Tonga policy is a good party
The Billings Gazette
December 16, 1973
From the Chicago Daily News
CHICAGO - Members of Chicago's consular corps received this week what are
probably the most unusual dinner imitations to cross their desks during their
years of diplomatic service. They read as follows: "The consul extraordinary and
plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Tonga, his Excellency Stephen Karganovic, has
the honor to request your company at a private party to be given in the consular
residence at 3241 North Leavitt Street. Chicago."
A check with several consulates revealed the dignitaries had no idea that
a consul extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Kingdom or Tonga was in
Chicago and his Excellency Count Stephen Karganovic no less.
A CHECK WITH the State Department in Washington brought a similar
response. And another negative response came from the British Embassy in
Washington, which still handles Tongan affairs though the tiny (29 square
miles), South Pacific island won its independence from Britain June 4, 1970.
Although all those contacted were certain Tonga existed, no one was sure the
count did. All indicated they felt the whole thing was a hoax. Mrs. Barbara
Ennis of the State Department said: "We do have relations with Tonga, but we
don't have any offices in Tonga." Alter leafing through several papers she
added: "And according to this, they apparently do not have an office with us."
Howard Luge, the Department's country officer who handles the affairs of Tonga
(among other countries), leafed through several papers and said: "They don't
have a foreign minister, because they don't have any foreign relations to speak
of." He explained: "They're a fun-loving people. I've never met any, but that's
what I've beard."
John Taylor, the British Embassy's information director, was no more
illuminating. After initially suggesting a call to the islands, be called back
to say: We have an office there. But it does not have a phone number there.
That's pretty conclusive. "And it seems a fair conclusion that if the British
don't have a telephone in Tonga, it seems unlikely that (other residents)
WHEN THE "COUNT" was confronted with the developing credibility gap, he
conceded his appointment is only "honorary" and "provisional." Karganovic, whose
other claim to fame is his past presidency of the defunct Chicago Chapter of the
Committee to End Pay Toilets in America, said that after he added a Tongan stamp
to his stamp collection he wrote officials of the kingdom asking to represent
them in Chicago. He said he received a reply in October and a formal application
is on its way. For those who take him seriously and plan to show up at 6 p.m.
Sunday, the "count," a graduate student at the University of Chicago, promises
"a very entertaining evening. It's not going to be a drab buffet."