Alan Grey RIP: Businessman, rugby enthusiast and philanthropist

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Hundreds gathered in Apia on the Wednesday before Easter for the funeral of prominent businessman and philanthropist La’auli Alan Grey in what’s been described as a who’s who of Samoan society.

His funeral Mass was celebrated at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Mulivai.

Grey was the unassuming but astute businessman who took the legendary Aggie Greys Hotel started by his mother during the Second World War and turned it into a South Seas icon.

He was also very passionate about rugby – and even earned the nickname Mr Rugby. He coached, trained, and mostly funded Manu Samoa in its international infancy years.

Grey was also a generous supporter of Catholic education in Samoa.

As well as making a significant financial contribution, he also gave much of his time providing practical advice and guidance.

He was awarded Samoa’s highest honour, the Western Samoa Order of Merit, in 1993 for his services not only to tourism but to rugby.

In his eulogy, son Lupesina Frederick Grey remembered the legacy his father left behind for him and his family.

“He said ‘Son, I was born a simple man. I will walk and die a simple man. Never forget, treat people with respect and humility.’”

It is La’auli’s humility that people remember.

He acknowledged his father’s love for the people of Samoa and those he had a chance to help.

“It was always people first, and him last,” said Lupesina.

He said his father told him that life was all about people and helping fellow human beings.

“But above all, be honest and sincere to everyone, no matter how rich, poor, or what colour they are, everyone’s the same to me.”

 

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News category: Asia Pacific.

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