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Princess of Tonga Visits Pacific Islands Research Room at BYU–Hawaii Library

On Tuesday, April 4, 2023, Her Royal Highness Princess Angelika Lātūfuipeka Halaevalu Mataʻaho Napua-o-kalani Tukuʻaho, who currently serves as the High Commissioner of Tonga to Australia, arrived at the Brigham Young University–Hawaii campus to conduct research in the Joseph F. Smith Library's Pacific Islands Research Room.

Tongan Princess Angelika Tukuaho seated on a stage. A student sits behind her fanning her.
Her Royal Highness, Princess Lātūfuipeka Tuku’aho

Welcoming her to campus, President John S.K. Kauwe III was joined by Academic Vice President Walker and Advancement Vice President Tevaga. In his address to Her Royal Highness, President Kauwe expressed his gratitude for her visiting campus, sharing, "We understand this is your first visit to our campus, and we certainly hope it will not be your last." BYU–Hawaii students, staff, and faculty members from Tonga joined university leaders in a ceremonial welcome for the Princess.

Faculty member, Tevita Kaili, speaking to Her Royal Highness.
Professor Tevita Kaili speaking to Her Royal Highness.

Among faculty members leading the event was Tevita Kaili, professor in the Faculty of Culture, Language & Performing Arts. In explaining the ceremonial welcome, he stated, "We're going full Tongan protocol," gesturing to the mats decorating the room in preparation for Princess Tukuʻaho. Following her arrival, a brief ceremony included the Hiki Mai chant, welcoming speeches by Tongan orators, remarks from President Kauwe, and a musical number performed by students in the Tongan club.

Students, faculty, and staff gather around Her Royal Highness, Princess Lātūfuipeka Tuku’aho.
Students, faculty, and staff gather around Her Royal Highness, Princess Lātūfuipeka Tuku’aho.

Afterward, Princess Tukuʻaho was shown the Joseph F. Smith Library. In speaking about the Pacific Islands Research Room inside the library, Kaili shared, "We have a unique historical collection of the Pacific that [Her Royal Highness] is interested in." Princess Tukuʻaho came to conduct research on King George Tupou I, genealogy, and things relating to Tongan history and culture.