Their Majesties King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau’u Tuku’aho have led mourners in the Immaculate Conception of Mary’s Cathedral in Ma’ufanga at the funeral of Late Bishop Dr Soane Lilo Foliaki, 80, today Dec 31.
About thousands paid their last respects at the biggest such occasion for the Diocese of the Catholic Church of Tonga and Niue since the bishop Patelesio Punou ki Hihifo Finau in 1993.
Followed by immediate families and kainga across Tonga and overseas, religious leaders from other denominations and representatives from government, the Royal Corps of Musician led the funeral procession route through Hala Vuna to the Catholic Church's cemetery in Ma'ufanga.
Bishop Soane Patita Mafi led the farewell mass attended by priests from both the Society of Mary and the Diocese of Tonga and Niue.
Bishop Foliaki also known as Bishop Emeritus served as a priest for 54 years.
He died on December 24, 2013. His parents were Soane and Sosefina Foliaki of Ma'ufanga. Bishop Foliaki has 10 siblings.
The Tonga Health Society in New Zealand set up in 1970s and is now operating the Langimalie Clinics to cater for the Tongan immgrants is attirbuted to the late Dr Leopino Foliaki who was a brother of the late Bishop Foliaki.