A black day descended upon the people of the Kingdom of Tonga on the morning of Sunday, 10th of February, 2013. One of the highest ranking, capable and most beloved Nobles of the Realm, Baron Fielakepa passed away in Auckland, New Zealand.
Many will know Baron Fielakepa as the Noble of Haveluloto and one time Government Minister and Lord Chamberlain to HM King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV. He is also of very illustrious pedigree as the highest ranking member of one of the largest Ha’a (clans) in Tonga, the Ha’a Havea. The ancestor of the Fielakepa title was the son of the third Tu’i Kanokupolu, Mataeletu’apiko and the Tamaha Tu’imala.
Baron Fielakepa was educated at Tonga High School (Nuku’alofa), Wesley College (Paerata), the University of Auckland (Bachelor of Laws, 1984), Oxford University (Post-Graduate Certificate in Diplomatic Studies, 1989) and at the International Maritime Law Institute in Malta (Master of Laws, 1996).
It is indeed a sad day for the Kingdom of Tonga to lose not only one of its true paramount chiefs but also an intelligent, capable and humble stalwart for tradition. Baron Fielakepa was entrusted with some of the highest responsibilities and roles in the Kingdom. He was the former Chairman of the Royal Land Commission and member of the Legislative Assembly as the Number One Noble’s Representative for Tongatapu. He also previously held the official Government posts of Minister of Lands, Survey & Natural Resources, Governor of Ha’apai, Private Secretary to His Late Majesty King Taufau’ahau Tupou IV, and the Lord Chamberlain. He was a Law-Lord of His Majesty King George Tupou V and a member of the Judicial Committee of Privy Council. Roles which he executed with diligence, great wisdom and judgment, sadly cut short by poor health.
In recognition for his service Baron Fielakepa was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Queen Salote in 2008. His was a life cut short and in its prime, however his footprints are forever captured in the Kingdom’s history for perpetuity.
We pay our deepest condolences to his dear mother Tuna Fielakepa at the huge waves and tempests she and her household have had to endure in short succession. May God grant you peace and the hope of a new sunrise.
Tongan Advisory Council