COVID-19 restrictions affect traditional funeral arrangements for the late Sir Toke Talagi

State funeral arrangements for the former Premier the late Sir Toke Talagi are still in progress.

According to the Director of Cabinet and Parliamentary Services Christine Ioane they are awaiting word from Cabinet and are working together with the Talagi family on the funeral arrangements.

Meanwhile, as the family of the late Sir Toke Talagi and Niueans mourn the passing of the former Premier, norms on traditions and funeral arrangements have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

The Talagi family told BCN News every evening at 6 pm they are holding prayers at their home while in quarantine in the leadup to the completion on Sunday, July 26th. The family will then be able to hold the alaala or traditional wake.

This is an unusual extended time period of more than 2 weeks for a family to wait to bury a loved one. Usually, it will take about a week for a family to have the traditional mourning and arrange for the funeral.

Family members from abroad will also not be able to attend the funeral of the former Premier due to COVID – 19 restrictions.

The family home has been cordoned off with a fence as a designated quarantine station. Daily evening prayer sessions are being conducted by a Reverend from the Ekalesia outside the fence with the Talagi family members sitting from a distance of 3 meters inside their compound.

Those joining the nightly prayer vigil, sit outside.

Prior to their return from New Zealand on Sunday, July 12th, Cabinet had approved for Sir Toke and Lady Fifita to be quarantined at their residence Fonuakula for 14 days as required by the Public Health Act.  While in quarantine, Sir Toke Talagi passed away on Tuesday, July 14th at the age of 69.

This is day 6 since Sir Toke passed and day 7 since the family has been in quarantine.

Sir Toke Talagi will be laid to rest on Monday July 27th.

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