Malakai was born in Tonga, and he describes to his granddaughters a childhood of great freedom, roaming the island with his friends, fishing, swimming, and climbing trees. He talks about the process of hunting whales with the older men, as well as the island school and his daily duties. Describing himself as an obedient boy, young Malakai cooked for a European man on the island, taught at the local school, then worked in Fiji as a cabinet maker prior to getting married and coming to Australia. He settled at Bargara, and talks of what it was like in the sixties to raise a family and his love of cooking food (the umu) in the traditional Tongan way.
This is the first of two recordings about Malakai’s life. Please also see "Malakai's childhood and early years in Tonga".
Story recorded: 7 November 2011, Bundaberg, Qld