Prominent Tongan pastor dies in Auckland

The Tongan community in Auckland is mourning the death of Rev Sione Tavake Tupou.

Details surrounding the death of the 67-year-old were not immediately available to Kaniva News.

However a relative who did not want to be identified has confirmed that Rev Tupou passed on Saturday 16.

Rev Tupou was prominent in the Tongan Christian community in many respects but what was significantly stood out was when he strongly spoke out and opposed the appointment of a practicing homosexual into the Methodist leadership in New Zealand in 2012.

This was led to a breakaway of hundreds of Tongans from the mainstream Methodism and established a Methodist parish in Otahuhu known as Upper Room church under his leadership.

Rev Tupou also publicly spoke out on mainstream media against issues that linked to financial problems Pacific Island Christians had faced in what he described as it was because church leaders put their emphasis  on raising money from them to build large churches.

Sēfita Haoʻuli, a Tongan broadcaster and journalist in New Zealand has shared with us a tribute for the death of his former Tonga High School classmate.

“Sad to note the passing of colleague and former Tonga High School classmate, the Rev Sione Tavake Tupou here in Auckland. Born in 1948, the son of Ane and Tevita Etueni Tupou of Pangai, Lifuka Haapai.

“Got to know him when I boarded with an aunt as a 5 year old to go to Pangai Primary and we were neighbours. His mother Ane was a soft-spoken woman who was considered unusual in that she never hit her children. She offered sanctuary to many of us when things got too hot at home or at school. Tavake and I entered THS in 1959 as the only two 10 year olds from our school who “made it”.

“His elder brothers, ‘Etueni and Paula were also at THS at the time. We both came to Auckland as scholarship students and spent the late 60s and early 70s here in New Zealand where he took up an apprenticeship and became an electrician.

“He learned his craft when the government of the time were building the state houses of Otara and Mangere. He had his father’s musical talents and was the most accomplished guitar player at Atalanga hostel at the time. He also took money off most of us at poker only to give it all back as he was earning while learning his craft.

“Latterly, he led a breakaway ministry from mainstream Methodism and established a parish in Otahuhu and is survived by his widow Heu. Fellow 1959ers who will mark his passing will include lawyer Laki Niu, broadcaster Kalafi Moala, theologian Viliami Fukofuka in Tonga.

“In Auckland are retired sea captain Kepueli Funaki, travel agent, Totoa Laume and mechanical enginner, Sione Fakalata. Looking at a 1963 class photo and sadly more than half of the 1959ers are no longer with us”.

1 COMMENT

  1. ʻOku lolotonga tengihia ʻe he kāinga Tonga ʻi ʻAokalaní e mate ʻa e tangata faifekau ʻiloa he lotu Kalisitiané ko Faifekau Sione Tavake Tupou.

    Ne ʻikai ke faingamālie leva ʻa e feinga ke ʻilo ki he tupuʻanga ʻene maté ka ne pehē ʻe ha taha ko e kāinga tonu ne ne mālōlō ʻaneafi.

    Ko e taʻu 67 ʻeni ʻo Tavake Tupou peá ne ne ʻiloa heʻene takiʻi ha kau lotu Kalisitiane Tonga ʻe lau teau ʻo nau mavahe mei he siasi lahi Metotisi palangí ʻo fokotuʻu ʻa e Siasi ne ʻiloa pe ko e Upper Room ʻi ʻOtahuhu koeʻuhi ko ʻene fakafepakiʻi hano fakanofo ʻo ha faifekau fakasōtoma ke faifekau he siasí.

    Ne kau foki ʻa Tavake Tupou ʻi hono fakafepakiʻi hono fakakavengaʻi ʻe he kau taki lotu tokolahi ʻa e kakai Pasifiki mei he ʻotu motu ʻo hangē ko e tānaki paʻanga ki he ngaahi langa lalah ʻoku faí.

    Ko e anga ʻeni e manatu ʻa Sefita Haoʻuli ko e faiongoongo Tonga ʻi Nuʻu Sila kia Tavake Tupou ʻa ia ko hono kaungāmeʻa mo kaungāako ʻi he Ako Māʻolunga ʻa Tongá.

    Ko e fakamatala ʻeni ʻa Haoʻuli ki he Kanivá:

    Ko hoku to’u ako he na’a ma tupu fakataha hake ‘i he’e ku hiki mei Foa ‘o lautohi pule’anga ‘i Pangai ‘i hoku ta’u 7 pea na’a mau kaunga’api. Ko ‘ene tangata’eiki ko e motu’a na’e manako fangota kupenga sili pea na’a ne fa’a ui kimaua mo Tavake ke mau o ‘o fangota ke ma to’o e ‘oa fangota mo fua e kupenga he na’a mau fa’a o mo e kupenga ‘e 2.

    Ko ‘ene fa’e ko e fefine Katolika na’e ako’i ia ‘e he kau taupo’ou pea ko e mehikitanga ia ‘o e fanau ‘a Faka’iloatonga ‘o ‘i ai ‘a Tupou Faka’iloatonga, ko e tama ta kita ‘iloa ‘i Tonga he 1960 tupu pea na’a na tame’a foki mo Peni Tutu’ila pea mo e ngaahi tame’a kehekehe pe he kamata ‘o e letio ZCO.

    Na’a ma hu atu ki he THS kuo ‘osi ‘i ai ‘a hono tokoua ko Paula Tu’ikolongahau Tupou pea na’e ‘osi mavahe mei ai ‘a hono tokoua lahi taha ‘a ‘Etueni Tupou (mali mo Una Vete) ‘o ako savea ia ‘i muli, pea faingofua ange ai ‘a e fakafeohi ‘i he hu fo’ou pea si’isi’i ai e ilifia pea mo e ma he ako lea Inglisi. Na’e toe hoko mai pe foki ‘a hono tehina ko Viliami ki he THS lolotonga ‘oku ma kei ‘i ai.

    Na’e nofo ako ‘a Tavake, Paula mo Viliami ‘i loto kolo (Kolofo’ou) he ‘api ‘o Me kimu’a ia pea toki hiki mai hono famili ki Tonga ‘o ‘ikai hano taimi kuo hange pe ‘a Tavake ia ko ha tama Nuku’alofa ‘o ne ‘ilo e kakai kehekehe ‘o loto kolo mo maheni ai mo e kakai tokolahi.

    Neongo na’e tapui ke hu ‘i ha falehoka ka na’e ‘osi pate’i mo’oni pe ‘a Tavake ia he hoka ‘i he emau tu’uta mai ki NZ ni – pea na’e manako tenisi pea va’inga ‘akapulu foki he timi Tonga ‘a e fanau ako nofo ‘i Atalanga pea na’a nau hau he fe’auhi kalapu ‘a ‘Okalani he ta’u ‘e 3.

    Na’e ‘ikai teu ofo ‘i he ‘ene fakafepaki’i ‘a e ngaahi tu’utu’uni fakatokateline ‘a e lotu Metotisi/Uesiliana ‘i he ngaahi ‘aho ni neongo na’a ne toki hu ki he loto siasi ‘i hono ta’u 40 tupu nai. Na’e ‘ikai ko ha tokotaha eni te ne tali mola pe ha ngaahi tu’utu’uni pe faka’uhinga ta’e fai hano fulifulihi pe fokifokihi. Pea ‘oku ha pe ia mei he ngaahi tefito’i mo’oni na’a ne taukave’i pea pehe foki ki he ‘ene to’onga lea pea mo ‘ene ngaahi tokoni pe fale’i ma’a hono kaingalotu. Na’e mahulu pea makehe ange ‘a Tavake ‘i he ‘ene faifatongia fakatauhisipi – he ko e tokotaha na’e mo’ui fonu mahuohua ‘i he ngaahi pole kehekehe ‘o e mo’ui kimu’a pea ne toki hoko ko ha takilotu.

    Pea na’a ne ‘omai ‘a ‘ene ngaahi ‘ilo mo e taukei ko’eni ke tokoni ia ki he ‘ene ngaahi fokotu’utu’u fakakaukau ma’a hono kaingalotu. Ko e tokotaha ni na’e le’o afea he na’a ne lea mahino mo mokomoko pea toe malie foki ki he fanongo he ko e lea ‘a e tokotaha ‘oku loto tau’ataina mo fie fakafeohi ‘o ‘ikai ke loto fufuu.

    ‘Oku ou fakatauange ‘e manatua ‘a Tavake ‘e hoku to’u ako he na’a ne faka’aonga’i kotoa ‘a hono ngaahi taleniti – ‘o lavengamalie ai ‘a hono kaunga fononga pilikimi pea lave noa’ia ai pe foki ‘a e tokolahi ne nau ‘inasi’ia ‘i he ‘ene ngaahi tufotufa.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here