Scuffle breaks out during ‘fakakuata’ meeting in Australia

The Fakaongo Church quarterly meeting in Sydney yesterday turned violent as a scuffle broke out between members of the church who were in the meeting.

The clash was broken up before it turned into a brawl and police were not called in.

The meeting was discussing the recommendation by Sydney-based Free Wesleyan Church Superintendent Rev. Dr Siotame Havea that Rev. Samiuela Taungakava become the minister of the Fakaongo.

Kaniva News had been reliably told church members were split over the recommendation.

The church in the Sydney suburb of Mortdale is  officially known as Siasi Fakaongo Uesiliana Tauataina o Tonga Inc.

Those opposing the recommendation said they were abiding by the church guidelines which say the Fakaongo Church in Australia is accountable to the President and General Secretary of the Free Wesleyan Church in Tonga and not the Tongan superintendent in Sydney appointed by the Tongan conference.

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The person who spoke to us on condition of anonymity described the incident as “ta’efakalotu” (unreligious).

He said the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga should do something to stop such incidents in future.

He said all churches in Australia who were under the head office in Tonga were accountable to the superintendent assigned by the Tongan conference to work at its Sydney based office.

However, the Fakaongo Church was different because it was not accountable to the Tongan superintendent in Sydney.

Attempts to contact the Fakaongo church authorities and the Tongan superintendent in Australia were unsuccessful. The Secretary General in Tonga had yet to respond to our request for comment at the time this story was written.

However, some other church officials and members in Sydney we talked to last night who asked not to be named have confirmed the incident took place.

The Fakaongo Church was established after Tongan members of the Parish Tonga, which is under the Uniting Church of Australia, broke away under the leadership of Tongan FWC minister Uesili Tu’akoi.

We understand the Free Wesleyan Church in Sydney remains split after the arrival of Dr Soatame Havea in August last year.

Dr Havea was appointed by the FWC’s 92nd conference in Tonga last year to take over from Rev. Matafonua Fotofili after he was found guilty of misconduct for his role in the collapse of the Pulela’a church.

Rev. Fotofili, the former Tongan Superintendent of the FWC in Sydney, accused Dr Havea of starting a new church. Dr Havea  and some of his followers insisted they were the rightful Free Wesleyan Church in Sydney.

The main points

  • The Fakaongo Church quarterly meeting in Sydney yesterday turned violent as a scuffle broke out between members of the church who were in the meeting.
  • The clash was broken up before it turned into a brawl and police were not called in.
  • The meeting was discussing the recommendation by Sydney-based Free Wesleyan Church Superintendent Rev. Dr Siotame Havea that of Rev. Samiuela Taungakava become the minister of the Fakaongo.
  • Kaniva News had been reliably told church members were split over the recommendation.

You may also like to read these:

Rev Fotofili claims FWC in Australia has split, accuses successor of starting new church

Australian FWC church fear the worst as Pulelaʻā leaders refuse to step down

Promises over Pulelaʻā church ‘make-believe,’ FWC conference tells members

Time to audit Pulela’ā church’s accounts, says Wesleyan General Secretary

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