TRIBUTE | HM King George Tupou V by Manase Lua

As described in a previous post, the King of Tonga, HM King George Tupou V, passed away recently which left the people of Tonga in mourning. It is an honour for me to be given this opportunity to be the first to share online a tribute that was written for HM King George Tupou V by my cousin Manase Lua. Manase had first presented this poem at the Growing Pacific Solutions (GPS) Conference hosted by Le Va which took place at the beginning of this month in Auckland, New Zealand.

Manase currently works for Le Va which is New Zealand’s national coordination service and workforce development programme for Pacific mental health, addictions, disabilities and general health. Le Va’s vision is: Pacific leadership and well Pacific families.  Manase’s leadership role at Le Va involves managing key initiatives from initiation and development through to implementation. He is also a member of the Pacific cultural team for Engaging Pasifika where he is responsible for relationship management with key stakeholders of the initiatives that he leads and supports.

Manase studied at The University of Auckland, New Zealand and attained a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts, with Honours in English. His academic focus was mainly in post-colonial New Zealand and Pacific literature. He is a humble Poet who has worked under the esteemed presence and guidance of Albert Wendt and Witi Ihimaera.

On a personal note, Manase is highly respected within our family circle. He sets a great example for us “younger” ones to strive to the best of our capabilities and he never fails to set time aside to provide us with encouragement in all areas of our lives. Manase inspires me. He continuously reaches out to encourage me in my academic studies, he pushes me along in my poetry writing and he is there for me like a big brother. Thank you Manase for giving me this opportunity to share your beautifully crafted piece. It is a truly heart-felt poem which paints a sombre image of how Tonga mourned the passing of HM King George V. Also, thank you for your example, your encouragement and for always being a great leader in our family!
‘Ofa lahi atu xox

Dedicated to the passing of HM King George Tupou V

© Manase Lua, 2012

The sun has set and the Crux Australis weeps.

An aching black silence descends from the sky.

A white heron bows its head atop the leafy mane

of a solitary casuarina overlooking Fanga’uta.

The stillness of the air broken only by the occasional whisper

of dust dissipating like prayers from Hihifo to Kolo Kakala.

Time and fate have honoured these flat and unassuming lands,

with a legacy second to none.

‘Eua looms large in the east, lying in the shadows

of the Ha’amonga ‘a Maui.

Winds from the north stir the endless fine sands

and scar the azure waters of the Otu Kinekina.

The peaks of Kao and Tofua solemnly stand guard in the distance.

Ha’afeva is silent, no longer does the wind speak

through the trees around Matahiva.

Tungua mourns deeply in the sacred knowledge it keeps,

a single lupe released for Fiji.

‘Uiha and Pangai gather their grief like kafa and bind it together.

Tofua’a beach themselves on the mighty shores of Vava’u Lahi,

they drown with honour in the Lolo ‘a Halaevalu.

There is a ring of fire around Niuafo’ou,

It burns in the hearts of the people.

The guardians on Niuatoputapu and Tafahi

signal to Savai’i and ‘Upolu at low tide:

“Behold, the Hau has taken the sacred path!”

Yet, the lines that once defined three Kings converge

into the majesty of an awesome sun, rising to greet a new day.


  1. Awesome! Your carefully chosen words give power to the imagery of the mind! I love the trees of Matahiva, it’s my favourite part of Tonga when I visit! and yes it was very quiet! in respect of a king who’s reign was short but made a mark in TOngan history!! Thank you!

    1. Oh yes, I agree with you sis. Manase has written such a wonderful piece and I’m so proud to share his poem on this blog. Many thanks for commenting and also sharing Manase’s poem with family and friends. Many blessings & love xox

    1. Hi Hema,
      Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and to post your comment. I am grateful to be surrounded with wonderful role models and leaders. A blessing indeed. I appreciate your visit. Have a wonderful new week!
      ‘Ofa atu xox

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