Tongans prepare for arrival of funeral cortege of late Prime Minister

Schoolchildren and members of the public have begun lining the road to Fuamotu International Airport as the Kingdom of Tonga awaits the arrival of the funeral cortege of the late Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva.

Tongans have dressed in traditional attire as a sign of respect following the passing away of Mr Pohiva in Auckland, New Zealand last week.

Buildings have also been draped in black and purple fabric.

The funeral cortege is expected to arrive at Fuamotu International Airport at 3.30pm (local time) where the casket will be received by a delegation led acting Prime Minister Semisi Sika.

The casket is being brought home from Auckland on board a Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft.

A delegation led by Lord Fakafanua, the Lord Speaker of the Legislative Assembly is accompanying the funeral procession from New Zealand.

The funeral cortege will depart the airport for St George Building where students from Government Primary School will be able to pay their last respects to the late Prime Minister Pohiva.

A prayer service programme gets underway at 6pm (local time) and a vigil will continue all night until dawn Wednesday.

Dignitaries, VVIP and members of the Tongan Royal family will be able to pay their last respects Wednesday.

This will be followed by public viewing and musical recitals from 9am-6pm (local time).

The funeral service for the late Prime Minister will be held on Thursday which has been declared a public holiday.


Photo courtesy Digicel Tonga 



Breaking News