His Majesty King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipauʻu will visit Sydney to open the Newington College’s newest learning facility – The Tupou College Centre, on Monday, July 18, 2016.
A statement from Newington College said: “The new centre, which will house specialist teaching spaces, a new theatre and the College’s new health centre, has been named in recognition of the long and close historical links between the Newington College and the Kingdom of Tonga”.
Tupou College, a boys’ secondary boarding school in Toloa on the island of Tongatapu, Tonga, is the brother school of Newington College.
Both educational institutions were established by Rev Egan Moulton, a nineteenth century Wesleyan Methodist minister who, after helping to establish Newington in 1863, sailed to Tonga two years later in order to set up a similar College on the Island.
Tupou College remains the oldest secondary school in the Pacific Islands and celebrated its Sesquicentenary this year.
Newington College boys have been visiting their Tongan brothers since 1972 and in recent years, these trips have involved community support, volunteer work and outreach projects through the College’s Service Learning Program.
This has allowed students to contribute to the Tupou College community and experience Tongan culture firsthand. Equally, Newington boasts a rich history of educating Tongan students and in 2009 the College set up a Tongan Bursary scheme which aims to support Tongan students in obtaining qualifications at high school level and beyond.
Most notably, the College has a proud history of educating members of the Tongan Royal family, including the father of His Majesty King Tupou VI, His late Majesty King Tupou IV.
Newington’s Head Master Dr David Mulford said he is, “thrilled and hugely honoured that His Majesty King Tupou VI has agreed to conduct the opening ceremony and we look forward to welcoming His Majesty along with Her Majesty Queen Nanasipau’u of Tonga and the Tongan High Commissioner in Canberra, Princess Angelika Latufuipeka, who is the King and Queen’s daughter.”
The opening ceremony will take place on Monday 18 July 2016 and promises to be another milestone in the long and interrelated history of Newington College, Tupou College and the Kingdom of Tonga.