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NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Nov. 23) - The German Ambassador to Tonga, Eric Riedler, presented a gift of 800 copies of the new book "Songs and Poems of Queen Salote" to principals of all schools in Tongatapu on November 22, during a function hosted by the German Consulate at the Queen Salote College Hall .

Riedler said the German government had bought copies of the book through a German program for preservation of culture, after he had highly recommended the project.

He said that by purchasing the copies the work, Tonga's greatest poet would become accessible to all the school children of Tonga.

A total of 27 secondary schools, 16 post-secondary institutions, 18 middle schools and 121 primary schools will receive the books for their libraries.

Guest of Honor Princess Latufuipeka thanked the Ambassador in German and gave him a copy of the book signed by King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV as a gift for the President of Germany.

Dr. Adrienne L. Kaeppler, who helped to compile the 114 compositions of the late Queen and the 170 photographs for the book, told the audience that there may be even more poems and songs composed by the late Queen somewhere. She said if any more compositions were discovered they could be included in the next edition.

"Tonga's rich heritage captured in sung poetry and dance, is a touchstone for all Tongans who feel that their history and culture should be perpetuated. Through her poetry Queen Salote structured a cultural identity for Tonga, and masterfully combined her political acumen into pleasurable works of art," said Kaeppler.

November 24, 2004

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