He now carries title of Samoan chief

His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II, Head of State for Western Samoa, conferred a chiefly title on Polynesian Cultural Center Pres. Lester W. B. Moore - the first time a princely title has been bestowed on a non-Samoan.

The Ceremony of Investiture, organized by PCC Vice Pres. Logo Apelu and held on the grounds of BYU-Hawaii in Laie, Hawaii, May 10, was marked with courtly processions, rituals and oratory. The title Galumalemana is a chiefly title of the Malietoa family of which the Samoan Head of State is a direct descendant. It identifies the holder as a member of the council of chiefs of Galumalemana, and as a leader who speaks for and cares for the people and seeks spiritual guidance on their behalf.Malietoa Tanumafili II succeeded to the Malietoa title upon the death of his father in 1940. That same year, he was appointed a Fautua (adviser) to the New Zealand governor in Western Samoa. When Western Samoa achieved independence as a parliamentary democracy in 1962, he was appointed Chief of State jointly with Tupua Tamasese Mae`ole. Since 1963, he has been sole Head of State.

The title bestowed on Pres. Moore was the second chiefly title he has received. On July 7, 1993, King Taufa`ahau Tupou IV of Tonga conferred the chief title Mafi Fakapotu on him on the occasion of the center's 30th anniversary. (Please see Aug. 14, 1993, Church News.)

Pres. Moore is a native of Utah and a graduate of the University of Utah. He completed graduate courses in economics while attending BYU in Provo, Utah. He was named president of the Polynesian Cultural Center in October 1991 after serving as president and chief operating officer of Deli Express Convenience Foods in Minneapolis, Minn.

While in Hawaii as a guest of the center, the Samoan Head of State presided over the 5th Annual "We Are Samoa" Festival, which included the World Fire Knife Competition. Eighteen fire-knife dancers from Samoa and the United States competed for the world title May 10-17.

The Polynesian Cultural Center was founded in 1963. Since then, more than 25 million guests from throughout the world have visited the center, which is dedicated to preserving and portraying the cultures of Polynesia while supporting the educational mission of BYU-Hawaii.

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