“TULOU MOE NGAAHI FĀ KAKALA
KO HAI AU KE U TUHU KI HE LAʻAÁ?
NE U SILAʻI KOE ʻI HE ʻOLITA
PUKE ʻETA FUAKAVA KI HE TAʻENGATA”
This has to be the most beautiful poetic memorial stone/ bench I have come across. Ok some background knowledge you may need in understanding the beauty of this memorial stone for Tony Andy Fonua (1955-2004).
In Tongan poetry ʻkakalaʼ or the sweet smelling flowers are used as a metaphor for people. The use of the metaphor “FĀ KAKALA” gives a timeframe of when he died which is during the reign of King Taufāʻahau Tupou IV. Therefore the author gives ode/ respect to the Four chiefly flowers of his country Tupou I-IV. The second line gives the notion of the sun being sacred they dare not question the sun for the predicament that they are in. They were joined together at the altar which gives the author of this piece as the widow. The “fuakava” is an important ʻkavaʼ term in the Tongan culture. It is the first cup taken as a solemn vow, you are not culturally married until you take the ʻfuakava maliʼ. Therefor they were joined at the altar and will hold their fuakava vow for eternity. The translation is as follows
“DEEPEST RESPECTS TO FOUR CHIEFLY FLOWERS (PAST & PRESENT TUPOU I-IV)
WHO AM I TO POINT AT THE SUN?
I WAS JOINED WITH YOU AT THE ALTAR
HOLDING OUR MATRIMONIAL VOW FOR ETERNITY”
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