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Tonga lowers flag for 10 days, public holiday in honour of Queen Mother

Tongan flags outside government complexes and offices will be flown at half-mast for 10 days in honour of the Queen Mother, Halaevalu Mata’aho, who died Sunday 19.

The government has announced that Wednesday, March 1 will be a public holiday as part of a show of national respect to a queen who had been a wife of one king, and mother of two monarchs.

Kaniva News reports this has been confirmed in a cabinet meeting  Friday (February 24) in Nuku’alofa.

Flags will fly at half-mast from Tuesday, February 28, until the 10 takipō taboo is over.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Pasifika Futures has sent a message of condolence over the loss of the Queen Mother.

“On behalf of our Chairman, Board of Directors and Staff, Pasifika Futures would like to express our deepest condolences to His Royal Highness, King Tupou VI, Princess Sālote Mafile’o Pilolevu Tuita, their families and the people of the Kingdom of Tonga,” Pasifika Futures Chief Executive Debbie Sorensen said.

“I have had the privilege of meeting Her Majesty on numerous occasions and was inspired by her leadership and the example she set.

“She has served the Kingdom and the people of Tonga as a mother-head figure distinguished by her genuine compassion, personal humility, warmth and concern for the welfare of all Tongans in Tonga and wherever they are in the world.”

“Her Majesty will always be remembered for her spirited and cultural leadership, humbleness, elegance, generosity and a role model for us Tongan women. She has been an amazing woman.

“During this time of bereavement, our prayers are with the people of Tonga and the Royal family.

“May her legacy live on, and may her soul rest in eternal peace.”

The Queen Mother’s death has been reported around the world.

In the United States, Fox News reported that the Tongan community in Utah was mourning her.

The Queen Mother visited Utah several times. In 2011, she attended the dedication of the Tongan United Methodist Church in West Valley City.

Fox news reported that the Lavulo family, who were descendants of the Queen Mother, were collecting money and gifts to end to the Queen Mother’s family.
Source: Kaniva News
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