It's been exactly one year since Ongo passed away. There will be a memorial this evening. His family, as well as friends from the community and around the world will be present.
One of the things we most (and yet least) wanted to do this season was to visit Ongo's resting place.
We did so not too long ago, to spend a bit of quiet time with Ongo and say our goodbyes in private. We even managed a few jokes to try to ease the pain. It didn't work.
Ongo's charm and impish grin were difficult not to like, no matter where you're from. He has a lot of friends and fans in Japan, many of whom have visited Tonga with us time and time again, in large part because of him.
It says a lot about Ongo that everyone he knew in Japan wanted to add their name to the flag we brought as a final present…a way to say hello, and farewell, to our dear friend.
Rest in peace Ongo. We all miss you.
Putting up a flag with names of Ongo's friends in Japan