Tattoo community rallies for husband of British tsunami victim

·3 min read

Thousands of pounds have been raised for the husband of Tonga tsunami victim Angela Glover by the tattoo and piercing community.

According to friend and former colleague Tota Volpe-Landi, James Glover also lost his home and tattoo parlour to the tsunami, which swept through the Pacific Island of Tonga after an undersea volcano erupted earlier in January.

Ms Volpe-Landi ran the Happy Sailor tattoo and piercing shop in Shoreditch with Mr Glover, who she described as a “cool guy” and “fun to be around”, before he moved to Tonga.

James Glover with former colleague Tota Volpe-Landi
James Glover with former colleague Tota Volpe-Landi (Tota Volpe-Landi)

She recently organised a fundraiser on GoFundMe, which has so far raised more than £3,000 for her former colleague.

“(We are) just trying to help out someone that lost his business, his house,” she told the PA news agency.

“Most of the people that I recognise from the donations and everything are either tattooists or customers that got tattooed by James for a long time.

“He should know that we will be really happy to help out, emotionally as well, to be around if he needs to talk.

“I really hope to see him soon.”

The GoFundMe page calls on “friend inkers and the large tattoo family” to help raise £5,000 for Mr Glover, describing his circumstances as “untimely and horrific.”

Ms Volpe-Landi said Mr Glover had mentioned “moving to a paradise” ahead of his move to Tonga.

“So, basically, he met Angela and they lived around the corner in Columbia Road. He started talking about moving to a paradise and Tonga seemed very good,” she said.

“He loved it. Every morning, when London was really grey, I was texting him saying, ‘How is it to wake up in front of a sea and whales?’ I was a little bit jealous of that, although I do love London!

“I think over the years he wanted to find a place where life was a little bit less hectic.”

Mrs Glover, from Brighton, died while trying to save her dogs, according to her brother Nick Eleini.

UN humanitarian officials reported that about 84,000 people – 80% of Tonga’s population – have been impacted by the eruption.

The single undersea fibre-optic cable which connects the Pacific nation to the rest of the world was severed after the eruption and tsunami.

James Glover with former colleague Tota Volpe-Landi
Ms Volpe-Landi said ‘I really hope to see him soon’ (Tota Volpe-Landi)

“I spoke a little bit to his brother and his mum because I think he actually managed to contact them through the embassy or something for literally a few minutes,” Ms Volpe-Landi said.

“I think he had one minute to tell his mum and brother that he was alive.

“They found three of their dogs alive, which in the catastrophe was maybe a little sparkle of something nice because I know they both loved their dogs.”

To find out more about the fundraiser, visit www.gofundme.com/f/happy-sailor-tattoo-tonga-wiped-out-by-tsunami.

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