In the early 1980’s Peter (Fats) was employed with Modern Carriers Ltd, a house hold removal company situated in Grey Lynn. Modern Carriers was one of a few transporting companies at the time, which offered specialized piano removal services.
Peter and work mate, John Atutolu, were assigned specifically as Modern Carriers piano removal specialists. The success of Peter and John’s work was evident with Modern Carriers securing cartage contracts with two of the major piano companies at the time, that being Atwaters and Piano Traders.
The success continued with the increase in music shops and the general public, requesting specifically for Modern Carriers to move their pianos which was a direct result of the reputation that Peter and John were building.
Around 1984 John Atutolu became a sub-contractor to Modern Carriers, continuing with piano removals and employing Peter as his Driver/offsider.
The piano removal business was booming and within three years Peter was also given the opportunity to sub-contract to the newly named, Modern Movers Ltd.
After a period of time, Peter made a personal/business decision, to break away from Modern Movers and to take on the challenge of competing in the ever increasing piano removal market, hence in 1987 the birth of “Peter Fatialofa Piano Removal Specialists”.
Peter’s piano removal business became very successful as a result of his uncompromising commitment to providing excellent customer service as well establishing himself and his team as being the best in the business, confronting any challenges. It wasn’t long until Peter was required to invest and increase his trucking fleet.
Peter’s vision of having a successful family business was becoming more evident with the continued involvement of family members from its induction in 1987, to date. This business practice paid dividends during his involvement and commitment with Manu Samoa Rugby.
Peter’s unique business ethics sometimes compromised growth for his own business. This was evident during the 1991 Rugby World Cup, where everybody insisted that the most “famous piano mover in the world”, move their piano. Although it was suggested that Peter take advantage of his growing success by “cornering the market”, his response was “I only need enough money to ensure my family is ok and by the way, there are others that need to make money”. This was typical of Peter whose personal value of loyalty outweighed what he considered, un-necessary personal gain.
Peter is no longer with us and my guess is that he is now known as the “most famous piano mover in heaven”.
Peter has left a legacy which continues to this day. Peter’s son Jeremiah has taken over the business and is now Director of Fats Boys Ltd” Jeremiah’s partner Haley-Belle manages the family business whilst his daughter Courtney works in the office & her partner David & long time employee Quentin are the specialist movers alongside Jeremiah for Fats Boys Ltd. Peter’s son’s & grandson also work on the truck on a casual basis. Not to mention Peter’s family members and friends that continually support the business.
So as you can see, the business continues. It is a family business built and maintained on a wealth of experience and knowledge.
So who am I?
My name is Inga Papalii. I was employed with Modern Carriers in 1984 and later employed by Peter in 1987 as his Driver/offsider. I managed Peter’s business solely whilst he and his family were stationed in Italy and continued to manage his business during his commitment to rugby. I have continued to remain involved with Peter’s business over the years, sometimes to assist with labor and other times to provide advice. I am only one of many who have contributed to Peter’s business and have had the pleasure in sharing Peter’s journey which will continue with his family.
Most importantly I am Peter’s brother in law.