Tonga and Germany commemorated the 140 years of their friendship on Sunday 9 October.
The Speaker of the German Bundestag (Parliament) Professor Dr. Norbert Lammert arrived in Tonga accompanied by seven parliamentarians to attend a function in Nuku’alofa as part of the commemoration.
While in Tonga the German Speaker attended a ceremony at Parliament signing a contract for the donation of photovoltaic solar project for Prince Ngu Hospital in Vavaʻu.
The Berlin Speaker was joint by MP Dr. Johann Wadephul who is also the Chairman of the Scrutiny of Elections Committee, Immunity and the Rules of Procedures.
Germany’s new Ambassador to Tonga, His Excellency Gerhard Thiedemann was one the Speaker’s delegations.
Professor Lammert who is a Catholic was expected to meet Tonga’s Roman Catholic Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi this week.
Germany’s relationship with Tonga was first signed in 1876.
In 1976 their treaty was renewed shortly after Tonga became independent and formed its own constitution.
Throughout the years Germany’s assistance to Tonga has been based on economic, cultural and educational support.
Germany and Tonga signed a Treaty of Friendship on board the SMS “Hertha” Warship from Germany at Nuku’alofa on November 1, 1876.
The former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Late Hon. Viliami Tungi signed the friendship treaty on behalf of late King George Tupou 1 with Captain Ernst Wilhelm the Captain and German’s Consul to Tonga and Samoa, Theodor Agust Weber on behalf of the German Emperor.
Tupou 1 wanted to safeguard Tonga from being colonized by foreign powers and instigated the Treaty of Friendship with Germany.
In 1875 Tonga’s Constitution was not recognized however Berlin was the first to sign the treaty. This recognition of Tonga’s treaty led other foreign powers to withdraw interest from trying to colonize Tonga.
The delegation attended the Sunday church service at the Centenary Church for the blessing of the 140th Years of the Friendship Treaty.
It followed by a Choral Programme at the Fa‘onelua Convention Centre.
Guests of Honour at the occasion were their Highnesses, Crown Prince Tupouto‘a ‘Ulukalala and Crown Princess Sinaitakala Tuku‘aho.
The German Speaker visited the Legislative Assembly on Monday 10 October where the signing of the amended contract for donation of photovoltaic solar project for Prince Ngu Hospital in Vava’u.
It was followed by a speech by the visiting Speaker before a luncheon hosted by Lord Speaker Tu‘ivakano in Parliament for the visitors.
The German parliamentary delegation left Tonga on Monday afternoon 10 October.