Preparations for 150th anniversary “brings the curtain down” on church and school rivalries

    Preparations for Tupou College’s 150th anniversary, which begins in Nuku’alofa on June 17 has united ex-students from various schools and members of different churches.

    The Secretary of the Tupou College Alumni in New Zealand, Moi Kaufononga, told Kaniva News it was a blessing for them to see the celebration will be celebrated not just by the Tupou College alumni and the Free Wesleyans.

    Kaufononga described the unification as “warming” and “congenial.”

    There has been a history of violence between Tupou College and Tonga College since Tupou College was established.

    But after nearly a century of rivalry, pupils from the two schools have been  regularly seen mixing harmoniously out of school.

    Historians believe that chaos that erupted among members of the Fakaongo church was caused by rivalry between the founder of Tupou College Dr James Eagan Moulton and the former Prime Minister of Tonga, Mr Shirley Baker.

    This led to the persecutions of those who did not want to follow the king’s order to break away from the Methodist church in Australia and establish a Tongan church.

    Former students from Tonga High School, Tonga College, ʻApifoʻou College and St Andrews High School in New Zealand have joined in preparations for the week-long centenary celebrations.

    Parishioners of the Free Church of Tonga, Church of Tonga, Catholic and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have participated in the choir practice and entertainment.

    They will wear the formal Tongan attire which has been designed for Tupou College alumni to wear during the celebrations.

    A 100 member choir and entertainers from New Zealand will perform during the anniversary celebration.

    The preparations began about three months ago.

    A fundraising dinner will be held tomorrow (Saturday, June 11) at the Greyhound Conference and Function Centre in Manukau.

    The money collected during the fundraising will be used to buy an ambulance for the college.

    The New Zealand alumni association has funded a NZ$10,000 groundwater pumping system to be used for the College’s farms and plantation.

    Kaufononga said since the school was established in 1866 water had to be transported to the farm and plantation.

    “We have to start a new era and provide the new pumping system,” he said.

    They also offered 100 dining tables and 1000 chairs for use in the college’s dining room.

    “Our oldies in the alumni are glad to see how we get along well with alumni from other schools”, Kaufononga said.

    “We do everything to encourage oneness and togetherness.”

    The Tupou College alumni have arranged ties to worn by all members who will register on the first day of the celebration.

    The preparations for 150th anniversary “brings the curtain down” on church and school rivalries, Kaufononga said.

    The main points

    • Preparations for Tupou College’s 150th anniversary, which begins in Nuku’alofa on June 17 has united ex-students from various schools and members of different churches.
    • The Secretary of the Tupou College Alumni in New Zealand, Moi Kaufononga, told Kaniva News it was a blessing for them to see the celebration will be celebrated not just by the Tupou College alumni and the Free Wesleyans.
    • A fundraising dinner will be held tomorrow (Saturday, June 11) at the Greyhound Conference and Function Centre in Manukau.
    • The money collected during the fundraising will be used to buy an ambulance for the college.

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