blackmail press 22
Editorial - Welcome Home

"At the conclusion of the Ulberg Aiga reunion
Sister Edwina said of me
Duckless has Palagi features, beneath that, is a Samoan Heart
My Aunties and Uncles looked gently at me and smiled.
So, I wear this inward Polynesia, this Samoan Heart."

When my grandmother Edwina Ulberg- Stowers- Poole passed away I feared I would lose touch with my extended

Aiga, and even worse, my "Samoan-ness". Being so outwardly Afakasi, it is difficult for people to accept I

am of Samoan descent. Yet I am a direct descendant of Tuailemafua O Safune Savaii, and the Ulberg Aiga of

Tulaele, Apia, Upolo.

My Grandmother's parents Henry and Tuaoloa Ulberg were respectable Afakasi. At the turn of 20th century,

Henry was a manager for DH & PG copra exporters, under the German administration, and then a Customs

official, under the New Zealand Administration, until Samoan independance.

Henry and Tuaoloa were Afakasi, yet they were high titled Samoans. This contradiction was a

contemporization of the traditional Samoan values. Yes they were Afakasi, yet they also lived by the rule of

Faa Samoa whilst embracing the modern world.

I am the product of toil and hope of two generations, part of an immigrant story, familiar to so many cultures.

I grew up within Samoan and English cultures, a collision at times, a celebration at others.

Was it difficult? Yes, at times. The stories of how my Grandmother was treated when she first immigrated to

New Zealand, have never healed.

I owe so much to my Grandmother and Great-grandparents, I have understanding of issues facing immigrants

in New Zealand today. My father is the son of two immigrants, his father Arthur from London, England, his

mother from Apia, Samoa. I dedicate this issue to Edwina Ulberg-Poole and Arthur William Poole - I miss you

both so very much.

blackmail press, is starting to feel more like home to me. It is becoming a better representation of the multi

cultural voices writing poetry both in New Zealand and abroad.

I like to think I am a reconciliator for the past. So, welcome home.


Doug Poole

10 July 2008