Congressman Faleomavaega today paid tribute to His Majesty King George Tupou V of the Kingdom of Tonga, after receiving news of the King’s passing yesterday afternoon at the age of 63.
At the opening of legislative business today, Congressman Faleomavaega went on the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to offer his condolences to the royal family and honor the late King during the appointed time for “One-Minute Speeches” in which Members of Congress may speak on a topic of their choice before their colleagues and before the nation.
The following is the text from Congressman Faleomavaega’s statement:
“Mr. Speaker: I rise today with sadness to pay tribute to His Majesty King George Tupou V of the Kingdom of Tonga who passed away yesterday. I was privileged to have personally known King George Tupou V for many years and I will remember him as a noble leader who was passionate about serving his people.
“King George Tupou V assumed the throne in September 2006, after the death of his father, King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV. He led the Pacific’s only remaining monarchy into a more democratic form of government, introducing Tonga’s first popularly elected Parliament and Prime Minister two years ago. He was known as a progressive leader who promoted the private sector, technological advances, and a more open economy.
“As fellow Polynesians, the people of American Samoa share many cultural and historical ties with the people of Tonga and we join together to give our deepest condolences to Her Majesty the Queen Mother Halaevalu Mata’aho, the royal family, and the good people of Tonga.”
Congressman Faleomavaega also extends his deep condolences and well wishes to His Royal Highness Crown Prince Tupouto’a Lavaka Ata and the people of Tonga on this very sad occasion.