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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended August 06, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
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Sent on Mormon-News: 16Aug00

Summarized by Eileen Bell

LDS Tongan family's reunion is all about island culture

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA -- Charlotte, North Carolina, may seem an unlikely place for a full-blown Pacific island extravaganza... but the members of the Tonga family found it suited them just fine!

The Tonga family held their reunion in Charlotte this year ... a far cry from their original homeland of Tonga. The large LDS clan saw family members come from all over the U.S. to attend, and from other countries as well.

In 1957, Brother Thomas Tuitalau Tonga received a scholarship to BYU Hawaii. He later convinced other family members to follow him to the United States.

One of the family members, Lorraine Chisholm, says, "We have a very strong sense of family unity. The reason we are so close is because of the very strong influence of our grandmother. All because we believe in the same thing. We work as a family for the same purpose."

Events at the reunion included a costume ball, a talent show, a testimony meeting, and the display of traditional Tongan dances.

Tonga family reunion is all about island culture
Charlotte NC Observer 2Aug00 P2
By Jessica Thomas: Staff Writer
Relatives come from all over, renew family ties


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