The life of Aitken Gregory Fruean was celebrated by relatives, friends and colleagues during a service at the Immaculate Cathedral, Mulivai, yesterday.
A man described as a quiet person with a heart of gold, Mr. Fruean’s legacy as the driving force behind the sport of Powerlifting in Samoa, will be sorely missed.
But he was more than just the President of the Samoa Powerlifting Federation.
He was a loving husband to Francine Meredith- Fruean, a proud father to Aitken III Trey, the son of Asi Aitken and Mary Fruean and a sibling to Raymond, John, Annette and Pepe Fiaailetoa Christian. Aitken passed away on Thursday. He was 52.
Among the mourners yesterday were the Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, the Masiofo, Her Highness Filifilia Tamasese, Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and some Cabinet Ministers.
Also present was a strong representation of the business community in Samoa.
In paying tribute to his brother, Pepe said one of Aitken’s living legacies was that he puts others first. He also spoke about his love and passion for Powerlifting in Samoa. He loved the sport so much he died while on his way to organize a trip for two local powerlifters to Uzbekistan.
“Today, I just want to ask you, his Powerlifting team to please don’t let his dream and yours go to waste,” said Francine, who would also miss her best friend.
“He was the most caring and loving person I have ever known,” she said. “During our years of marriage, I have known him to be always kind and patient and we were the best of friends. He was my anchor and my rock.”
Francine also recalled the day Aitken’s son, Trey, was born. “After fourteen years of marriage, we were blessed with our beautiful son Trey or Aitken III as he (Aitken) likes to call Trey,” she said.
“That was the happiest day of his life, when he held his son in his arms. Trey was very dear to him and he (Aitken) would always read to Trey a bed-time story of how he came to us."
"He would say, 'Trey you know we looked for you for fourteen years. We prayed so hard to God and so one day Jesus went into God’s house to look for you but he didn’t catch you as you were running around. He finally caught you and you fell from the stars into mommy’s tummy'.”
Francine added that life would be difficult without Aitken but she would put her trust in God. “Aitken, I am so going to miss our breakfast dates in the mornings at the cafes,” she said. “The love that you expressed, your jokes, your laughs, your planning of all our trips together, your knowledge and your intellectual conversations with everyone you meet."
“Your love and passion for your family, your power lifters, your IPC and staff, you leaving me so suddenly has broken me into a million pieces, but I know I have to be strong for Trey."
“You were my one true love and so I have put my trust in God that this is His plan," “So God, here I stand before you a humble servant. You took Aitken on Thursday last week between the hour of 3 and 4pm."
“I beg of you to have mercy on me and please accept him into your gathering kingdom and that one day we can meet again in your gathering."
“Aitken I will continue to pray and offer mass for you.”
After the final mass, Aitken was then taken to his family’s burial ground at Faleula where he was laid to rest.