Funeral for Former Tongan PM 'Akilisi Pohiva
Tongan Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva was given a state funeral in the capital Nuku'alofa, Thursday, September 19. Pohiva helped wrest power from the royal family and is credited with bringing greater democracy to the small Pacific island nation. Mourners, including schoolchildren, lined the roads in Nuku'alofa as Pohiva's family and members of Tonga’s royal family followed the hearse to Centenary Church. The service was attended by official delegations from Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, according to local media. Pohiva, who died last week in Auckland at the age of 78, initially was hospitalized on Tonga with pneumonia, officials said. On Wednesday, September 10, he was airlifted to New Zealand, where he died the following day, officials said. Officials said last week Pohiva would be remembered for being primarily responsible for the democratic reforms that were incorporated into the country's constitution in 2010.