Tonga: the Friendly Islanders. A story of Queen Salote and her people

Tonga: the Friendly Islanders. A story of Queen Salote and her people

by Kenneth Bain
     
 
Whitcomb’s New Zealand Book Of The Month, July 1967.
New Zealand Women’s Weekly Book Of The Week, July 1967.
"A book to buy for keeps, it is an example of modern ‘book beauty.’" The Bookman, London
"It gave me real pleasure. The best book on Tonga that I have ever read." R.W. Robson, Publisher, Pacific Publications, Sydney

Overview

Whitcomb’s New Zealand Book Of The Month, July 1967.
New Zealand Women’s Weekly Book Of The Week, July 1967.
"A book to buy for keeps, it is an example of modern ‘book beauty.’" The Bookman, London
"It gave me real pleasure. The best book on Tonga that I have ever read." R.W. Robson, Publisher, Pacific Publications, Sydney
"A delightful blend of fact, folklore and fantasy, with a stimulating vein of humour throughout. I could read it all over again." Jack Hackett, Public Relations Director, Fiji
"Urbane, witty and judicious, it will form an indispensable part of our permanent South Pacific literature." Lindsay Verrier, MLC, Fiji
"Much of the charm and gentle humour of Sir Arthur Grimble’s ’Pattern of Islands.’ An authoritative work with an underlying effervescence that appeals." Irish Times
"Richly comic with a pleasantly detached irony and felicity of style." New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation Book Review
"Told with a wealth of appreciation and humour." Church Times, London
"A book to be proud of." News of the World, London
"Hilarious anecdotes, breezily related. A beautifully written, informative work and all so—well—friendly." The Star, Johannesburg

Preface:
"CONTEMPORARY Tonga is a study of custom in transition. It has the trappings of a modern constitutional government in a Christian state; and it may now be on the brink of the great tourism breakthrough. Side by side with this is a semi-feudal social structure, with traditional obligations and inhibitions, the origins of which are lost in the shadows of the past. The structure is complete and self-contained. The non-Tongan fits in as best he can.
Superimposed on this is a history of battle and bloodshed leading to the acceptance of Christianity, and of sectarian bitterness and fragmentation thereafter. The emotions aroused in the early days of Christian evangelism are still reflected today in parts of the Tongan law. Add the racial traits and pride of the Polynesian, and you have an intricate social and national pattern.
The executive machinery of the Tonga Government has not yet reconciled what some regard as the irreconcilable; and the stranger can be confused and frustrated by difficulties he does not understand and which may never be adequately explained to him. It is easy to criticise the ineptitude of others when you have neither responsibility for decision nor understanding of the processes which lead to it. It is tempting to dismiss the unfamiliar as wrong; and to regard subjectively conditioned standards as sacrosanct. To do so in Polynesia is to fall into error.
This book is neither an anthropological study nor a comprehensive analysis of present-day Tonga. If it reflects the many faces of Tonga, it could be read as a cautionary tale for young administrators, as I was, and for superficial commentators, which I hope I am not.
If I have laughed, I would wish to have laughed with the Tongans and not at them. For, had it not been for their innate sense of dignity and restraint, they would have had occasion to laugh, many a time, at me."
Kenneth Bain

Editorial Reviews

Jack Hackett
A delightful blend of fact, folklore and fantasy, with a stimulating vein of humour throughout. I could read it all over again.
Lindsay Verrier
Urbane, witty and judicious, it will form an indispensable part of our permanent South Pacific literature.
RW Robson
It gave me real pleasure. The best book on Tonga that I have ever read.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940012817860
Publisher:
Panorama Partners
Publication date:
06/01/2011
Series:
Tonga: A Polynesian Trilogy , #2
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
432,418
File size:
4 MB

Meet the Author

KENNETH BAIN was born in New Zealand in 1923, and educated at Auckland Grammar School, Auckland University College and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He was appointed to the Colonial Administrative Service in 1946 and assigned to Palestine as an Assistant District Commissioner in Gaza. After transfer to Fiji in 1949, he began his long association with the island peoples of the South Pacific, the Caribbean, and South Atlantic; and has travelled widely throughout all three regions. He was Secretary to the Government of Tonga 1953-56; Commissioner, British South Pacific Office in Fiji, including responsibility for Pitcairn, 1965-70; Deputy High Commissioner for Fiji in London 1970-75; a Director at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London 1975-80; then for five years, Financial Secretary and, for a period, Deputy Governor in the British Virgin Islands. He has also been Director of Studies in Financial Management at the Royal Institute of Public Administration in London. In close to 60 years, Kenneth Bain has written eleven well-received books. They include seven with worldwide island themes, including three on the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga and its people. There is one each on Fiji, St Helena, British Virgin Islands, and Pitcairn, together with books on schizophrenia, Doggerel Ditties in the style of Ogden Nash, Obituaries he wrote for the London newspaper The Independent, and Gaza, his Palestine mandate diary 1946-48. He now lives on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, where he and his wife were made Honorary Belongers in 1985. His wife Margaret Anga‘aefonu is part-Tongan; their three children were born in Tonga and Fiji. He was awarded the OBE in 1976, and appointed by King George Tupou V of Tonga to be Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Queen Salote Tupou III in 2010.

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