A Good Name

by ‘Alifeleti ‘Atiola

"The name tells all".

There is a parallel noting between the Hebrew tradition of conferring names and that of the Tongans.

A name is not a mere label. It tells a whole story. It consists of genuine desires. It spells expectations and makes out promieses. It essentially contains the life and the very meaning of the subject.

The name "Taufa’ahau Pilolevu" is loaded with valuable gems. Perhaps too rich to be given to one entity to the envy of many. For it entails a history that surpasses all history in the Isles. A history of liberation of unification and development, of triumph and of a reformation. It is the making of a Nation - the Kingdom of Tonga.

Time and space do not permit depth and details. So it will not do justice to even mention the name, given the existing constraints. However, it will add grace and meaning to the celebration if one is directed to ponder on the name - Taufa’ahau, "Tu’i Ha’apai" - his courage, insights, initiatives, wisdom, faith - to mention but a few of his most coveted qualities - and above all his great love for God and for his people. Then… Pilolevu, "Ipu Lahi" - the great example of true humility, an unsung heroine of Christian loyalty. She denied much to preserve a faith that was more precious to her than any of her rightful dues.

Indeed, when one comes to know more about the story, one stands in awe and joins the rest to salute. For truly, (to borrow from the Proverbs)

"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches…"

In my years of association with Taufa’ahau Pilolevu College, it has always been intriguing to marvel and even to boast of the remarkable history but the best that it brings is the inspiration that compels the students, the teachers and all to live up to the name.

‘Ofa atu ‘aupito

Revised: June 1, 1996