of the needs of the territory. On each occasion I visited the grave of the late Pre­sident John F. Kennedy.

It appears to me here this morning that this is not an inauguration or a beginning of a program of Owen Aspinall but merely a perpetuation of the principles established by Pre­sident Kennedy and carried into execution by President Johnson. Let me refer to one para­graph of President Kennedy’s inaugural address:

“To those peoples in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required --not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it can not save the few who are rich.”

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I have three goals in my capacity as governor of American Samoa. The first is to do what I can to show to the outside world that passes our way the true face of SAMOA ——POLYNESIA. During my travels on behalf of American Samoa I have been asked many times “What does Samoa offer?” My answer did not concern itself with swimming pools, golf courses, beaches, and items of a similar nature.  It has been simply that “Samoa is that group of islands you have dreamed about ever since you read Robert Louis Stevenson as a child.” Samoa’s greatest contribution to the itinerant traveler is simply what God originally gave it, namely, a group of beautiful, lush, tropical green islands, and some of the best, most hospitable, and lovable people that God ever saw fit to walk the face of the earth. In achieving this goal, we must keep these islands beautiful and maintain our modern struc­tures to such an extent that they blend with the natural scenery. The Samoan smile and hospitality must not be allowed to trade places with the determined struggle for monetary profit.

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My second goal is to continue to bring to the people of American Samoa what I class as the basic amenities of life. This includes good water systems, adequate waste disposal systems, the progressive development of the land for agriculture purposes, adequate communication and transportation systems, safe roads, and above all, an educational system that will give Samoa’s young people the choice of remaining either in the land of their birth or of going wherever they wish in the world and being able to compete with any people anywhere.

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My third goal is a constant working effort to maintain what I call the “doctrine of compatible cultures,” which simply means taking the best of the culture of the United States. or the Western World and uniting it with the very best of the old Samoan customs. This also means ferreting out the ills of both societies and taking positive measures to see that they are disposed of or reduced to such a point that they are no longer problems.

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In order to achieve these goals I must have a working relationship or basic under­standing with the leaders and the people of American Samoa. I pledge myself that before decisions are made in any long-range planning or major decisions affecting the territory, the leaders of American Samoa shall be consulted. I hereby appoint a special committee to be headed by Secretary Le’iato with the following members: High Chief Mauga, High Chief Sotoa, President of the Senate Aifili Lauvao Lob, and Speaker of the House Tuia, to present to me a list of twenty leaders of Tutuila and Manu’a who shall act as a group as special advisors to the governor on matters of territorial planning and programming. One of their first duties will be to meet with me on the matter of the position of lieutenant governor of the territory.

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With regards to land, there will be no walking upon lands in quest of sites for the construction of any new facility without receiving prior approval from the owners of the land. Since land is necessary for any new economic interest that will benefit the terri­tory, our plan will be to observe multiple sites and then the owners will be called to­gether in fono to see if there is one who wishes to proceed to use his land in the fashion proposed. Once an agreement is made, that agreement shall contain the proper constitutional protections for the owners of the land.

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I ask for the complete cooperation of every individual who works with or for the Government of American Samoa. I ask each and every employee to consider every hour that he works for the government as an hour of dedication to its service and to the furtherance of the welfare of the people of American Samoa. Every piece of equipment that is used should be used with the understanding that this piece of equipment belongs to the people and deserves the maximum of care and protection.

We ate engaged in a war in Viet Nam in which many Samoans beside their American brothers have fought and died and are still fighting and sacrificing for our country. We are bound here in American Samoa by a budget that has to be necessarily a slim one so that the men in Vietnam may have the necessary materials and supplies to maintain their safety and well being and still perpetuate the cause of freedom.


Those of us here on the home-front in Samoa must carry on our battle to see to it that every dollar we spend is a dollar well—spent in our fight for bettering our own welfare. We owe this to those military men who are fighting our battles. In the furtherance of my three goals, I ask that American Samoa establish itself as a model community of the friendly workings of two races. There are cities in the world that have areas that are torn apart because one race seemingly cannot live with another. Let us pull together and show those cities that not only is this possible, but if entered into with the proper frame of mind, it can result in an unexcelled working relationship.

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We are just a small dot on a very large planet. There is no reason why 26,000 people cannot unite in their many efforts of their daily workings, iron out their differences in orderly fonos, and conduct themselves in a productive existence that may do well to serve as an example for Other peoples everywhere.

May God’s grace consider these goals proper, and may he ‘pour His wisdom into our hearts and minds so that they may become realities.




WASHINGTON, D.C. (UPI) - President Johnson said today he will appoint H. Rex Lee, former governor of American Samoa, as assistant administrator for the Agency of International Development. Development. .

Lee, 57, would succeed William O. Hall, Hall, who has been nominated ambassador to Ethiopia.

Lee would be in charge of administration with AID.

The President’s announcement confirmed widely—circulated rumors both in Washington and in American Samoa that Lee would go to a high position in AID

The Agency for International Development is under the State Department.

Lee served as governor of American Samoa from 1961 to August of this year. Among other honors, he received from President Johnson the Distinguished Service Award.

Prior to his service in American Samoa, Lee was deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the Department of Interior.




Governor Owen S. Aspinall appointed 35-year-old Aleki Sene as the territory’s new communications officer, replacing Clark Brown, who resigned in late June after five years of service here.

Sen., born and raised in American Samoa, learned about electronics largely through his own initiative. Before graduation with the first graduation class of the High School of American Samoa (1950), he took a correspondence course in electronics. After graduating from high school he won a scholarship to attend Reedly Junior College near Fresno, Califor­nia. He then was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army for two years.

Sene continued to learn about electronics in the Army, and started working as a radio technician for Pan American World Airways in San Francisco after his discharge. He serviced electronics equipment aboard Pan American Planes and on the ground.

His knowledge of electronics and communications was furthered when he entered San Jose State College in California to study electrical engineering. He continued working for Pan Am in San Francisco until he graduated from San Jose State with an engineering degree in 1962. He has worked in the Government of American Samoa communications office since then.




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