Feature

Blakes Reunite At Grand Pacific Hotel

270 family members regroup here on request of Princess Salote from Tonga.
03 Nov 2019 14:57
Blakes Reunite At Grand Pacific Hotel
Tongan Princess Salote Mafile o Pilolevu Tuita with the Blake family living in Fiji.

The second reunion for the Blake family started at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva on Friday.

About 270 family members from Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Tonga, Samoa, America, and the United Kingdom were here.

Family representative from the organising committee Rupert Boulton said it was important that they, as a family, knew their roots because it gave them that knowledge of what their ancestors had done – bringing Christianity and education to the country.

The first reunion was held in Tonga in 2016. It coincided with the late Queen Mother’s Halaevalu Mataʻaho ʻAhomeʻe 90th birthday. To carry on the tradition, Princess Salote Mafileʻo Pilolevu Tuita of Tonga, was also here to attend the reunion.

“She wanted her Blake family to come together from around the world,” Mr Boulton said.

“It was the Queen Mother’s wish that all her Blake family were to come together and it was through her desire to do that and now the Princess, her daughter, has continued the tradition.

“This reunion was requested for the Princess. She requested that Fiji hosted the reunion this time because they (Tonga) hosted the last one. I believe she will let us know where the next one will be held and we all look forward to that.

“It is amazing what they have accomplished. We have different members of the family like the Opposition Whip Lynda Tabuya, Mere Samisoni and also Adi Koila Nailatikau and the Princess, our royal relatives.

“We are just happy to have everyone here and we are excited to be with them.”

Blake family history

Alexander Blake arrived in Tonga in 1837, he first worked as an assistant printer for the Wesleyan Methodist Church, later he set up a printing press at Hihifo, Tongatapu.

He was appointed Consul of the Hawaiian Kingdom in the Kingdom of Tonga. He received his appointment in Sydney on February 18, 1857.

On May 13, 1879, Matelita Fusi, as she called herself, swore an affidavit in Lomaloma, Vanuabalavu, Fiji. She stated that she was Alexander Blake’s widow and that there had been 11 children, of whom three, John, Henry and Mary Anna, were then deceased. Two members of the family, Elenoa and Ane Lupe, were living on Vanuabalavu. Elenoa was the wife of the Hungarian planter Gideon Vecsey, while Ane, according to her mother, was married to ‘H. Miller’.

Some of the descendants of Elenoa and Ane Lupe remained in Fiji.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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