OUR TONGA LETTER.
NUKUALOFA, April 25.
The closing ceremonies in connection with the coronation of the King took place on the 21st ultimo These consisted in the holding of a large faikava on the malae, facing the beach All the principal chiefs were present, and sat in a large ring, while the King, attired in numerous mats and a quantity of gatu, sat on a pile of mats on the verandah of one of the Government offices The kava was made with an unusual amount of ceremony, and the first bowl was handed to the King, who was called Tubou by the matabule who directed the proceeding« Henceforth he will not be spoken of as Taufaahau, but by the official title
Last week the King gave a grand dinner to the leading chiefs. Mr A Campbell was the only European present It is said that there were as many as 14 courses, and that tho affair was carried out in quite Papalangi fashion The band played selections of music during the evening in the rotunda in front of the palace
On the 28th ultimo the Imperial German man of-war Bussard arrived from New Zealand, and tho following day the captain paid the King an official visit, accompanied bv Mr W Treskow, the German Consul He was received at the palace with military honours by the King's guards, the band playing the German national hymn. The captain afterwards inspected the late King's grave. The Bussard left again on the 1st instant for Sydney
On the 8th instant H M S Rapid arrived from Fiji, and on the 10th instant the communder, Sir Henry Ogle, with two officers, visited the King The guards were drawn up in front of the palace and saluted the party, and the band played " God
save the Queen "
The following day the King visited the Rapid, when the yards were manned and a salute of 14 guns fired in his Majesty's honour This is the first salute from a foreign nation to Tonga's new king Since the Rapid's arrival all hands have been busy cleaning up and painting, con- sequently there has been little time for pleasure seeking. Last week, however, the officers and men were practising for a cricket match with the Government College, which came off on tho 20th instant, tho Premier having consented to allow the Toogan» to play, although oricket is objected to at presont on account of the late king's death The scores were-Tongans, 99 Rapid, 58
During the post six or eight weeks we have had an unusual quantity of rain, which has made the roads almost impassable, and to some extent in-
terfered with trade |
In consequence of the death of the King no copra to speak of has been made for some time, and it has been impossible to bring the little that
has been made to Nukiiolofa on account of the
roads. Even the natives have had some difficulty in bringing food from their plantations
This week the weather has cleared up, and the roads are improving. Trade may therefore be expected to look up, as copra can now be made and brought to port for shipment
The barque Dione loaded about 250 tons of ' copra for Ostermeycr, Dewes, and Co , and left here for Vavau on the 14th înstaut The brig Galatea left last week for Haapai and Wallace Island to load copra for the same firm
The orange season has commenced at Vavau, ' and on the last three trips the Upolu took some '
thousands of cases to the New Zealand market.