This weekend, we
stayed in town to honor and mahalo
(thank) some kanaka makua -- extraordinary people -- in our
Hawaiian community at a luncheon.
>> Click here
to learn what a kanaka
They are few and far between.
(conch shell) was solemnly sounded, and so began Ke Alaula O Ka
Huliau -- The Dawn of Changing Times, and we were called to
order. Kaiwi delivered an elegant opening prayer and
blessing -- pule wehe -- in Hawaiian.
For the last time, she
Ku`ulei, who with others in this group, warmly embraced and
welcomed Pila (known here as DH) and me into the group, four years
ago. Back then, we had participated in one of the group's
many and varied cultural activities, not having a clue that doing
so would lead us to a multitude of blessings.
story", we met hānai `ohana, Aunty Hannah, whose Hawaiian
side of the family hails from Makapala in Kohala and Uncle Līkeke,
who grew up in Hilo. Aunty Hannah's maternal Aunty and her
husband, Richard Lyman, Sr., father of Kamehameha
School's "Papa" Lyman, helped to raise my
on the Big Island. Small world.
Family -- 'Ohana -- is not always what you're born with,
sometimes it's people you find,
sometimes it's the people who find you.
After a weekend that
was chockful of Hawaiian activities (lauhala weaving, learning a
hula, singing "Hawai`i Aloha" in four-part harmony and
more), we were lead right into the membership of the warmest, most
loving 'ohana (family) of native Hawaiians and Hawaiians-at-heart,
who live and perpetuate our culture, practice Hawaiian values, and
nurture Hawaiian spirits with song, dance, prayer, chants, food,
and all things Hawaiian.
We have never
experienced a group more spirited and loving -- more Hawaiian --
than this one.
a kanaka makua,
full of grace
with the smile of immense radiance,
warming hearts and firing up Hawaiian souls.
is the epitome of Hawaiian grace, dignity, strength, and
A kanaka makua.
She is the
outgoing president of our Hawaiian civic club, leading us
for four years with much Aloha and dedication .
She and past
president, Pa`ahana, presented the Kukui Lama Kū Award for
2002 to Kupuna (Elder) Ho`okaulana, a man filled with the
spirit of Aloha, who lives up to every nuance and letter of
his name, which means "to make prominent".
Kupuna Ho`okaulana, kanaka makua
The Outgoing Officers & Directors
for an enlargement
Front row (L-R):Pu`ukū,
Kaiwi; Papa Ho'oholo - Director, Paddy; Pelekikena - President,
Ku`uleialoha; Papa Ho'oholo - Director, B.J; Hope Pelekikena 'Elua -
2nd VP, Keoki; Kākau 'Ōlelo Ho`oholo - Corresponding Secretary /
Back row (L-R):
Immediate Past President, Pa`ahana; Hope Pelekikena `Ekahi - 1st VP,
Jackie; Kākau `Ōlelo Ho`opa`a - Recording Secretary, Līkeke; Papa
Ho'oholo - Director,Ho`okaulana; Papa Ho'oholo - Director, Denny;
Papa Ho'oholo - Director, Pi`ilani; Parliamentarian, Scott; Papa
Ho'oholo - Director, Aukake "Augie".
Ku`ulei -- short for
Ku`uleialoha -- shared touching and insightful words about members
of her administration. Her gratitude to them for their hard
work and dedication was immense and felt by all.
Ku`ulei herself was
honored with laudatory words, lei, makana (gift) of a
beautiful book of Old Hawai`i photographs; and the gratitude of the
entire club 'ohana. Ku`ulei's family was there to honor her as
That's Nohea, Ku`ulei's grandson, in the striped sweater, in the
Ku`uleialoha's Family & Janice & George (Keoki)
More of Ku'ulei's family and Anna.
Myself, I am grateful
for Ku`ulei's positivity and undaunted spirit. Early on, we learned
that she had lost her beloved husband soon after she had assumed the
role of president. Not once did I ever see a shred of
self-pitying, but only a valiant, strong woman who was not going to
let a deeply painful personal loss get in the way of her commitment
to the group and her family.
Ku`ulei's smile and
upbeat newsletter messages were constant reminders for me to move on
in spite of life's losses, and to rise up and serve while mending a
broken heart. She helped me to keep on smiling and share my
radiance and Aloha with those I serve. Her smile, her Aloha became a
part of me.
The Incoming Officers
and Directors were installed:
Hope Pekelikena `Ekahi - 1st VP: Kaiwi
Hope Pekelikena `Elua - 2nd VP: Keoki
Kākau `Ōlelo Ho`opa`a - Recording Secretary: Denny
Kākau `Ōlelo Ho`opholo - Corresponding Secretary:
Papa Ho`oholo - Directors: Ho`okaulana, Rode, Scott, Aukake,
Maile H., Paddy
Immediate Past President: Ku`uleialoha
& President, 2002, Jackie
With the passing of Nā
Hō`ailona (Cherished Symbols) of ke kahili (feathered
staff) and `umeke lōkahi (togetherness bowl) from
Past-President Ku`uleialoha to President Jackie, the new
administration took their oaths and were inducted.
Seeing the roster in
person and hearing Jackie's positive words (no closing of the `umeke's
lid!), we know the traditions and responsibilities of this group are
in the most able of hands.
The two eldest kupuna
(elders), both over 85 years old, were honored:
Kupunawahine (Elderwoman) Esther & Kupunakāne (Elderman)
The doxology was sung in
Hawaiian, filling the place with beautiful, dulcet tones, thanks to
the talented choir members in the group: Ho`onani i ka
And then the feasting
from the well-stocked buffet of varied dishes began with lots of
"talk story" between bites.
The Merrie Monarch Bunch: Gil, Aletha, Scott & Denny
Pila with Joe & BJ
Aunty Hannah, Leilani, and Uncle Līkeke
Aunty Hannah, Uncle Līkeke and tablemates
Tom, Kupunakāne Edmund, Kaiwi, Keali`i, Jane (Ka`ala) and Paddy
Johnson family members, Anna, Maile H and hubby
My apologies to the two ladies at the edges.
(I'm still learning how to point and shoot.)
With much Aloha and
Mahalo in our hearts, on this day, we honored those who have given
so much of themselves
"Life is a Gift."
Me ke aloha pumehana,
P.S. If you would
like to share a portion of yourself with words, in response to
this journal entry, you may do it here.
only gift is a portion of thyself..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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