It is a sad time for all.
What an amazing man, who knew how to live his life and care for his people. He was into cars, planes and other “fun” activities, yet his people and the Kingdom of Tonga were everything to him. His London cab to travel around just made sense to me, yet many in the world thought it excentric?..as he once said, “it was easy to get in and out of” I have to agree and it created a presence and probably cost less than something more official? I am the first to agree that anything in life with a bit of fun has more meaning!
I was humbled to meet his Excellency the King prior to the Talisker Bounty Boat voyage in April 2010. It was a warm, friendly engagement, with a very knowledgeable man, who was keenly interested in Bligh and the early history of Tongans engaging with European cultures. He presented me with an “hourglass”, later used every day of our voyage (which I know cherish). That day left a lasting impression on me, as have the “Friendly Isles”
I feel for the loss of all Tongans and the Royal family. It is a sad day which will surely linger, but the power of life and the freedom of this amazing place will keep Tonga moving forward into a new future with the elected government which meant so much to this great man.
We will all miss him.