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Brisbane’s Tongan Community mourns the passing of the first Honorary Consul to Australia

22 November 2019

Brisbane, AUSTRALIA: The Brisbane Tongan Community have been saddened to learn of the passing of Bill Waterhouse, aged 97.

Bill Waterhouse was the first Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Tonga to Sydney, Australia.

His diplomatic post arose from a friendship at Sydney University’s Law School with His Majesty Late King Tāufa‘āhau Tupou IV.

He has also received several awards from the Kingdom of Tonga, including the Grand Cross of Queen Sālote, from His Majesty Late King George Tupou V in 2009.

Mr Waterhouse was a barrister from North Sydney before becoming a full-time bookmaker in the mid-1950s.

His son, Robbie, who is married to top Australian horse trainer Gai, followed him into the industry, as did grandson Tom, who also carved out a reputation as one of the most high-profile betting figures in Australian racing.

William S (Bill) Waterhouse, his wife with HM King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau’u Tuku’aho at the 40th Anniversary celebration of the appointment of Bill Waterhouse, Honorary Consul General of the Kingdom of Tonga in Sydney. Credit: Paula Moimoi

Mr Waterhouse retired in 2010. His daughter, Louise Waterhouse, is the current Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Tonga to Sydney, Australia.

In a condolence message from the Brisbane Tongan Community (BTC) to Her Excellency, Louise Waterhouse, BTC said, “Aside from the many achievements of his life and extraordinary contributions to society, we would like to acknowledge his unmatched contributions to the people of the Kingdom of Tonga.”

The Brisbane Tongan Community extends its wholehearted condolences to the family of the late Honorary Consul, the staff of the Tongan Consulate in Sydney, the Government of Tonga and the Tongan people both in the Kingdom and abroad.

May he rest in God’s eternal peace.

Media Contact: Sulieni Layt via email on or mobile on +61(0) 420 639 764.

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