A speech by the Ha’apai governor on Wednesday revealed a statement made by the late King Taufa’āhau Tupou I pledging to stop war in Tonga in 1875 after the new constitution was promulgated.
King Taufa’āhau, who was known as the creator of modern Tonga, told the Ha’apaians at Fanga ‘i he Si to tell Vava’u Lahi and Tonga’eiki that there was no more war in Tonga.
The king said if anyone in Tonga still wanted war then they had to get on a boat and leave for Fiji or find somewhere else to live.
The only two things Tongans would do were praying and educating, the king said.
Ha’apai Governor Dr Rev Mohenoa Puloka was speaking during the Ha’apai Educational Day which concluded the Ha’apai Masani festival week.
Dr Puloka told King Tupou VI, who was the guest of honour, that since that day the Ha’apaians had continued to pray and study.
He said the first school in Tonga, which was established in Ha’apai by the Free Wesleyan Church before Tupou College, was Pētani. The school was still operating today.
He said King Taufa’āhau was educated in that school along with Pita Vi, Tongamohenoa and others.
The Ha’apai Educational Day was held at Lea’aetohi historical sport field.
Governor Puloka claimed Lea’aetohi (which translates as the writing of spoken language) was the place where the first hand writing in the Pacific was written.
He said the first hand writers included King Taufa’āhau, Tongamohenoa and Pita Vī.
“Today that’s the only things we do –praying and educating,” Governor Puloka said.
Ha’apai Masani festival
Ha’apai Masani or Beautiful Ha’apai was an event organized for the Ha’apaians to come together to celebrate King Tupou VI’s 59 birthday.
It ran from June 17 until July 4, the king’s birthday.
The festival consisted of numerous activities including community singing competition, the Miss Ha’apai Beauty Pageant 2018 and Zumba exercises.
Apart from the Ha’apai Masani, the Ha’apaians also participated in two big events organised by the Free Wesleyan Church (FWC) and the government of Tonga.
These two events were the FWC annual church conference which drew hundreds from overseas and the annual Royal Agricultural, Fisheries and Tonga-Made show organised by the government.
Their Majesties King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau’u were joined by the King and Queen Maori.
They visited the Ha’apai outer islands of Felemea and ‘Uiha as part of the king’s birthday celebrations.
Tens of thousands worth of Tongan goods, crops and fish were displayed and given away during the festival.
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