Nomuka Tsunami Relief

On the 15th of January 2022 an underwater volcanic eruption occurred that was heard throughout the Pacific, as far away as Alaska. This was immediately followed by a tsunami affecting the Pacific region - these waves reached and affected coastal areas as far away as Peru in South America. The devastation changed the island Kingdom of Tonga in so many ways. At this point in time, it was the little yet vitally significant things that counted: from one's faith in God The Almighty, one's relationship with their loved ones (love & family), to the overall outlook on life itself (hope). Communication was down for days, and not being able to know whether our loved ones were safe was beyond heart breaking. Desperately flicking through the internet for news, I realised Tongans all over the world were united in prayers for our beloved island kingdom. A few days passed and New Zealand news came with some hope, not much but enough to put us at ease. Miraculously, there were only three casualties throughout Tonga. In the main island of Tongatapu and Eua, infrastructure and villages near the coastal areas were ruined, and the low lying islands closer to the underwater eruption were heavily impacted. Not to mention, ash from the eruption covered most of Tonga affecting the air quality and water.

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I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank these respective businesses, Schools and wonderful families and individuals, for their support

  • Conan Cargo, (51 Access Way, Carrum Downs) - Conan Cargo is one of the most reliable and dedicated shipping companies who ship to anywhere in the Pacific. They also import island food from Tonga: cassava, 'ufi, taro and kape, as well as kava for those who love the social, relaxing kava drinking in the weekend after a hard week of work. Conan Cargo were onboard with 'Island Rose Dreams' in organising their own donations to help our people in Tonga. They donated over 40 boxes of baby nappies, office and school supplies and much more for the Nomuka container.

  • Island Rose Dreams, (http://www.islandrosedream.com/)- Island Rose Dreams is a Tongan Bath / Body / Beauty line made predominately of Tongan coconut oils infused with botanical herbs and plants. Check out their amazing health and beauty range which can be ordered worldwide.

  • Outdoors Domain, (28 Lionel Rd, Mt Waverley)- Outdoors Domain sells a range of alfresco kitchens, barbeques and outdoor furniture. They were kind enough to offer us a great discount on their Gasmate Cast Iron Ring Burners. They have a great range of stock, and their prices are second to none!

  • Mattress Builders, (Warrigal Rd, Cheltenham)- Mattress Builders have a great range of mattresses, bases, bedframes and bedroom furniture. In addition, they also carry Manchester goods including sheets, quilt covers, quilts, pillows and mattress protectors. Their friendly team were very supportive in getting the orders done and delivered on time.

  • My sincere gratitude to Emmaus College; Zoe Wood, Natalie Cosser and Brigida DS, thank you so much for all your support in organising the collection of textbooks, library books an d donating microscopes for Tupouto'a College in the island of Nomuka. These are going to be extremely useful resources for the college to use as they rebuild and moving forward. I cannot wait for the container to arrive and to get updates on the college's new set up and library.

  • I would also like to mention a special "Thank You" to the wonderful parents and families of both Mentone Girls Secondary College and Parkdale Secondary College for all you have done to collect an exceptionally large variety of text books from your schools. Your contribution will be of great help for both teachers and students of Tupouto'a College at Nomuka Island. Thank you Brigida DS again, for organising and delivering that massive load of books.

  • I would also like to acknowledge the wonderful Camberwell Grammar School (Pre Loved Uniform Shop), for donating their former school uniforms, varying different sports uniforms, socks and footy boots for Tupouto'a College to use. Thank you so much Kate Locke, for organising all that.

  • To friends, families and to all beautiful souls who jumped on board without hesitation and made this relief project a success. I am lost for words, and 'thank you' seems inadequate. I am extremely grateful for all you have done to help. Please know that your generosity and support will go a long way; it will make a lot of lives easier to live, put smiles on faces and give hope to those who struggle to carry on. I can only hope and pray that your families and loved ones have all the best, good health and more blessings in their life's journey. Some name to mention and will add on names as I go..,

-Caroline Rigby and her network of friends, thank you for starting up the FB post, while I was still in a mess and not knowing where to start. Thank you for all you have done to help and support, my friend.

-Michelle McIntyre, her sister Linda Burns, and their extended family, have been so generous throughout this relief project. Michelle, apart from her multiple donations of various items, she donated four wooden king single beds, organised and paid for brand new mattresses and sets of beddings to go with it. Linda Burns donated four, two burner stoves, sets of pots and frying pans and a whole lot more much needed items for the island. Their parents, children, grandkids and even inlaws were on board. Thank you so much for your families generosity and support.

-Shirley and Michael Tarburton, thank you for organising donations from your SDA congregation. Prof. Michael again for your Biology books for the school library in Nomuka. Tim and I really appreciate all you have done to help.

-Yve Frankcombe, you are amazing! thank you so much for all you have done, your multiple donations, making sure that items collected were washed before dropping off, and more. Your kindness and contribution help make this course a success.

- Carla Morris, your multiple donations will go along way for a lot of people. I used the gift card to buy two stoves from BBQ Galore. Thank you so much!

-Jann and Tim Hurst & family,

- Lisa and colleagues,

- Claire B, Claire Bear, Julie MK, BABETH Perraud, Melissa Neow, Julina Loh, Karen Beach, Elaine Chow, Edna Bonita, Gurmeet Singh, Sandra Johnson, Amy Leembruggen, Lee Lee Anne, Taz Robertson, Julia, Angeli Pickersgill, Cecilia Tse Tse, Deildint Megan Flemming, Laura Baxter, Georgy Seg, Lee-Elise Chung, Avis Olivia, Angela Nham, Kerryn Jory, Allie Starbuck, Maisy Buns, Julie Webster, Lisa Du, Beck Holder, Valerie Lester, Amy Helen, Rochelle Starling, Bronwyn Bennett, Kandi Kokonet, Elza James, Fione Wilson, Emma Le Gear-Uhe, Taz Robertson.

The shipment was first scheduled to be packed on the 26th of March for the 30th-31st March departure, then it was postponed to April 14th's shipment. Saturday, April 9th was our first packing day and our wonderful Tongan seasonal pickers (group from Churchill) were kind enough to come and help with packing of the container. They did a fantastic job! Thank you Sitakio Semisi (group leader) and your boys, Tim and I really appreciated your help. On the second day of packing (11/04), everyone headed back to work, fortunately it was the beginning of the school holidays. I took my girls to the container yard to continue packing. With the help of the owners of Conan Cargo, Vai and Ramona Havili, it was eventually done by the end of the day. The container was picked up from Conan Cargo yard early the next morning (12/04), for the April 14th shipment to Tonga! The container was meticulously packed, and there was space to fit in a car for my office in the main island. I had planned to send it separately but the boys container packing skills enabled it to fit in this container. Everything else in the 40ft container goes to the community of Nomuka.

Some photos of the container being packed shown below. I wish I had time to take more photos of everything that was packed.

We will update more news and photos when the container arrives in Tonga.

From the bottom of our hearts, Thank you all!

Lupe & Tim Hume.

DAY 1 PACKING

DAY 2 PACKING