News Story

Gift of Piano Lifts Spirits in Tonga

Rangitoto College, Furniture for Schools Charitable Trust, and Church partner to give gift of music to Tongan students

Auckland's Rangitoto College, Furniture for Schools Charitable Trust and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have teamed up to donate and ship a pre-loved piano to a Tongan high school.


Callum Blair and John McLean partnered to start Furniture for Schools. Over the past few years they have developed strong relationships with schools and businesses who are willing to share used items with countries where those items would be appreciated. 

Though they had not delivered a piano before, Blair and McLean pursued the project.   

Blair checked with his contact in Tonga, Silongoatonga Samani, who confirmed that a piano would be welcome.  Samani is the Country Welfare Manager for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tonga.

Furniture for Schools partners with the Welfare Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the shipping process.  

In Tonga, Elder and Sister Thomson, who serve as humanitarian and welfare senior missionaries for the Church, worked with Samani to find a home for the piano. 

They visited several schools and decided that Queen Salote College, an all-girls high school, was the perfect place. 

The piano arrived in March of this year. 

The bandmaster, Linikoni (Koni) Taufa, plays piano. Since the piano was delivered, Koni says "the kids are really excited. Some of the girls can play. Others already ask for lessons." 

“Every morning the kids come to play and sing before assembly. I tell them they have to ask first. I also tell them 'play like you want to play, play to get better.'"

Koni plays and the students sing. “We are making memories," he says. 

"They will remember the fun times at Queen Salote singing with the piano. It is a beautiful thing…nothing ever happened like it before.”

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