MARLBOROUGH rugby’s club house was turned into a mass of red and white silk garlands, flowers and traditional decoration, as head Coach Elise Vunipola, and his family prepared to celebrate National Tonga Day.

The day is about celebrating family and giving thanks, and thanks was also given to the Club and its members for the welcome and warmth the Tongan members have felt since they joined.

Normally this would be celebrated on November 4, but due to this coinciding with the Northern Hemisphere rugby season, Mr Vunipola and his family prefer to hold their celebrations in August.

The evening started with blessings and prayers, kindly spoken in English as well as in Tongan, for the many non-Tongan Club members.

The night then moved onto native food, song and dances with those entertaining dressed up in their traditional attire.

The rest of the evening was then spent chatting and dancing with lots of laughter and fun.