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NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Oct. 6) – Two senior Tongan noblemen died suddenly this week - Hon. 'Akau'ola, 70, who passed away this morning, and Hon. Tu'iafitu, 72, who died Monday.

They were both Vava'u estate holders.

The Hon. ‘Akau’ola, the Governor of Vava’u, and a senior member of the Tongan Privy Council and Cabinet, died at about 7 a.m. this morning in the Emergency Room at Vaiola Hospital in Nuku'alofa.

[PIR editor’s note: Vava’u is part of the Vava’u group located in the northernmost region of Tonga.]

A member of his household confirmed today that ‘Akau’ola was taking his early morning exercise walk when he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital.

The cause of his death, as well as funeral arrangements for the ‘apo - his night of mourning and burial - have yet to be confirmed.

It is also yet to be confirmed whether his funeral will be held in Tongatapu or in Vava’u.

[PIR editor’s note: Tongatapu group, which is where the capital city of Nukualofa is located, comprises the islands in the south of Tonga.]

‘Akau’ola, a former Director of the Commonwealth Foundation in the United Kingdom during the early 1990s, is survived by his wife ‘Evelini and five children.

Noble Tu’i’afitu died on Monday, October 3, at his home in Vava’u.

His eldest daughter, Tuna Tu’i’afitu, confirmed today that his ‘apo - night of mourning -will be held on the evening of Friday, October 9, at his residence before he is taken the next morning for burial. He is survived by seven children, and was predeceased by his wife ‘Uhila.

October 7, 2005

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