Humble giant of Samoan business and rugby has died

Samoa is mourning the sudden passing of La’auli Alan Grey, the unassuming, humble and astute businessman who took the legendary Aggie Greys Hotel started by his mother during the last World War, and turned it into a South Seas icon.

World Rugby is also mourning the man credited as the unrelenting driving force behind rugby’s resurgence in Samoa when it qualified for the 1991 Rugby World Cup.

Last Saturday, as news of his death filed through the country, most rugby games started with a minute of silence in honor of the man who coached, trained, and mostly funded Manu Samoa in its international infancy years.

La’auli Alan Grey passed away on Saturday morning at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole National Hospital, Moto’otua with Marina, his wife of 53 years and daughters Aggie and Tanya, by his side.

Son Lupesina Fred Grey, who is managing company hotel in Tahiti flew in as soon as he heard of the passing of his business mentor.

Daughter Tanya Grey told the Newsline newspaper that her father died from complications to an undiagnosed ulcer they were unaware of, until he was admitted last Tuesday morning.

“He was fully alert all of the time and was fine on Thursday but it turned for the worse on Friday with complications from his perforated ulcer,” Tanya told Newsline.

His funeral Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Mulivai.