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American Samoa: Gov. Togiola thanks Manukau City Council for post-tsunami gift and donation

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(UTULEI) - Governor Togiola Tulafono today expressed his gratitude to Mayor Len Brown of Manukau, New Zealand for a gift of three condolence books signed by members of the Manukau community after the tsunami.

In a letter to Governor Togiola, Mayor Brown said the condolence books were just a small representation of the genuine grief and suffering felt by the Manukau community in the wake of the tsunami. Manukau City Council arranged for condolence books to be placed in libraries and other public areas.

Mayor Brown informed Governor Togiola that Manukau City Council raised around NZD$9,000 from the public for their tsunami appeal and they have also contributed a further NZD$10,000 to the fund. Mayor Brown said the money will be donated to the Red Cross for use in tsunami relief activities in Samoa and Tonga.

"I would like to once again take the opportunity to convey my gratitude for hosting Manukau's trade delegation to American Samoa last year," wrote Mayor Brown. "I believe the visit has resulted in genuine opportunities for trade between Manukau and American Samoa. It also emphasized the good feeling between our communities. I believe there would be benefit in formalizing our relationship in the new year."

Governor Togiola expressed his thanks to Mayor Brown, the City Council and the people of Manukau for the love and support that they have shared through the kind gifts.

"I truly appreciate this very special gift and I proudly accept it on behalf of the people of American Samoa because these are words from the heart written from afar by those who cared to share our pain and offer these comforting thoughts because together we are part of the Pacific family," said Governor Togiola. "My sincere thanks to Mayor Brown, the Manukau City Council, the Manukau community for the gift and the donations to the Red Cross. Thank you for reaching out to your Pacific family member and lending a hand during these tough times."