His Majesty King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV of Tonga died peacefully on September 10th in New Zealand. The Royal Arms of Tonga
RIP (I can say the Latin, but can’t spell it…)
From this story, it seems as if he was not the greatest leader for his people;
The late King of Tonga, like most leaders, was liked by some and not by others. He was an occasional visitor at the Methodist Church in Palo Alto, California when he visited this part of the US, especially the Stanford hospital. (The state church in Tonga is Weslyan—essentially Methodist—& the kings & queens are crowned by their Methodist bishop. There was a nice article in an old National Geographic years ago, coverning the King’s coronation & ending with him on a huge surfboard later that afternoon.)
There is a separate Tongan congregation which holds a Tongan language service in the Palo Alto church every Sunday afternoon. Whatever their individual political leanings, the Tongan immigrant community (or at least those we see) apparently revered their king as a symbol of their national identity & pride. We knew when the King was coming because the main aisle & the front of the sanctuary would be covered in tapa cloth, & hundreds of Tongan immigrants from all around the area would pack the church for the afternoon Tongan-language service.
Our Tongan brethren will mourn him.