Hapa Ahelemo, a long-serving staff member at Catholic Social Services, died suddenly at work on 15 November 2007.
Hapa was Tokelauan, but was born in Samoa in 1957 when his parents were working there for the Catholic Church. At a young age, he and his brothers came to New Zealand for schooling and Hapa attended Ss Peter and Paul School and St Bernard’s College in Lower Hutt.
Hapa was big in all ways—he had an especially big heart and would not go past anyone in need.
He was a social worker in all aspects of the phrase. He had a social work qualification and was a member of the Aotearoa Council of Social Workers. He had a smile for everyone, a flawless memory for names and always went the ‘extra mile’ for families he perceived as needing support.
He was a devoted family man and would do anything for his children.