Posted by: courtpainter | April 25, 2011

Mikó volunteer for Tonga

Doma-Mikó is an active helper                                                                                                                                        

Doma-Mikó is well known about his wide range social and charity activities. In 1989 in Tokyo, he arranged a concert and an exhibition from his paintings, and donated the incomings to the school of the handicapped children of Kenya. In 1992, at the time of the Romanian revolution, he sold his works of half a year, and donated the incomings to the family members of the people who died in the fusillade.

Educational project                                                                                                                                                            

Mikó volunteer: Teaching

Mikó volunteer: Teaching

In cooperation with governments and schools of several countries, he organised, together with his Japanese team, school teachings.

From 1998 he had trained 13 thousand children for painting in Fiji, but he also taught in Malta.

In 1997 he taught in Tongan high schools, where he presented 100 pieces of sorobans (counting tray) to the Tongan orphans.

Teaching in Tonga

Teaching in Tonga

Teaching in Tonga

Teaching in Tonga

Mikó volunteer for Tonga

Doma-Mikó during health check

Doma-Mikó during health check

Steven Doma-Mikó feels a mighty love towards his second home, the Tongan Kingdom and its residents. To improve Tongan people’s health, he started a project “Mikó Volunteer for Tonga” in 1995.

He took the most modern appliances and 30-40 assistants from Japan to Tonga. With these, they checked the Tongan’s health for free of charge. They measured the height, weight, body fat, blood-pressure and blood-sugar.

The Tongans got the results of the examination in writing, on the spot. Doma-Mikó also co-operated with skillful doctors and nurses from the Tongan Viola Hospital, and the people filtered out with diabetes, high blood pressure and other diseases were taken to the hospital.

From 1995 to the end of 1997, the Mikó Volunteer fro Tonga checked about 10.000 Tongans’ health, in 6 actions.

Royal Court Painter Steven Doma-Mikó and me

Royal Court Painter Steven Doma-Mikó and me

Royal subjects

 

About Royal Court Painter Steven Doma-Mikó

Steven Doma-Mikó and me at 'Atalanga

Steven Doma-Mikó and me at 'Atalanga

My name is Curtis Leonard Tu’ihalangingie, personal attendant of the late king, Taufa’ahau IV, and Royal Court Painter Steven Doma-Mikó’s friend. In the Tongan Royal Court my duty was to be next to His Majesty all the time, with a collegue of mine, in daily turns.

Steven Doma-Mikó was appointed Royal Court Painter by Their Majesties in 1989. In the Palace and the Royal Residence we would often stand in front of Steven’s paintings. We often met during service, too. As being the most obedient servants of the Royal Couple, we made a lifelong
friendship. It’s been for
more than 10 years.

In London, at Steven's exhibition

In London, at Steven's exhibition

The Royal Couple appreciated Steven’s decades-long loyal service for Tonga and the Royal Family. His work was rewarded with several honours.

In 2006 spring when the seriously ill king stayed in Auckland and was receiving medical treatment, Steven was accomodated in the Royal Family’s house. That time we worked together for more than 1 month in ‘Atalanga, in the Royal Residence.

Me in Tonga, at the time of the coronation

Me in Tonga, at the time of the coronation

During the following years, we met in various places of the world: in London at Steven’s exhibition, in Tonga at the Coronation, in Budapest and last time in Beijing.
The past and the love towards the Tongan Royal Family hold us together.

Steven and me, driving a train in Hungary

Steven and me, driving a train in Hungary

Steven Doma-Mikó drawing the Great Wall in China

Steven Doma-Mikó drawing the Great Wall in China

 In 2009, when I stayed in Budapest, Mr. Peter Toke, editor of chief made the following report with us for his magazine, “Leleplezo”.

Royal subjects

Exclusive report with the determined subjects of a king

There are nineteen kingdoms in the world. From those which are far from here, for example the Tongan Kingdom, we know only a little bit. Between our countries there aren’t even diplomatic relations. Or are there? On the 10th anniversary of the foundation of the “Leleplezo” magazine, I am talking with two subjects of the Tongan king in a restaurant in Buda.

Mr. Curtis Leonard Tu’ihalangingie came to Budapest straight from the Polynesian Kingdom, and Mr. Doma-Miko, the colleague of the magazine, came from Japan.

At first I am asking you since when have you been working in the Royal Court and what is your job?

Curtis:
– My family had served the Tongan Royal Family since the ancient time. I have started working as a helper in the Palace when I was young, and later on, I became the assistant valley and nurse to His Majesty. After graduating from high school, I started working full time, and got the title as the personal attendant and personal assistant to His Majesty. This means that I spent all my time next to Him, often all-day long. In my service to His Majesty, I could travel to many countries, as I always accompanied him, for example to London, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, and the big cities of the USA, China and Australia.

István Doma-Miko:
I moved to Japan in 1980, where, in the beginning, I painted the portraits of famous people. Eight years later I got an invitation to the Kingdom of Tonga, in order to paint the portrait of His Majesty King Tupou IV. I painted three portraits, which were, together with my other paintings, exhibited next year in the Tongan National Centre. The exhibitioön was opened by His Majesty and Baron Vaea, the former culture minister. That time, in October of 1989, the Royal Couple appointed me their Royal Court Painter. Since then I have been painting and exhibiting in the world the portraits of the members of the Royal Family. But I made for Them New Years card and Royal Calendars, too.

-Since when have you been colleagues and friends?

Curtis:
Istvan had already been working for the Royal couple for more then 10 years when I started to work full time. It was impossible not to know him as the walls of the Palace and the Royal suite were full with his paintings. We met personally when he brought new paintings or Hungarian historical movies to His Majesty. Our king really liked the foreign dishes. Sometimes quite special savoury roasts were on his table. Istvan made them after more hundred years old Hungarian Royal recipes. I know he has worked very hard during his 20-year-lon g service, but he never talk about it. Every visit of his had delighted His Majesty, who became a Hungarian-friend with time. Once, I thanked him his kindness; I think we have been friends since then.

István Doma-Miko:
Yes, I carried Hungarian historical movies to the King, and when I said good-bye, Curtis came to me. He shaked my hands so eagerly as if he would have got the gift. From that time I paid more attention to him. You can regard the Court service as a job and as a profession. I used to have a real friend in the Court, but he died very young. He had five children. Curtis’ enthusiasm and conscientiousness reminded me of him. A real subject serves his ruler untiringly.

Once we were looking the objects for the future Royal Museum in the Palace, when the bodyguard opened the dooe of the Royal Suite. I could see inside His Majesty watching The Stars of Egere City, and the exhausted Curtis was sleeping while sitting next to Him.

Later we worked together, too, mainly in New Zealand, where the King stayed because of his medical treatment. His Majesty was very ill, he hardly ate some bites of food, only from the Hungarian dishes did he consume a little bit. These times, if someone replaced Curtis, we were talking hours long about how we could do more for His Majesty. The common work, the common trials strengthened our friendship. I remember, one night he ran out: “Give me some food quickly, I haven’t eaten anythingf today yet!” His dinner didn’t even last for a minute. He immediately ran back, in order not to leave the king alone.

What are the atmosphere and the relation between the colleagues like in the Court?

Curtis:
– Working for the Royal family and the King, it’s a very complicated job. Most of the time you have to be careful of what you say and how you talk. The reliability and secrecy are very important. The chatterers are not tolerated. During my stay there, many things have changed in the Palace. I think, some people were jealous of me, because the Royal couple have chosen me to serve them. I was the youngest of them.

István Doma-Miko:
It is honouring and moving to serve a real king. The ruler is a top-leader whose mission is supported by a big team. It sometimes happens that several specialists work more weeks-long on His Majesty’s 10 minutes-long appearance. This is the good way. In case of an unexpected situation, the verges of the spheres of activity disappear, and everyone does what he has to do. Only the success counts. Laxity, egoism and other frailness have no place in the Court. You have to change yourself in order to meet these enormous requirements. I think it is similar to the religion, to which you need strong belief, almost fanaticism. Most members of the Royal Court would have laid down their lives fot His Majesty. The knew and respected this.

-What was the late king like and what did He do for Tonga?

>Curtis:
His Majesty the late King, was the greatest person I have ever met in my life. He was a very wise ruler, who had selfless worked for his country in all his life. During his reign, the living standard of the Kingdom got very high. He had had international airports, schools, hospitals, cultural centres and churches built, had founded TV – and radio channels, he had organized the country’s national defence and Royal Marine. He had made the transportation by ship even modern, had established ministries to raise the level of the transport, work, trade, tourism and fishing. He had taken every effort, to his last breath. In the hospital in Auckland he had received his Prime Minister, one of his ministers and foreign prominent leaders even in the last days before his death. I remember, also a Japanese delegation, a minister from New Zealand, and the ambassador of the United Arab Emirates visited him. Everybody loved him.

Captain Cook called Tonga the Friendly Islands. Could the king get friends for the country?

Curtis:
– Indeed, the late king was friendly. Thanks to his good intent and fascinating personality he had made many friends among the foreign heads of sate and diplomats. He had established diplomatic relations with Austria, China, Japan, Thailand, Venezuela, Cuba and Mongolia. He was very active in co-operating with the most significant international organizations (UN, UNESCO, Commonwealth, South Pacific Forum). He was a convinced pacifist, he had sided with the peace movements not only in the Middle East, but also in Africa and the Solomon Islands. He had made many changes, for the benefit of his country and the international world.

-Can I king be bored?
Curtis:
– His Majesty was a hard working person, he never wanted to waste any minute from his life. If there was the possibility of being bored, he immediately scheduled a visit for example to the department of research of the Agricultural Ministry, or to a school, or he convened a conference.

In his free time he would watch the BBC news, read or watch historical movies, which was one of his favourites hobbies. He liked the Hungarian historical movies, too. We found out that there are many common characteristics between our king and King Matthias. We translated some Hungarian stories for him, over which he had a good laugh.

-Could anyone make the king laugh?

Curtis:
– His Majesty had a good sense of humour. Sometimes he told some jokes or told some funny stories from his youth. At such times, we always felt ourselves honoured that we can laugh together with him. Sometimes I made him laugh when I talked about his grandchildren. However, according to the Palace etiquette, we could not even initiate a conversation with the members of the Royal Family, not to mention the joking. The members of the family did sometimes joke with him, and then he would always laugh heartily at them. But when he was with foreign people, he was always serious, as the conversation with the heads of state and ambassador was about politics and economy.

István Doma-Miko:
Once, in the beginning of my service, His Majesty told me a joke. I had a good laugh over it, and I almost started to tell one, too. But from his look I felt that it wouldn’t be the right thing to do. However later I managed to make him laugh though.

I put the tropical Palace into the computer, and then I enlarged it and formed it into a winter picture. I put thick layer of snow onto the tent roof of the Palace, and then rimy icicles onto the eaves. I covered the window sills with snow, and the branches of the palmtrees and other tropical trees kept bowing under the weight of the snow. Then, I showed it to His Majesty. He was looking at it and said: “Is this snow?” – he asked, and started to laugh. Then he showed me a photo, on which he was in Siberia, and I put His Majesty – in winter cloths, fur-cap and gloves- in front of the snowy Palace. Even his breath could be seen in the “severe” cold.

This picure hang on the wall of his room until his death. I heard that when a foreigner complained about the grea heat, he showed them this picure and told them seriously: “Now it is very hot, but the winters are so cold here”.

-Probably you are the first Tongan in Hungary. Could you please tell us why you visited us?

Curtis:
– After the late king passed away, the throne went to his oldest son, King George Tupou V. Last year in August, during the Coronation feasts, Istvan talked me about the Hungarian Holy Crown doctrines. I was very touched by its noble and just principles. The old Hungarian Kingdoms could be like the Tongan. I came to know that the Federation of the Holy Crown is engaged in the fostering and saving these doctrines. We contacted Sir Imre Kiss President, and I established the Tongan section of the President. That’s why I got a medal and I came to Budapest to take it over.

The President handed over the Order of the Cross of the Federation of the Holy Crown in the Matthias Church, on the 4th July. I think the date and the spot were predestined. His Majesty, who really liked King Matthias, would have been 91 years old that day. The building of the former Coronation Church is wonderful, elegant inside, you can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. On the culminating point of the ceremony, which started with the music of the Hungarian double reed instrument and the procession of the flags, Sir Imre Kiss handed over the medal in front of the high altar of the Virgin Mary Church of Buda, with a pathetic speech. In this speech I liked the best that Hungary and the Kingdom of Tonga have the same God. His Majesty would be happy if he lived now.

-What do you think of Hungary?

Curtis:
– This is a fantastic country! You can feel how strong it used to be. I live in the Buda Castle, on the Dísz Square, near the Royal Palace. It is a wonderful building, the Hungarian kings had it built more hundred years long. What a pity that it is only the past!

At the first night, when I could admire the sleeping Budapest, standing on the Fishermen Bastion, my eyes alighted on the most beautiful building of the country. I have been to several European countries, but I think, the Hungarian buildings are statelier than anywhere else in the world. I could view the Parliament from inside, too. It was so moving! What splendour! It is more beautiful and richer than the English Parliament. And then, in front of the Holy Crown, I was really touched. So far I have seen only the Tongan Crown from such a short distance. How many secrets can the centuries-old symbols of this wonderful Hungarian relic hide! I can thank to one of these secrets that I am now in Hungary. I think the culture fans should go not only to London, Paris and other big European capitals, but to Budapest, too. And the Hungarian people are like their country: nice, friendly and beautiful. And they have really good humour.

I hope that our counties will soon establish diplomatic relations.

In some way or other, I will come back to Hungary!

What are your plans for the future?

Curtis:
His Majesty strengthens Tonga’s international relations, especially with China and Japan. I study now in China the language and international relations. After graduating, I would like to get one more degree in the UK, and then I will return to Tonga, to serve my country.

István Doma-Miko:
To the 20th anniversary of my service, I arranged exhibition from my paintings about the members of the Royal Family and the country’s landscapes in Paris, London, Moscow and other world cities. Now I am continueing this serial. Currently I am painting the Coronation portrait of king George Tupou V. ”

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