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So the Easter Vacation has come and gone, and it definitely played havoc with getting the news out. Most notably because the two organisations here in Tonga with good bandwidth access to the 'NET (Tupou High School and Royal School of Science) were both closed up and there was no ready access for pushing information onto the web. Nonetheless, things continue ...
The annual re-enactment by the Catholic congregations of the Easter occassion of Christ and carrying the cross to Calvary continues to be a highlight of the week's mediations.
This week I have to apologise that I haven't
really been browsing the Internet with regards to Tonga links. The
Honolulu Star Bulletin has a report on the fisheries meeting held in Honolulu which has
proposed a treaty on Tuna fishing in the Pacific.
This week I have to apologise that I haven't really been browsing the Internet with regards to Tonga links. The Honolulu Star Bulletin has a report on the fisheries meeting held in Honolulu which has proposed a treaty on Tuna fishing in the Pacific.
Sinking Ships. The inter-island ferry MV Tofua of the shipping company Tofaa Ramsey sank Monday after developing problems earlier in the day during a special hire run from Tongatapu to 'Eua. Reports indicate that a hydraulic pump necessary for steering failed and the boat failed to respond and this directly contributed to the boat's sinking. The boat struck a rock and the captain ran the boat onto a reef and waited assistance. When the tug boat arrived the MV Tofua was being hauled back to shore for maintenance when the operation failed and the boat sank.
Peace Corp Volunteers. The 58th Group of Peace Corp Volunteers were inducted into their service this week. 27 volunteers have spent the past 11 weeks in the Peace Corp orientation program to acclimitise them into Tonga and the goals of the Peace Corps. The 27 volunteers will be dispersed throughout the Tonga islands and into various organisations.
TASANOC hosting ONOC (Oceania National Olympic Committee) annual meeting. Kevin Coster a member of the IOC will chair the meeting which will be attended by two other members of the IOC to review funds being distributed in the region for the improvement of sports. During their attendance in the country specialist members of various sports events are running workshops for players and coaches.
A number of different issues are being discussed including a review of previous performances by regional sports committees and development planning for the different sports programs.
Managerial skills are critical to the improvement of sports and the system requires better incentives for getting the general public involved and the available skills involved in management issues.
Increased Inter-regional competitions to create a mechanism for improving standards of competition within the regional prior to larger competitions.
A Regional Head Quarters will require greater funds and is tentatively proposed for placement in Fiji. A change in the ONOC constitution will be required to enable a head-quarters.
Local Athletes visit Australia to attend competitions sponsored by the Australian government. Although hopes exist for the local athletes the occassion of competition should greatly benefit local athletics.
Australian Scholarships advertised. The Australian High Commission is advertising the availability of scholarships for study overseas with funding from the Australian Government. These regular scholarships are administered directly by the High Commission as opposed to scholarships granted to the Tongan Government for administration. Interested Tongans who may qualify for the scholarship should get forms from the Australian High Commission in Tonga.
Diplomatic Status in the US. Tonga's diplomatic services with the United States has officially been transitioned from the Consulate General in San Francisco, and Consular Agency in Honolulu to a permanent mission in New York. The Head of Mission will henceforth be responsible for diplomatic representation, accredited for the United States and Canada.
Mr. S. Tu'a Taumoepeau has been appointed as Ambassador of Tonga to the United States, Mexico and Chile and this change of status has thus far been approved by the US State Department and Canada's Dept. of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
School's Out. Strange as it may seem, we now have some students leaving school on vacation as other school's are returning to school. Secondary school's in Tonga are experimenting with four term school years, but not all schools have signed up for the experiment so while 'Apifo'ou College, St. Andrew's High School, Liahona High School are returning to regular classes the Government Schools have just started their vacation. FWC school's will begin vacations at the end of this week.
While these experiments are potentially good for secondary school systems they can wreak havoc on families with children split between primary and secondary schools. Primary School systems (most operated by the Government) are running 3 term school calendars.
A brief summary of job positions advertised in Tonga's local news papers.
* Advertised-Post, Organisation, wage, internet-contact, internet-site
Paddling the Pacific Killed, well not exactly but the information I once had on the Sea Kayaking company in Vava'u was getting so out of date that it's value was also distracted by it's out of date nature. To resolve the problem I deleted what I had and changed my links to point to Sea Kayak's own web reference information http://www.islandnet.com/kayaktonga/ .
Note: There may be some delay between receipt of this newsletter and
the newsletter being available online. This is due to one of those "IN
TONGA" production problems, please bear with us.
This coming Sunday May 7th will be the "White Sunday" or "Children's Sunday" for Free Wesleyan Church's. On this special Sunday children especially decked out an prepared for leading the Sunday worship service as well as a special after-noon program of drama's lead entirely by the children beginning from pre-school age and on to older youth.
Of course, this tradition has been widely exported by Free Wesleyan's (Methodists) who have travelled into the America's, Australasia. If you want to see your own White Sunday just find the nearest Tongan Methodist church and find when their program runs.
All eyes are watching out for the coming church conferences when visitors and thousands of relatives return to the islands for the conferences and to visit family and friends.
Of course, if you're lucky enough to be in the country over the next couple of weeks there will be way too much food for consumption (anyone say something about a weight problem?) There should be heaps of choral events during the conferences and choirs have been in practise for a very long time.
Disclaimer: Please make use of the information provided at your own risk. Although we make some effort to faithfully transcribe information we recieve we do not perform any research as to the validity of the information we recieve. Do not invest resources solely on the information provided by these releases.
News for this newsletter is gathered from available print news publications, conversations with locals and non-print broadcasts.
For a more 'researched' report on current events in Tonga, please find yourself a copy of the local media releases. Reference to Media Publications are in our Media pages. Of course you can always ask for specifics on the discussion forums.