SIA KO VEIONGO R.F.C. 1966
George in front of the coach.
A distinquished George now.
These are synthetic leis, not the frangipani ones you see wore by the Pacific Islanders.
Here I am with my ESOl srudent/friend George and his daughter Sita
infront of his stall selling Tongan craft. See my Pasifika hat? I didn't
like the feeling of the lei, so I wound it round my hat.
Wednesday mornings, I go to Mt Albert Baptist Church. The kids in school
ask me why I go there. I tell them, I teach big people to learn
English. I tell them there mums and dads can go and learn English and
about New Zealand Culture. I tell them about George. He is the best
example to an immigrant to New Zealand.
Mālō e lelei - hello
always greet George "Mālō e lelei" because these are the only Tongan
words I know. My students in Pt Chevalier school taught me to say that
and assured me that it is enough when I greet a Tongan person.
is George Petelo Fa'apoi. He is 75 and comes to Mt Albert Baptist
Church ESOL classes as a senior student. He is a very regular attendant
and is such an inspiration. I don't teach him, so I regard him as a
friend. He is what the proverbial phrase, tall, dark and handsome man
and soft spoken that any woman, me inclusive, would want for her boy
In his younger days, he had traveled the world
with the Tongan Shipping agency and had been to Borneo. George's
extensive CV was high lighted when he was the security guard on duty
during the French bombing of the Rainbow Warrior. He was an eye witness.
George is one of the few surviving Tongan rugby players that first played against the Maori All Black in 1966.
as a retiree, he doesn't twiddle his thumbs. He attended numerous
courses including alcoholism seminars, Pacific Islands sexual abuse
counselling course, interpreting in English and Tongan, to help his
Instead he volunteers with the Friendly Islands
Wardens Incorporated, and with 7 ex policemen. He provides security for
Auckland City, Balmoral area, Sandringham and Avondale area. George is
the manager. He is a friendly grand pa to many of the Polynesian kids.
He is one of the initiators of the Pasifika Festival
Celebration in Western Springs. He holds a stall with his wife. Their
stall won the best dressed stall in Tonga village in 2010. Such is the
dedication and passion for his culture.
After more than
40 years in New Zealand, he can show the kids a thing or two. Life
doesn't need to be a useless bum as is the stereotyping prejudiced ideas
perceived of immigrant people from the islands.
lives with his wife, has two children, and seven grand children, (6
boys and a girl). He attends church service every Sunday, and is an
encouragement to those who know him. He is held with the highest regard
among the Tongan community.
Mālō e lelei - hello (lit. congrat. on being well, the being in good health is worthy of gratitude)
Fēfē hake? - how are you? (fēfē means how, hake is idiomatic with fēfē)
Just as I am posting these photos, the bank which I have been using
for almost 40 years is closing my branch and a near by satellite branch
in a senior citizen home.
I don't think that it provides services to a senior citizens home by closing the branch.
In my Book, Playgroup Club, I wrote about senior citizens living in a rest home.
ASB will close two of its Auckland branches by the end of the year.
ASB's Point Chevalier branches on Great North Road and at Selwyn Village retirement home will close on December 23.
The closures come after the Australian-owned bank closed its Mt Eden
branch on July 29 and its Karangahape Rd branch on March 18.
Get more out of Auckland, sign up for the So Auckland Newsletter
It follows a wider trend of big banks closing branches around the country as more people do their banking online.
When Dad went to England, in 1956. I was twenty months. We moved back to the village in Lanang Road.
We did not have
electricity, radio and TV. So we made our own entertainment. A favourite game
the older kid used to make magic tricks. Once an uncle demonstrated by putting a
peanut, it would appear in the armpit. Impressionable me, I was just four years old, copied. It did
not appear in my armpit. Instead it was lodged in my nose. All efforts to get
it out failed, and Grandfather Chan said to leave it alone because digging it
would only get deeper.
I did not go to hospital. It remained inside my nose for months
until one day I jumped from the jetty to the boat to Grand pa Kong’s house. As I
jumped, the peanut came out. I was so happy to show everyone. The peanut had
turned white. I am allergic to peanuts, the only one of 9 to have it. Was the
peanut in my nose the culprit?
told Father about forty years after. He said he was never told of this situation. Of course they should have taken
me to hospital, if not, the peanut might travel up to my lungs and I would
asphyxiate and die.
allergy can be serious, people can die. I am only mildly allergic to
it. When I have eaten peanuts, I feel a reflux, I feel like vomit coming
out of my mouth. I feel the peanut have got rancid. If there is peanut
oil in the food, I feel terrible the whole day.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2N_tmH6y7ng This is my favourite piece of music. I first heard it in my hospital room when I gave first to Deborah. The radio station called it tranquility. When she grew up, she played this piece for me.
Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪
I am the writer of:
1: From China to Borneo and beyond. 海外华人的中国魂:
2: Diary of a Bereaved Mother, Goodbye my baby 丧儿记:
Genre: Non fiction, self help, bereavement, infancy death
Available in New Zealand at:
Women's Bookshop, University Bookshop, Auckland, Church of Christ Bookshop, Online orders: Wheeler books,Fishpond.co.nz ,academybooks.co.nz/product/isbn/9780473187095/
For Overseas order:
please send an email:
TV and YouTube Video: