6 Aug 2010

Ashika memorial wall to be unveiled on Sunday

7:10 pm on 6 August 2010

Memorials are being established in Tonga - a year after the Princess Ashika ferry disaster in which 74 people died.

The ferry sank north of Nuku'alofa on August the 5th last year.

A wall, 12 metres long and two metres high, will be dedicated in a church service on Sunday.

It will hold plaques for those who lost their lives, and co-ordinator Tanya Edwards says it will bring closure and connect the victims' families.

"There'll be a prayer from the president of the Church of Tonga. Our Crown Prince Tupouto'a will be saying a few words and we'll be reading out a list of the names of all the people who were on the boat and asking a member from each family to come forward and lay their wreaths at the bottom of the wall. There'll be prayers and hopefully some testimonies from the families."

Meanwhile the Government has announced a competition for the design of a maritime monument to commemorate the people who lost their lives.

It says it wants the designs to embody grief, compassion and hope, along with symbols of Tongan cultural and religious identity, as well as the need for wariness around the sea.