Shoreditch tattoo community rallies for husband of British tsunami victim

Tota Volpe-Landi and James Glover whose wife Angela Glover died in the Tonga tsunami

Tota Volpe-Landi and James Glover whose wife Angela Glover died in the Tonga tsunami - Credit: PA

Tattoo and piercing artists have rallied round to support the husband of the British woman killed in the devastating tsunami that hit Tonga.

James and Angela Glover were trying to save their dogs at their home on the main island of Tongatapu when the 4ft waves swept Angela away, as he clung to a tree.

An online fundraising page has been set up by Tota Volpe-Landi, who ran the Happy Sailor tattoo and piercing shop in Hackney Road, Shoreditch with Mr Glover before he moved to Tonga.

According his Ms Volpe-Landi, Mr 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.

The fundraiser on GoFundMe 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 said.

“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.

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“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," she said.

"He started talking about moving to a paradise and Tonga seemed very good.

“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, 50, 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 per cent of Tonga’s population – have been impacted by the eruption.

To find out more about the fundraiser, see bit.ly/3L7Hm5h.