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Royalty & Nobility

Tupou I, father of modern Tonga

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

From Matangi Tonga magazine, Vol. 12, no. 4, October-December 1997

Words of Tupou I, the father of modern Tonga, who gave the Kingdom its system of government in 1875:

Let this day, November 4, be a day of rejoicing and commemoration for the people of Tonga forever.

"And now, here is the Constitution of Tonga, written on parchment, to be kept in the Parliament of Tonga, a document to commemorate and to testify to the work that we are doing today.

"This day I have added my name to it and so it becomes the law of Tonga.

"May you and your descendants, you the people of Tonga be blessed now and for ever while you follow the Constitution.

"May the day never dawn for Tonga when someone, or anyone, will alter the basic principles of the Constitution. Let it become the Foundation stone of our country for ever…

"May each of you inscribe on your hearts – ‘Tonga for the Tongans’.

"If Tonga remains as it is now I will say that it is because our intelligence or our knowledge or whatever it is we can do, but only because we are with god.

"As I have said before I will say again, ‘Tonga is dedicated to God’.”