Soooo smooooooth……. those of you who missed the Brothers Cazimeroconcert at Seattle Benaroya Hall on 18 November missed an awesome show! Robert and Roland were in fabulous voice, hitting highs and lows/harmonizing with such precision…the singing was fabulous as were the dancers (including the Merrie Monarch award winning halau Na Kamalei plus local star Kalani Hiapo and his dancers. And let’s keep our eye on special guest and rising star Kaumakaiwa “Lopaka” Kanaka`ole – what a presence!) I’ve gone to at least six of the Cazimero concerts over the past years and the shows just keep getting better and better each time! This one was the best by far! Much mahalo to Aaron/Namele.com for bringing these shows to Seattle !
He Hawaii Au……I am Hawaiian! No matter where you and I go, one truth that will always remain is that “we are Hawaiian”. On a recent trip to Dallas, Texas where the stars at night are very big and bright, Kathy and I had a great opportunity to meet a few people who are true champions of things Hawaiian. These folks virtually focus their lifestyles around preserving our identity, yours and mine, as Hawaiians! You know what was most refreshing? They are, in spite of such titles as “the Honorable Chairperson” or “the Administrator of OHA” (Office of Hawaiian Affairs), genuinely very nice, down to earth folks who truly care about what is happening to our Hawaiian people! Foremost is Haunani Apoliona, Chair of the OHA Board of Trustees…very sharp, very knowledgeable, and very articulate whether it be in the “King’s English” or Pidgin or Hawaiian; she’s also a professional musician who has sung with Jerry Santos “Olomana” group. The “OHA Administrator” is Hawaiian-Portuguese Clyde Namu`o, a Roosevelt HS and U of Hawaii grad; Clyde has been with OHA four years following a 31-year career as Administrator for the Hawaii State Court system. Clyde is truly “Mr. Unflappable”, the guy charged with calmly dealing with the “loud and discontented” at meetings (as I saw him do so politely and professionally in Dallas ); and Clyde has a beautiful singing voice too! Mona Bernardino, lovely lady who was born and raised in Honolulu , is Director of the OHA Governance Hale (Division); Mona is a Kamehameha ’75 grad who worked in real estate for 14 years before earning her law degree. Mona’s Mom is Hawaiian/from the Waiakea, Big Island area while her Dad is Filipino/from Puunene, Maui; Mona has been with OHA two years…Aulani Apoliona (Haunani’s sister) is Coordinator for the Kau Inoa Outreach Program, an innovative thinker and tireless worker with a huge sense of humor and a big singing voice! These four members of OHA were in Texas to conduct the first ever Kau Inoa meetings for Hawaiians who now reside in the Lone Star state! I attended the meeting in Dallas which was hosted by Chester Mahelona and his beautiful wife Stephanie, both of whom are from Oahu. Chester is the Kau Inoa Program Coordinator for Texas. The purpose of these meetings was to update the “Texas-Hawaiians about current events in Hawaii and especially to explain and gain support for the Kau Inoa (To Build a Nation) program. By the end of the evening, at least fifty guests submitted their Kau Inoa applications. The meeting opened with a pule by Frank Keli`i Chang followed by some spirited Kahiko dances by Frank’s Halau Ho`ola Ka Mana O Hawaii dancers. As dinner was served, the movie “The Hawaiians----Reflecting Spirit” was shown. Among the hundred plus guests in attendance was Nohea Kanahele, a native of the island of Niihau who drove down from his Oklahoma City home to attend the meeting. Unbeknownst to Nohea, a segment toward the end of the movie featured speakers from Niihau; Nohea’s eyes filled with tears as three of the speakers were his Kanahele aunts whom he had not seen in years! After the movie Haunani Apoliona and Clyde Namu`o spent nearly two hours discussing and answering questions from the audience about Kau Inoa, about the Akaka Bill and about what they thought the future would be like for Hawaiians! I learned a lot and I’m sure the audience did too. In the audience were Hawaiians like Marian Piilani Aquino Sikes from Moloka`i (now living in Dennison , TX ) and retired US Army SGM Ed Maunakea (Nanakuli/ Waianae) who now lives in Killeen , TX . Ed presides over the 800 member Kaleo O Hawaii Club around the Killeen/Ft Hood US Army base area. One highlight of the Dallas visit for Kathy and I was our stop at the “6 th Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza ” a very poignant, almost eerie exhibit of the site from which Lee Harvey Oswald shot President John F Kennedy on November 22, 1963! The exhibit examines the life, times, death and legacy of JFK!
She called it the 17 th anniversary of her 39 th birthday?????....by whatever name, the Hauoli la Hanau event at the Kona Kitchen on Oct 21 was huge…Geri Lei Delosantos and her newly formed Halau Mohala na Pua O Kuulei, accompanied by the “Braddah Dem” trio (Tiko Kaeo, Keo Kaeo, Bernie Simeona) treated the standing only room crowd to a fun filled evening of song and dance! Among the dancers: Marcy Wirtz, Lei Taverus, Carrie Dunshee, Leolani Hopper-Reed, Courtney Dunshee, Catlin Dunshee, Kehau Taverus, Nani Dunshee. For a group that just formed two months ago, these gals were really good. A special treat was kupuna Aunty Kini Spann, who can still sing and dance with the best of them. Happy umpteenth b’day Geri Lei Delosantos!
By whatever name you knew them (Hale Halawai/Hale Ku` ai/Aloha Island Treasures/Halau Hula O Napualani dance studio) it’s sad to realize that this Hawaiian Icon closed the doors to its Shoreline place at the end of November 2005. Mahalo to Bill Nahalea, Gloria and their staff who made significant contributions towards spreading Aloha in Seattle for such a long time. More in our next issue about Gloria and Bill’s plans for the future!
From the Kaopuiki Ohana: Kathy/Kerry/Shannon/Cory and I wish each and every one of you a Mele Kalikimaka e Hauoli Makahiki Hou…..A hui hou until next year……….Danny
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