Sta­tion iden­tity de­parts

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES PAUL

‘‘I know inmy heart I've done what I'm sup­posed to have done in my life, be­cause my kids have happy lives.’’

The next stop on the life line for Si­manu Sa is re­tire­ment.

Samoan-born Sa came to New Zealand in 1984 with his four chil­dren to give them a bet­ter start in life.

Now, af­ter 23 years as the face of Porirua rail­way sta­tion’s of­fice, the Whitby res­i­dent has sold his last ticket.

In his own words, he be­gan at the sta­tion as a no­body and wanted to leave the same way.

‘‘When I came in, no one knows me. So, when I go, no­body ever knows that I was here.’’

But he was left a lit­tle em­bar­rassed when col­leagues, as well as Porirua mayor Mike Tana and deputy mayor Izzy Ford, sur­prised him with a farewell on his last day, June 30.

The 66-year-old spent his fi­nal work day talk­ing to reg­u­lars, ar­gu­ing with oth­ers, and rem­i­nisc­ing.

Sa would of­ten be up early to open the of­fice for the 5.30am com­muters.

While he might not know ev­ery­one by name, for­mer cus­tomers recog­nise him in the street.

The 2015 Porirua flood, when more than 1mm of rain fell per minute at its peak, was a stand­out mo­ment for him.

Both un­der­ground walk­ways were flooded and Sa couldn’t leave the of­fice.

Af­ter trains had been can­celled he and fel­low stranded sta­tion­go­ers had to walk along the tracks to­wards Kenepuru to es­cape.

It’s the peo­ple Sa will miss most.

‘‘I’ve got mixed emo­tions; I’m both sad and glad I’m re­tired. I know in my heart I’ve done what I’m sup­posed to have done in my life, be­cause my kids have happy lives.

‘‘My first chap­ter was grow­ing up and go­ing to school, my sec­ond chap­ter was work and bring­ing up the kids, and now the third chap­ter is fin­ish­ing work. So, the next thing is, I don’t know. I’ll find out when I get there.’’

PHOTOS: JAMES PAUL/FAIR­FAX NZ

Si­manu Sa will miss his job in Porirua sta­tion’s ticket of­fice, but is look­ing for­ward to his life’s next chap­ter. In­set, Sa on the job.

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