The Friendly Islands Tongan Festival held in Utah recently celebrated their 20th year of running the festival. Dedicated to celebrating the Tongan culture, and run/organised by the NTAS (National Tongan American Society), the festival included some of Tonga's best live entertainment, cultural entertainment, food, art and traditional Tongan handicrafts.
Last week, we were lucky enough to have one of our guests, Lorenzo Fiori, take some aerial photos of the property. Lorenzo was able to do this with his drone camera- an unmanned helicopter-like device with a camera mounted onto it. Controlled via a remote, Lorenzo was able to take some stunning photos of the Port Wine property and surrounding houses. The photos show all of the houses on the property, and provide insight to those who haven't yet traveled to Port Wine on how everything is laid out. We'd like to thank Lorenzo Fiori for taking the time out of his trip to Vava'u to take some high-quality aerial shots of Port Wine.
On Saturday the 8th of August, 2015, Port Wine Guest House participated in the annual Vava’u Agricultural Show. The show was a great success, with many local businesses getting the chance to show off their traditional Tongan handicrafts, souvenirs and rare plants. Among Port Wine’s display were several rare sandalwood plants and a variety of different Tongan handicrafts- including woven bowls, serving platters, fans and a large range of items. All of the handicrafts, gifts and plants showed at the stall were proudly grown and made at Port Wine! Pictured below from Port Wine are Luisa and Salote and the girls, enjoying the festivities of the show. Throughout the day, we were lucky enough to receive 5 awards for our display. In attendance of the festival were his majesty King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau’u, who were enjoying the show and all it had to offer. Overall, the festival was a great day, with lots of fun filled activities for everyone to enjoy, and was great for Vava’u tourism.
It is with great sadness that Port Wine would like to announce the passing of Soana Tau He Fanga Lakai Ma’u. Lakai was a mother, grandmother and even great-grandmother to many members of the Port Wine family. She was born on the 10th of April, 1913, in Neiafu, Vava’u. In her youth, Lakai worked for the Australian missionaries that were in Vava’u at the time. Eventually, she settled down and married Lopeti Ma’u. Lakai had 4 children; Luisa, Meleane, Sione and Lesieli. As well as her 4 children, Lakai was also blessed with 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. After marrying Lopeti, Lakai stayed at home, raising her 4 children, spending her time cooking, gardening, reading and making traditional Tongan tapa, ngatu and fala. She was a dedicated member of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga (FWC), and attended church as often as possible. Lakai was not a believer in western medicines- she was a traditional Tongan healer. Her secret to her long life was to eat frequently, but in small portions, and to have a strong faith in God. Sadly, Lakai Ma’u passed away peacefully in her own home, on the 23rd of December, 2014, in Masilamea, Neiafu, Vava’u, at 101 years and 8 months. She was buried the very next day on the 24th of December, with many family and friends there for the burial.
Vava’u was recently host to HM King Tupou VI as he travelled to celebrate his 55th birthday. The birthday week starting on the first of July, coincided with the Tu’i Vava’u festival- with his majesty’s birthday week hosting a variety of cultural festivals and activities.
Port Wine were a proud sponsor of the Tu’i Vava’a festival and all its events- such as the Tu’i Vava’u rugby competition, the Miss Vava’u Pageant and the Trade Fair. Feletoa were victorious in the rugby competition, with Laneta Guttenbeil Ha’unga being crowned Miss Tu’i Vava’u 2014.
Also a part of the Tu’i Vava’u Festival was the Trade Fair. Port Wine participated in the event, which featured a variety of groups displaying their traditional Tongan handicrafts. Port Wine won the first prize for both the best display category, and for the original display category.
The Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga (FWC) recently had their annual church conference, holding it in Vava’u. The week was filled with lots of prayer, food and music. Below are some photos we managed to snap throughout the the week.
Port Wine was lucky enough to celebrate the 100th birthday of our grandmother and great-grandmother Soana Tau He Fanga Lakai Ma’u. The night was celebrated at the family home at Port Wine, with 150 friends and family members making it for the remarkable event. Popular Tongan entertainer Hopoi Vou made an appearance, as well as the Masilamea Weslyan Church Choir. All of the endless hours of homecare from Lakai’s eldest daughter Lu’isa has paid off, helping her get to where she is today. Lakai said that her faith in God has kept her alive all these years, thanking him for the gift of life every day. She doesn't believe in any secrets to long life, except that she encourages everyone to work hard and keep active, whilst respecting everyone and eating frequently, but small portions of meals! We wish Lakai all the best in the future, and congratulate her on the fantastic milestone.
In recent weeks Vava’u has been host to a 6 day retreat for all ministers and government officials. Amongst the guests were the esteemed Prime Minister and the representatives from the Commonwealth Secretariats; Dr Taiamoni Pifeleti, Max Everest and Martin Stanley. Port Wine was lucky enough to host dinner for the honoured guests for both the opening and closing ceremony. The evening was celebrated with various Tongan foods, a kava ceremony and traditional Tongan dances. Below are some pictures of their time at Port Wine.
Port Wine News
About Port Wine
_Named after King George Tupou II’s favourite drink Port and established in the 1970s by the Tuiniua family in Neiafu, Vava'u - a water & nature lovers’ paradise in Tonga.
Enjoy our relaxed South Pacific pace & Polynesian way of life. Swim with whales, snorkel, dive, kayak, fish, feast & MORE! You’ll arrive as a guest but you’ll leave as our friend.
To inquire or make a reservation, please contact Port Wine Guest House directly via firstname.lastname@example.org
or phone +676 70-479.