Several years ago, the fourth of July was the celebrated birthday of the late Monarch His Majesty King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV. The significance of this date also coincided with the completion of the one hundredth nights after the burial of His Late Majesty King George Tupou V three months ago.
In tradition, the ceremonial rites of laying of the ‘kilikili' (black volcanic pebble rocks) or lanu kilikili was officiated by His Majesty, King Tupou VI at the Mala'ekula Royal Tombs on Wednesday morning.
The ‘lanu kliikili' is a duty to be performed only by the Royal Undertakers or the ‘ Ha'a Tufunga' Clan led by Chief matapule Lauaki, who have permitted to access the tombs
In the presence of Their Majesties Queen Halaevalu Mata'aho, The Queen Mother and Queen Nanasipau'u, other members of the Royal Family participated in the preparation process for the ‘lanu kilikili'.
This included the ceremonial pouring of specially made Tongan oil in the sene (large bowls).
Their Highnesses Crown Prince Tupouto'a ‘Ulukalala, Prince Tungi, Prince Ata and Princess Latufuipeka took turn in the pouring of the oil, led by the Hon. Lupepau'u Tuita and the Hon. Fatafehi ‘o Lapaha Tuita. The Hon. Salote Maumautaimi and the Hon. ‘Etani Tuku'aho also participated.
Once the sene is filled with oil and sea water, the kilikili are washed and cleansed before it is being transferred into small ‘oa', a coconut woven baskets to be carried up the tomb by each Ha'a Tufunga or Numatapu.
Although the one hundredth night is over, some of the undertakers will remain at Mapu 'a Fuiva to look after His late Majesty's tomb until the one year of his burial is completed.
Later in the evening, Her Majesty Queen Halaevalu Mata'aho and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Tupouto'a ‘Ulukalala were special guests at a memorial mass held at the Basilica's Catholic Church of St Antonio Padua , in honour of His Late Majesty King George Tupou V.
Tens of Hundreds of people attended the mass conducted by the Bishop Soane Patita Paini Mafi including the Prime Minister, Lord Tu'ivakano and other distinguished members of the Royal Family, nobility and government officials.
Issued by the: Ministry of Information and Communications, Nuku'alofa, 2012.