One of Tonga’s long time rugby union referees and the late Manager of Tonga’s National Rugby Union team was laid to rest today with funeral prayers held at his village, Nukuhetulu.
Soape Tu’iono, 67, died last Saturday after a heart attack.
Tu’iono had been a member of the Tonga Referee Association for more than 20 years and was the manger of the ‘Ikale Tahi team during the Rugby World Cup 2015.
His funeral service was attended by Tonga’s Deputy Prime Minister Hon Siaosi Sovaleni, Minister of Police Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa, Minister of Justice Vuna Fa’otusia and Hon Semisi Fakahau, the Minister of MAFF.
The Justice of the Peace’s operated businesses including bookshop and stationery business in Nuku’alofa and a gift shop at Tonga’s International Airport.
A relative of his said Tuʻiono suffered a heart attack and died at Vaiola Hospital on February 13.
His eldest son Viliami flew from New Zealand to farewell his father.
Soape is survived by his wife Pauline and three children.