Princess Mele Siu’ilikutapu Fotofili has selected the popular Tongan song Hala Kuo Papa and it was played to mark the formal release of Lomipeau Fika ‘Uluaki ‘o Aotearoa album.

The Princess implied that it was her favourite music in which the lyrics were composed by her grandmother late Queen Salote and was set to music by late Vili Pusiaki.

Pusiaki’s great-great-grandaughter Milika Aleva asked the princess to select a song from the album to be played and so formally released it.

The Princess was tearful and said this was a vision that had been created after 30 years.

The Princess said she was emotional and told the organisers she could not wait to listen to the album.

Understanding that it was refreshment time for the guests and everyone was looking forward for the buffet lunch which was ready outside the hall, the Princess joked and said: “Let’s just play music and dance as that was what Lapaha people used to do. No more meal for today”

There was a murmur of approval from the 100 guests who attended the event.

The formal release began this morning at Auckland Council’s Mangere Arts Centre with a powhiri and ouau kava.

A group of Maori performed the powhiri before they met and shook hands with Princess Mele Siu’ilikutapu.

The kava ceremony was conducted by the heralds from the Falefa.

Lord Kalaniuvalu’s herald Malupo introduced the ceremony and reminisced about  some of the historical places in Lapaha and their ancestors who started the singing group Lomipeau.

Today’s ceremony was organised by the Pusiaki’s great great-grandchildren.

Pusiaki was a poet and choreographer whom Queen Salote used to give music and choreographised  some of her poetries.

Some of the dances and songs Pusiaki had set to music and choreographed were performed by his own great great-grandchildren during the ceremony.

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