'Apifo'ou 125th Jubilee Celebration
Dear All, Merry Xmas everyone pea malo ho’omou lelei. I’m actually stranded here in the office as I start typing my updates. It’s Thursday 29th and the Jubilee Celebration has really given a lot in return as much as taking away from us. Like my car, which I now have to hitchhike since the majority at home need it for the Jubilee, and to make it worse, our village bus ain’t running, ki’imaumau fakatekinikale pe. But ok, I wouldn’t complain too much, but would report some really good news about the Jubilee Celebration beginning from Thursday 22nd with the Medal of Honour awards. We were happy to find that a few of us from Matahau were awarded medals. And their names as I heard were: 1. Grandpa Filimi Tavo
2. Felise Tavo
3. Sr. Clare Tavo
4. Sitani Manu
5. Vakaola Mafi
6. Maliana Sisifa
7. Kelela Lotiola
8. Paea Mafi (Tu'ilavakano)
9. Lotelika Ta’ai
10. ‘Okusitino Manu
11. Paulo Manu
12. Fr. 'Unaloto
13. Fr. 'Ekuasi
14. Fr. Hikolahi
15. Fr. Palenapa Well . . .ok. So I hope I didn’t miss anybody, or that i mistakenly included somebody. Please understand I never made it to any of the programs. My apology for that. Aunty Maliana was really preparing to receive her medal, and since it was a long long list of names, ne malo e maau ia ‘a e teu, ka ne si’i vave mai e fokoutua ia e fefine ia ‘oku te’eki ui hono hingoa ia ‘o’ona. But in the end, she has a medal and most of us didn’t. My brother in law on the other hand then send his precious (Tu’a’ofa) to receive his medal on his behalf, talu pe hono luma’i‘aki he faikava tokua ko ‘ene tokanga ki hono fakatau e kava-Tonga ‘a e patele tauhi palokia. Ka na’e ui pe hono metali ‘o pehe “ko e kolisi tutuku ngoue fa’alelei”. Later as he got drunk, he told me how only JUST two people directly acknowledged his medal of achievement, and that was Grandpa Filimi and his other brother in law from Vancouver? Anyhow, he said it to me in a way that I could see his disappointment ‘i hono lau’i ia ‘ehe kakai kehe. Well, I don’t mean to talauhu’i, but hange ko e lau . . . “fo’i koe he fakatamaiki e”. Anyway, theJubilee has really meant a lot to many. Maybe a little to me, but seeing the others like Maliana and Lotiola actually bragging about their countless ex-student meetings with the Queen Mother of Tonga who’s an ex-student of the old St.Joseph College herself, and their old classmates (na u toe hange ha fangaki’i kauleka he'enau toe fe’iloaki). And like Lika and Neniti having to find the opportunity ke na inu fakamo’ua ai leva he saute ‘a e kaunga kolisi tutuku. Xmas then kind of coming second it seems. On Xmas Eve, after our Santa Claus (thanks to the donations of Sr.Clare mainly) gave out presents at the Lalo Kalosipani, then it switched back automatically to the Jubilee, as everyone prepared for the opening mass mo e pohiva. A near panic almost happened when the Hihifo parish choir gathered at Ma’ufanga only to find out that a few key members ‘o e fa’ahi solo tangata were still carried away with Xmas Eve getting drunk in Matahau, especially as it came to performing Hihifo’s favorite “Faitangane” trademark song. But lucky for Hihifo coz guess who turned up to the rescue? It was none other than the man himself, Fr.Soane Patita ’Ekuasi, who filled in this vital role (hange ko e na’a ne ma’u ha fo’i akohiva). At the end of it, ‘Etu kept marveling at the applause ‘a e fu’u falelotu Malia-‘i-Makulata like he never heard it before (mohe ‘a Talia ia). But I could only guess it was true, since the rescue man didn’t come looking for Soni and Lofeni ke ‘oange hona tuha, mo ‘ena li’aki unannounced and fakatete’i pehe e pohiva, so I think he was really carried away with the applause. Tuesday 27th was a long parade from Pasilika to ‘Apifo’ou. Me’apango pe ko ‘emau ha’u mei Matahau, mo e tauhi taimi ‘a e polokalama Jubilee that some of us were late for the parade and decided to forget the parade anyway. Ka ne mou sio mai moutolu ki he fakahaue atu ‘a e pasi ‘a e Kuini Fehuhu ‘o Tonga, mo ‘ene kau to’u ako (Maliana, Clare and Lotiola) he’enau fu’u pasi, I can only imagine how these three musketeers have really enjoyed this Jubilee. So was Lika and Neniti but I guess you know what I'm talking about.
Wednesday 28th was sports day for the Jubilee. There was a golf tournament, netball tournament, tennis tournament also I think. And rugby tournament as well all taking place in various locations. So I guess you know where Fr.Ekuasi and Fr.Hiko would be at the golf, Fita and Sesilia at the netball, and ‘Etu at the rugby tournament for the exstudents, separate from the Marist Rugby Competition that ended with a great final game between the Marist Apifo’ou team against the Toloa Old Boys at Teufaiva last Friday 23rd where the Marist Apifo’ou won 19-9. Mind you all, our Marist Apifo’ou is current club rugby champions here in Tonga, and they managed to get away too with their own tournament in commemorating the Jubilee. But Wednesday’s rugby tournament was played with exstudents (oldtimers) from Australia Vs New Zealand. Interestingly in their huge rivalry, our kiwi man ‘Etu turned up and was asked to fill in the Aussie side whom they needed to make up the numbers, then later to be labeled by his kids as a traitor for representing the Aussie team. I could only hope that ‘Etu would get on well when he returns home to his much awaited diehard Kiwi sons.
Another good news for you all was when the Hihifo parish choir came first he fe’auhi sivi hiva, ‘o tatau pe he fa’ahi koia ‘o e hiva le’o kakai fefine only, kae pehe ki he fa’ahi le’o tangata only. Last night, as I was watching TV, I heard the cheering and shouting booming home as the choir returns showing off their prizes. Kae hange ko e lau, ‘ai ke vakai’i fakalelei pe na’e toko ua pe kau hiva na’e kau ki he fe’auhi. He he he. Si’i,‘oku ‘ikai pe ko ha lotokovi ia. Ngali ‘aonga pe toutou faka’otai e kau hiva. Me’apango pe ko e tuai ‘eku fakaakeake, pehe ni neu toe mei solo’i e fa’ahi kanokano tangata. But I couldn’t believe it at first that our male group actually won. I mean, I give credits to our women, they deserve first prize, I tell you. But our male group? Firstly, some of the choir like Poini, ‘Etu, Fr. Hiko and Fr. ’Ekuasi were only making up the numbers for the choir in order to qualify for the category, they were just sitting there, coz they never made it to singing practice. And secondly, since I saw Lika still trying to learn the notation ‘o e fo’i hivafili on his way to the competition, pea u pehe pe, kapau ko e ‘atunga e ia, pea mou vakai ange, ‘e anga fefe ai. Well, so I guess Lika gets the last laugh now,doesn’t he? Well he sure did. Lucky for him me’amalie ‘eku nofo mei he polisi he’ene hiva kona ‘i loto kolo Matahau he’enau ikuna. Man, I still cannot believe they won. I will not comment any further on this issue.
Anyway, today is the prize giving ceremony ‘o e ako lolotonga. It was also our Hihifo parish's turn to cater for the occasion. Thankfully, civilization as it comes, both Maliana and Lotiola who had to prepare a pola each, then found this Vakuuho Catering business and hired them for the job. Tatau mo e ha, ‘ete me’a fiemalie atu pe ki he katoanga, kuo ‘osi maau mai e tepile hono teu, ‘a e puaka tunu, kiki kehekehe ‘o ‘oseni, veihalo, ‘ikai toe hela kita he feime’akai. I don’t mean that we’re being lazy here, but come on, it’s been a busy week for all of us, with the sports yesterday (year right) and like Ana with the tanaki tu’unga‘a e ako, the choir competition, and Lotiola tirelessly sewing away tupenus and dresses for the choirs and the dancing performance. Tiana has kids to babysit and looking after Maliana. My wife getting pregnant, and me getting busy typing this up. Ok. Then our Susitina and Soana getting their prizes he tanaki tu’unga (well done for them), pea fakahoko ai pe mo e faiva Milolua ‘a e palokia Hihifo‘a ia ‘a e tuli haka ai e ni’ihi (mou ‘eke pe moutolu kia Hikolahi) mo foaki ai e tokoni ‘a e palokia mo e ki’i motu’a mei Vancouver ko e TOP$25,000. Again, mou hao pe hena kau faiva ko e te’eki foki mai e lou’ulu ‘o Samison hili hono kosi ‘e he toketa Vaiola hono kofuua, ne nau mei sio he he me’a ‘oku ui ko e faiva, ‘oua! (‘io pea ‘ai ai ‘o tala . . . lol).
Well tomorrow, Friday 30th would be more choir competition on other categories mo hono foaki ‘o e ngaahi pale ki he kotoa ‘o e sivi hiva, pea faka’osi ‘aki ‘a e Ball ‘i he holo Patelesio & Sir.Sofele Kakala. Ko e me’amalie ia ko e toe taha ‘ete kofuua ke te fakamama’o ai mei he hu’akava’ia (which it sometimes hurts) he na’e mei pehe ‘e Lika ia mo Hikolahi ko naua pe. Anyway, tau fakafeta’i pe he’etau kei mo’ui. I’m glad Faleola too is getting ok in New Zealand on her surgery, since she missed the Jubilee for her part being the debuty principal of the school. Ka ketau fakafeta’I ai pe, for the Grace of God alone ‘oku tau kei manava ai. Sorry atu if I've offended anyone. Sorry atu kapau kou ngali talauhu’i. Ka mou nofo a, pea talamonu atu ai pe ‘a e Ta’u Fo’ou kiate kimoutolu hono kotoa. Happy New Year folks, and so long to 2011 from all of us here at the LaloKalosipani.
Tu’a’ofa atu, Hikosi’i