Blessed to be a Blessing!
Motto: God and Tonga are my Inheritance
Tupou VI (full name: ʻAhoʻeitu ʻUnuakiʻotonga Tukuʻaho Tupou VI; born 12 July 1959) is the King of Tonga. He is the younger brother and successor of the late King George Tupou V. He was officially confirmed by his brother on 27 September 2006 as the heir presumptive to the Tongan throne, as his brother (a bachelor) had no legitimate children. He served as Tonga's High Commissioner to Australia, and resided in Canberra until the death of King George Tupou V on 18 March 2012, when ʻAhoʻeitu ʻUnuakiʻotonga Tukuʻaho became King of Tonga, with the regnal name Tupou VI.
The KINGDOM OF TONGA is an archipelago of 176 islands (52 of which are inhabited), scattered over 700,000 square kilometres of ocean. Tonga has a population of 104,000 and the captial and largest city is Nukuʻalofa.
Located to the west of the International Dateline, the Kingdom of Tonga is the first Pacific nation to greet the new day.
Tonga is one of the most scenic and unspoiled of the Pacific island nations with dramatic & active volcanic landscapes, spectacular tropical rainforest, low-lying coral atolls, pristine coral reefs, magnificent sandy beaches and a unique and beautiful array of flora and fauna.
Tonga also became known as the Friendly Islands because of the friendly reception accorded to Captain James Cook on his first visit there in 1773.
The only sovereign monarchy among the island nations of the Pacific Ocean, Tonga can also lay claim to being the only island nation in the region to have avoided formal colonisation. Tonga plans to become a fully functioning constitutional monarchy after legislative reform and a more fully representative election take place in 2010.
Sunday in the Kingdom of Tonga is devoted to church going and relaxation. The harmonized singing, clanging of church bells and the beat of the “lali” (wooden drums) are all familiar sounds of a Tongan Sunday.
Everyday life is heavily influenced by Polynesian traditions and especially by the Christian faith; for example, all commerce and entertainment activities cease from midnight on Saturday until midnight on Sunday, and the constitution declares the Sabbath sacred forever. As of 2006 somewhat more than a third of Tongans adhered to the Methodist tradition [see figures below] with Catholic and Mormon populations equalling another third of the adherents. A minority of worshippers form the Free Church of Tonga. The official figures from the latest government census of 2006 show that about 98% of the population are affiliated with a Christian church or sect, with the four major church affiliations in the kingdom as follows:
- Free Wesleyans/Methodists (38,052 or 37%)
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) (17,109 or 17%)
- Roman Catholics (15,992 or 16%)
- Free Church of Tonga (11,599 or 11%)