Prominent Tongan sea captain laid to rest

Members of His Majesty’s Armed Forces’ navy and military honoured Tatafu at an emotional funeral at Ma’ufanga yesterday.

Tatafu was described as one who “he has an ambition to work for the nation.”

Kaniva News reports 52-year-old Tatafu was reported missing at sea on April 23.

He had failed to arrive in Nuku’alofa at 10am after leaving ‘Eua at 6am.

Search and rescue team finally located Tatafu’s body on the beach area at Tu’aliku cliffs of Lapaha.

The body of his colleague Litani Taufa was still missing.

Tongan student reported missing at sea laid to rest

Sam Leka Pasiaka of Avondale went missing at Whatipu Beach on 29 December 2018.

Kaniva News reports Pasiaka got caught in a rip with his sister, while searching for mussels. 

His body was recovered north of Piha beach in West Auckland on Monday.

Pasiaka’s death will be referred to the Coroner.


Tonga’s First lady laid to rest

Neomai is the wife of Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva.

Her funeral service was held at the Free Wesleyan church in Sopu, where she worshipped.

She was laid to rest at Telekava 1 community cemetery in Kolomotu’a,

Kaniva News reports the Prime Minister’s 70-year-old wife, “died peacefully” after a long battle with cancer.

Following the news of her death, thousands took to Facebook to show their respects for the woman most regarded as the “mother of democrats” in Tonga.

Prof Stephen Hawking Cambridge funeral to take place

Prof Hawking, who had motor neurone disease, died on 14 March, aged 76, at his home in the city.

Up to 500 invited family, friends and colleagues are expected at the private service being held at the university church, Great St Mary's, at 14:00.

Prof Hawking's ashes will be interred next to the grave of Sir Isaac Newton at Westminster Abbey in June.

Although the professor's funeral is private, crowds are expected to gather outside Great St Mary's in the centre of Cambridge to witness the arrival of the funeral cortege on Saturday afternoon.

Preparations underway in Tonga for arrival of Queen Mother

Queen Mata'aho died last weekend at the age of 90 in Auckland.

Matangi Tonga online reports traditional presentations were made to the Royal Family yesterday, from people honouring the late Queen Mother.

Presentations were made by the Free Wesleyan Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church yesterday morning, and the tributes included Tongan koloa, garlands, livestock- including cows and pigs, as well as traditional root crops.

Funeral for Tonga's late Queen Mother next week

The Queen Mother died in Auckland at 10:15 pm on Sunday, 19 February after an illness.

Crown Prince Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala made the announcement Tuesday afternoon in a radio broadcast in Tonga.

He said the Queen Mother will be taken to the Nuku’alofa Royal Palace when her body will arrive in the kingdom.

Kaniva News reports she would be laid to rest at the Mala’ekula Royal Tombs on Wednesday morning, March 1, the Crown Prince said.

The family will observe a ten day period of mourning in her honor and glorification.

Body of late CEO ‘Asipeli Palaki arrives home

Kaniva News reports hundreds of people were at the airport to see the arrival of the plane carrying his coffin yesterday.

His casket was covered with the Tongan flag and it was welcomed by many government officials and civil servants.

His death has been widely shared on social media.

He has been described by many as “tangata fakalongolongo mo angalelei lahi” (translated: quiet and man with good conduct).


Body of ‘Asipeli Palaki arrives in Tonga today

‘Asipeli Palaki, 53, was receiving treatment for kidney problems at a hospital in Suva, Fiji.

Radio Tonga reports he died on Sunday, January 15.

A spokesman for the Ministry says they are arranging a special program for the arrival of his body at the airport.

The funeral cortege will be transferred to the Vaiola Mortuary and a prayer service will be conducted as is customary to such occasions.

Asipeli is survived by his wife Lotukalafi Palaki and two children.


Bay of Plenty crash dead return to Tonga

RNZ reports about 30 people are accompanying the bodies of Uloupini and Koli Vaipulu, Sione Teulaka and Samuela Taukatelata on the flight from Auckland to Fuaʻamotu International Airport.

The men were killed when their car was hit by a logging truck as they left work at Aongatete Kiwifruit Coolstore.

Many of their workmates are not on the flight today because they are staying in New Zealand to keep working and earn money for the bereaved families.

​Daughter pays tribute to late Dr Rongap Snr

In a moving funeral service, late Doctor Alphonse Rongap Snr's daughter, Dr Violet Rongap, said her dad was a simple and down-to-earth doctor who respected all he knew.

She said many of his studies and courses he took and the profession he had gone through were all for his children.

"What he gained during his training whilst serving respective hospitals in the country were for the betterment of the children.

"And through this, he had a lot of friends. He was so simple and humble,” she said through tear-filled eyes.