THE Tongan community has expressed gratitude to Taukei Sawaieke Ratu Tevita Momoedonu and clan members for their generosity in allowing Sisi Patolo and seven-month-old Sarah to be buried at Viseisei Village, Lautoka, yesterday.
Tongan community secretary Eleni Leveni Tevi said the generosity shown by the Vuda chief touched the hearts of the Tongans present at the funeral.
"It's a very significant day for the Tongan community here in Fiji. Today has been important, especially in the connection through Ratu Tevita of which we are very grateful for," she said.
"Ratu Tevita has shown love and respect to the deceased through this chiefly burial which I believe not all in Fiji will get."
Tongan pastor Paea-i-Fulton Taufatofua said his family was shocked when told that the deceased would be buried at Viseisei.
"I am so honoured to be here and to see what God is doing in this nation," Mr Taufatofua said.
"Being here at Viseisei is a classic example of God's love. On Sunday, December 22, Ratu Tevita Momoedonu visited the home of the deceased, we didn't know who he was until we later found out he is a chief.
"We were touched by his visit, especially a chief to make an effort to come down offering his help to have the church service and the funeral at the village.
"After I relayed the news to my Tongan relatives in Tonga, they were shocked. No one could believe it but one thing I asked my family was to pray for this incident."
Mr Taufatofua said it was God's love that worked in Ratu Tevita's mind and heart to have the service at Viseisei.