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Adventures in Samoa 2024 – Reconnecting Pereira Roots

Iva Savai’i Connection & Tofilau Legacy

1st Week in Samoa
– Reconnecting Pereira Roots

I don’t really know what that ‘one thing’ was that triggered the sudden burst of energy to go to Samoa. I am known for my spontaneity however, so it comes as no great surprise to those who know me. And after our family discussions late last year surrounding the ‘Tofilau Title’, when I flew into Auckland for the occasion, I did have a serious conversation about the need to go to Samoa and connect with our extended families.

Further to that investigation was the issue of Tofilau Michael heading to Samoa, on behalf of our Pereira family in December/January to coincide with a major event being held in Iva, Savai’i. Ron Pereira and I had signaled our intention to accompany Tofilau Michael. As it turned out, the event was postponed, however, Ron did make the trip and messaged me about an opportunity to meet with a high standing Tofilau from Iva. I guess for me, that was the catalyst. So, decision made, I set off on an adventure to Samoa.

I have to admit, the first few days were a bit rough. I hadn’t made any contacts and the Inn I was staying at on Moamoa Rd was too far away from Apia township to walk comfortably. Ron had warned me of the dogs that can get a bit nasty protecting their turf in the suburbs, so I wasn’t about to chance a walkabout.

Auntie Lasa Aiono (Ron’s Cousin) is a formidable woman of character and was an absolute blessing. She took time off her busy schedule and organised our trip out to Iva, Savai’i, taking her dual cab ute on the ferry and transporting us to our destination … a meeting with ‘Tofilau Ma’a’ who had arranged for us to have an audience with Village Elder ‘Leauanae Tagalosa Ailao’.

As we arrived in Iva, I was immediately inspired by it’s beauty and simplicity. We connected with Tofilau Ma’a, who walked us to the home of Leauanae Tagalosa Ailao. Removing our sandals and shoes as we entered the house, I left my socks on, to which the Elder, Leauanae Tagalosa Ailao, pointed to. Embarrassed, I removed my socks and coyly sat down at the last of four chairs that had been set out for us.

An incredibly humbling experience, Auntie Lasa communicated and translated on our behalf. Of course, Ron still accommodates the mother tongue, and was able to ask questions and understand most of what was said. I on the other hand, was quite at a loss, but listened with my heart to fully absorb the spirit of the communications taking place.

Before our official meeting came to a close, individual tables were placed in front of each of us and food started to arrive. Fried chicken, green bananas in coconut, beans, onions and Taro .. what seemed like a feast was presented. After a quick prayer, we ate and talked and laughed. The atmosphere relaxed, I was signaled to ask any questions I might have in English. I was assured that this area is the land of our ancestors, and that Siosé (José) Pereira was known to Leauanae, but that further investigations would need to be made to find out which of the lines of Tofilau our family belongs to. Of four (4) girls and one (1) boy of the Tofilau, which one Antonio Victorino Pereira married is still unclear. The Tofilau title of Iva, Savai’i is the 9th family line of Malietoa.

 E iva iai aiga o Malietoa

The granddaughter of Leauanae Tagalosa Ailao has provided us with her email so that we may contact her and follow up with our investigations.

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School of Marist Brothers, Apia Samoa, 1892

Brother Macarius’ Band

School of Marist Brothers, Apia Samoa, 1892

    • BACK: 1. Antonio Tupuola, Amaile, | 2. Unknown (Aleipata), | 3. G. Ried, | (Tutuila), | 4. J. Ryan
    • MIDDLE: Cymbol: L. Stowers, | Big Drum: Lafaele Pereira, | Br. Macarius, | Fred Hahnt, | Patolo Hall, | Solia Kelemete, | 4. Fred Netzler, | 5, H. Hunkin, | CH. Stowers, | Drum: Nim Yandall
    • SITTING: W. Stowers, | 2. Amando Stowers, | 3. R. Conradt, | 4. Rob Johson, | 5. O. F. Nelson, | 6. Jimmy Meredith, | 7. A. Willis (Tutuila)

ln 1892 Br Macarius, a gifted musician had arrived in Apia. In order to draw more children to the school and to assure the Brothers a better income, two brass bands were established, one for the school children and another for the young men of Apia. They proved to be very popular both in Apia and further afield.

However, when they began travelling around Upolu and Savaii giving concerts, a halt was called to these tours by the major superiors. Eventually the band instruments were to be sold to an orphanage the Brothers were running at Stoke, New Zealand. After just six years in Samoa, Br Macarius was transferred to Fiji where again his bands became very popular. He was to labour there for the next thirty five years before his death in Suva in 1933.

Source: 1988 Marist Centennial Magazine

First Marist Brothers’ Schools in the Pacific

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Pereira Land and Titles Meeting

A family meeting took place on 9th September 2023

A family meeting took place on 9th September 2023 to discuss the path forward with regard to the entitlements available to the Pereira Family.

It was an informal assembly with a good number of representatives which was key to determine the next steps forward.

You may listen to the Audio captured here -> Pereira Family Meeting 9/9/23

  • LOCATION: St Anne’s Catholic Church, Manurewa, Auckland
  • CHAIR: Tofilau Michael Pereira
  • ASSISTANT CHAIR: Tia So’opele Pereira
  • INTERPRETER: Ron Pereira
  • Family Representations: Sipili, Keiti, Faete, Ake, Sio and Mé
  • Absent – Luisa, Keve

Minutes of the Meeting

Opening & Welcome

Tofilau Michael Pereira

Ephesians 4: verse 3-4 (NIV)

3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called;

Core message was the encouragement for us to live in peace with each other and as a family.
Closed off opening & welcome with a word of prayer.
Tofilau’s thoughts & statements were translated into English & shared with the family for the benefit of our non Samoan
speaking family by Ron Pereira – Fingers crossed I managed to achieve at least 90% accuracy


There were no formal apologies were tabled at the start of our meeting – 2 apologies were noted at the end.
Mika Patu – had work commitments on Saturday, apologies made through Paulo & Dan
Eugene & Danni Meredith – there had been some confusion over the FB generated timezone that had the wrong start
time of 2pm contributing to their late arrival. Apologies for the confusion & thank you Eugene & Danni.

General Discussion

While no formal agenda was presented prior to the meeting, the messaging around the titles had been posted on-line via FB.
The general discussion (for the most part) went well. Questions were asked & dialogue was encouraged but we needed to ensure we were
able to have some structure around our time management, and make sure all questions were answered as fully as possible.
Tofilau shared the need for current descendants to make use of their birthright to these titles, explained for us to proceed, we have top
register our interest & intent to the current Tofilau title holders in Samoa, the village elders & council.

We needed to pause and structure the conversation to ensure items were discussed & then family representatives were canvassed for their
thoughts, with the final action being a vote to support or not. The following was confirmed from the discussions.

The following items were confirmed by votes

Iva = 3 x Itu paepae

There are three itu paepae’s (familial descendants) in Iva – The Pereira family belong to the house of Faleulu’

First steps for this to happen

We have to present our request & intentions the current high chiefs of the 3 itupaepae’s, village matai’s and elders in Iva
For this Tofilau Michael will head to Samoa around December / January to coincide with a major event being held in Iva
As Tofilau Michael will be representing the Pereira family in NZ, Australia & USA, he has asked for our support in creating a fundraiser to cover
the airfare, as well as enough donations / funds to put towards a Pereira donation towards the event in Iva, in December.

Event in Iva – December 2023

Fale Talimalo – Iva:  Tofilau presented a back story of the construction of a fale talimalo (guest house – village facility hosting guests & village events)
It has cost the village in the vicinity of $200K. Tofilau Michael has made a donation on our behalf of $500.00
The fale talimalo is scheduled for its official opening in December 2023
It would be an opportunity to incorporate Tofilau Michaels attendance of the opening, submit a donation from the Pereira family and initiate
discussions of the titles during his visit to Samoa. this into an itinerary to add some weight / respect to our request.

Funding of Samoa visit in December

Tofilau Michael suggests a fundraiser to go towards our request for these titles by all the families who are interested and are participating
2 options for fundraising were offered: 1) Po Siva or a family dance night 2) A donation of a set amount for each family

Voting Results

Each family represented were asked to indicate their decision by way of voting / raising of hands for & against


YES – Support:

Sipili, Keiti, Faete, Sio, Me, Ake
Ake* – Eugene & Danni expressed their support at the end of our meeting – see “Apologies” above


Representatives from Luisa & Keve


Lomana representatives from Lomana’s family – Pesa & Leka indicated their non-support. No detailed explanation was sought
We respected their decisio


YES – support

Sipili, Keiti, Faete, Sio, Me
Ake* – Eugene & Danni expressed their support at the end of our meeting – see “Apologies” above


Representatives from Luisa & Keve


Lomana representative Laura clarified that while they respectfully withhold their participation in the titles, they would are happy to
revisit their contribution closer to the time – as family resources & abilities permit


Each family involved in the pursuit of the titles are to donate $500.00 – date of collection to be confirmed in the next 2 weeks.

Next Meeting

Tofilau to confirm our next meeting details, to be sooner rather than later given our time constraints – TBC in 2 weeks.


Lots to learn for the next meeting, but a great result in the end. Great to see some old faces & good to meet new ones.


Tofilau Michael Pereira for his work to see the descendants of the Pereira family pursue what is within their birthrights
Thanks to everyone that made the effort to be at the meeting
Thank you family for providing the amazing food & drinks
Thank you to the family team that worked in the kitchen and in our food preparation
Thank you to St Anne’s Catholic Church for the use of your hall
Vincent Pereira who travelled from Darwin to be at the meeting
Tennelle Luafalemanu (Me’s family line) from Carson City who’s here for business but made time for family.

Ephesians 4: verse 3-4 (NIV)

3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called;



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Warmest greetings!

Welcome to the House of Pereira Website!

This portal is dedicated to the collection of historic information of the Pereira lineage for the purpose of keeping informed, sharing our adventures, maintaining a level of communication and keeping each other up to date in a relaxed and safe environment. Specifically, this site has been created to establish a crucially important connection between us that so often is lost due to pressures of work and extensions of family through the passages of time. May this portal serve as a time capsule of our genealogical heritage, to be reviewed and advanced by our progeny in the future.

An incredible journey of discovery in tracing the history of our family has been met here. Lost in the not so distant past, our genealogical line has been buried under the fog of uncertainty, laid waste through inaction and neglected. However, through passionate research and discovery, I have uncovered a magnificent story of wonder and intrigue. The records themselves are scarce and prove difficult to find, and with your help, we can continue our journey together and bring this dynastic family and its rich heritage back to life in script and perhaps even film.

Piecing together the past was always going to be a difficult task due to the nature of records available and the consequent embellishments by the authors to relay events in a favorable light. Nevertheless, efforts can be made to piece together histories of certain times. It is therefore a matter of filling in the gaps to paint a picture that faithfully reproduces a timeline and family lineage that is congruent with what is currently already known.

I contend that the results of my research have led to discoveries that shed a grand light over the populations of not only the Pacific Islands, but that of the old world as a whole. Our past is rich with intrigue and fascinating stories that any family in the history of mankind would be astounded to learn. The best we can hope for is that we have learned the hard lessons from the past, put away our suspicions and incredulity and allow the chips to fall where they may whilst we forge a new and improved conviction for the sanctity of life.

It is my hope and wish that we collectively embrace our differences, learn to love one another in spite of our beliefs and choices, and strive to make every brand new day an opportunity to be grateful for what we have.

May the light of truth always shine forth in your heart. That you keep safe, live well and remain confident in the knowledge that we, as a family, shall always be there for each other no matter time, relationship or distance.

Wishing for you an abundance of love, peace and prosperity

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