Two women appeared on a photo climbing the triple dolphin at the fountain recently restored in Nukuʻalofa to mark the coronation of King Tupou VI have contacted Kaniva News to relay an apology for their antics to the public.
The apology was posted on Kaniva Pacific’s Facebook timeline.
After further contacts with the person who posted the apology we chose not to publish her name and the identification of the women.
The message read in Tongan: “We seriously apologize to the nation and anyone who may have been insulted or felt disrespected by our actions which has sparked public outrage on media. The act was childish and immature.
“It was not our intention to do so and we have learnt from our mistake. We promise not to do it again.
“We wish you will accept our apology”, they added.
Photo of the women’s antics made its way on to social media shortly after the dolphin fountain was commissioned by Prince Ata on Thursday.
More than 2,000 comments on the photograph are increasingly hilarious and scathing as Tongan community members air their disbelief at the women’s apparent rude.
It was alleged a metal pipe in the fountain was damaged as a result of the incident which prompted government to fence the area on Saturday.
The triple dolphin statue
A writer, Philip Forbes told Kaniva News the triple dolphins are the same cast bronze statue established in the fountain in 1970 .
It was a gift from the Queen of England but it was knocked over when a car mounted the curb and crashed into it about three years ago.
Forbes said: “After the accident it then lay on its side for a couple of years until someone stole it. However it was quickly recovered and stored until recently when it was painted gold and now stands close to the original site”.
As a small part of Tonga history and on such an auspicious occasion as the coronation celebration, it is fitting to see this beautiful work of art once again. An excellent decision, he added.