Tokaikolo President’s son takes care of children as Schaaf’s body laid to rest

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The body of Talaʻofa Schaaf is laid to rest at Niumata cemetery in Lavengamālie. Photo/Supplied

The son of the Tokaikolo church’s president pledged to look after five children as their father’s body was laid to rest yesterday at Niumata cemetery in Lavengamālie, Tofoa.

Tala’ofa Schaaf, who was also known as Tala’ofa Saafi, died suddenly in his sleep on July 24.

Sangstar Saulala, the Tokaikolo President’s son,  told Kaniva News his family was honoured when Schaaf’s paternal and maternal family offered the honour  of performing the fahu (man’s sister’s children, regarded as holding the highest respect, to sit in front of the corpse) to one of his children.

The rare move was a show of great respect and appreciation towards the close relationship the deceased had with the Saulala family, Sangstar said.

Saulala, a former MP and government Minister, took to Facebook yesterday to thank Schaaf’s mother Lesieli and Latu Sisifa from the deceased’s paternal side for the offer and honour.

Schaaf’s burial service was attended by Benhur Kivalu, an international Tongan rugby union player, staff of the Tongan Rugby Union office and many others from the rugby community in Tonga, Saulala said.

As Kaniva News reported on July 24, Schaaf, 37,  worked as a Senior Development officer at Tonga Rugby Union office.

He also worked as a registrar at the Lavengamalie Institute of Technology and coached  the Lavengamalie Hurricanes.

TRU boss Fe’ao Vunipola described Schaaf as an “outstanding employee”.

Schaaf and his family stayed at the Tokaikolo church’s property, Lavengamalie, where the Saulala family reside.

Saulala described him as a “brother”.

Yesterday the Lavengamalie Hurricanes defeated the Marists champs after their rugby match at Halaano.

Saulala said they were really pleased with the result as it was intended to mark and honour the death of Schaaf.

Schaaf is survived by his wife Judy Lauaki Schaaf and children.

The main points

  • The son of the Tokaikolo church’s president pledged to look after six children as their father’s body was laid to rest yesterday at Niumata cemetery in Koloua ‘o Kolomotu’a.
  • Tala’ofa Schaaf, who was also known as Tala’ofa Saafi, died suddenly in his sleep on July 24.
  • Sangstar Saulala, the Tokaikolo President’s son said his family was honoured when Schaaf’s paternal and maternal family offered the honour of performing the fahu (man’s sister’s children, regarded as holding the highest respect) to one of his children.
  • Saulala, a former MP and government Minister, took to Facebook yesterday to thank Schaaf’s mother Lesieli and Latu Sisifa from the deceased’s paternal side for the offer and honour.

For more information

Rugby Community reels at death of Tala’ofa Saafi

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