The Friendly Islands


“The Friendly Islands”

Tonga, 1770

left_thefriendlyislandJESS is shipwrecked in Tonga. In a weak state on arrival, he is nursed back to health by TUKU, a boy of about the same age and his people. JESS and TUKU teach each other the basics of their respective languages.

Jess washes up
Jess recovers on the island

JESS learns how to fish and surf. TUKU and his little sister, VAANI, are amused at JESS’s first attempts at spear fishing.

Some English missionaries arrive on the island. Their leader, BUCHANAN, explains that they are there to bring the word of God to “heathen savages.” BUCHANAN is derogatory in his attitude and actions towards the Tongan people.

CHIEF FINAU offers BUCHANAN’s men his own home. TUKU toils for days in order to build beds for the missionaries and is annoyed when only presented with six brass buttons for his efforts.

The Missionary ship
The missionaries arrive to bring the word of God.

The missionaries, with the exception of BUCHANAN, are ambushed and killed by a gang of warriors who are wanting their chief to be the overall King of the island.

BUCHANAN, hiding in a cave, is very angry about the death of his friends and threatens revenge on the culprits. JESS warns him against revenge.

BUCHANAN longs for his bible which was left among the bodies of his friends. At considerable risk to himself, JESS snatches the bible for BUCHANAN.

Jess with Tuku and Vaani
Jess and the Islanders have a message to tell

The missionaries are buried and BUCHANAN reads a passage from the bible. TUKU informs JESS that a British ship has been spied.

JESS,BUCHANAN and VAANI hide in the cave, waiting anxiously for the arrival of the ship. TUKU is attacked by warriors while attempting to bring food to the cave.

Buchanan perturbed
Buchanan sees right from wrong

BUCHANAN is unusually concerned for the injured TUKU. BUCHANAN tells VAANI and JESS the story of the Good Samaritan. He realises that TUKU has risked his life twice to help him. BUCHANAN admits that he has not been acting in a way illustrated in the story.

 The ship arrives. JESS gets ready to leave. BUCHANAN apologises to the KING for his behaviour. He is presented with the murderers and decides to forgive them by saying he has never seen the men before.

As JESS leaves, BUCHANAN makes the decision to stay in order to practice and share the values of peace, fairness and humility.