There is no greater sacrifice that any person can make than giving his life to save others! Corporal Teruo Kawamura was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in the Vietnam War, throwing himself on an explosive device that cost him his life but prevented death or serious injury to his fellow soldiers. The Sunday Memorial Service at the 2008 19th Old Soldiers of Hawaii Reunion in Tacoma, WA was dedicated to Corporal Kawamura. His parents, Harry and Judy Kawamura, were flown in from Hawaii as special guests for the Reunion. One of several highlights of the very poignant but uplifting Memorial Service was, simply put: a touch of class! In an act done with great humility and sincere gratitude, a very special quilt created by hands of love was presented to Harry and Judy Kawamura by June Quemado representing her "Sew for Fun Gals of Federal Way, WA". The "Sew for Fun Gals" make and present these special quilts to military veterans (usually patients at military hospitals). Emblazoned on the back of the quilts are the words "You are the Brave in our land of the Free.....with deep appreciation"! June Quemado heard about the Old Soldiers of Hawaii Reunion and asked me about presenting some of their special quilts there. We decided that the first quilt should go to Corporal Kawamura's parents! June and her husband Roy Quemado are both from Wahiawa/Leilehua HS grads! Mahalo June and your "Sew for Fun Gals".......you helped make this Reunion so very special!!!!
The Na Mele O Hawaii group from Bremerton, WA has a new C.D. ("Sharing The Aloha") out and promoted it at an "CD Promotion Music Extravaganza" at the Kona Kitchen in Seattle October 18th. Lead singer Bobbie Ratliff (originally from Kaimuki) has an awesome voice (and a nice personality to match). The group includes Rosslyn Lowry (Waimanalo born but spent many years on Maui) and her husband Jim Lowry plus bass player Lonny Walter. Check them out at NameleOHawaii.com. It was a fun night, especially when Bernie Simeona, Peter Tabali and friends joined in. Mahalo again to Kona Kitchen owners Yuji & Angie Okumoto (and mom Liz) for continuing to offer the KK as a place for Hawaiian musicians to showcase their talents.........
Meet some mo' Lahui o Hawaii (people of Hawaii)...Among those at the Blue Bridge Bash in Kennewick, WA were a few folks originally from Moloka`i including Michael Ocampo (Kaunakakai) and Puanani Ka`aihue Johnson (Ho`olehua)...Puanani is one of those beautiful ladies who have very distinctive, Hawaiian features (her brother is Billy Ka`aihue who teaches hula and is an entertainer in the Everett, WA area). Henry Mokuau (Kaimuki HS) and his wife Tiger Jonnson-Mokuau drove over from the Kent, WA area to watch their daughter (Jaimie Littrell) and mo`opuna (Dani, Alli Littrell) dance. Norma Chang (KS '62) Nawahine was there with her husband Hank (da great musician)! Pahala HS grad Carmen Braceros Pederson was there as was Kalai Tannahill. Michael Opipio (Castle HS '70) drove over from Bremerton, WA for the BBB. Harry Mamazuka (who now lives in his own renovated hotel in Liberty, WA) sends Aloha to all his Punahou peers and especially to Lindsey Kinney of West Seattle who has not been in the best of health recently. On this side of the Cascades, Palmer Higa (Kamehameha '89, US Air Force veteran) can help if you're looking for real estate deals in the Tumwater/Olympia, WA area. Need a truck wash.....or maybe something to spruce up the landscape around your house? Meet Charmaine Lokelani Strickland (awesome hula dancer) who, with her husband Chris owns a commercial fleet washing business in Snohomish, WA (360-568-1405). Lokelani also works at the NW Sand & Gravel Company where she can help you with your landscaping needs. Maybe you want to shoot a movie? If so, meet Punahou alumni Erin Ostrem Kau (spouse Kevin Kau is a Kamehameha grad) Erin and Kevin are in the movie making industry (KauBoy Productions, 206-816-9255) and even had an article written about them in the Honolulu Star Bulletin!
Until last year, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students in Washington State had been included in the overall "Asian/Pacific Islander" group for educational surveys! In virtually every survey, the "Asian/ Pacific Islander" group rated high in achievements, test scores, graduation results, etc. Last year, through the efforts of people like Reidar Smith and Heather Minton of the Pacific American Foundation, the State of Washington finally authorized high school and college administrators in Washington to survey Pacific Islanders (Native Hawaiians/Polynesians) as a separate entity. The first surveys are just out and none of us should be overly surprised that our Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander students rankings are not good (in Grade 10 math: "Asian/Pacific Islanders" had a combined 61.1 score but Asians separately had a 62.9 score while Pacific Islanders scored just 27.5)! It's a wakeup call for all of us! Actually these new surveys may be a blessing in disguise because resources that our students did not have access to when we were in the higher rated "Asian/ Pacific Islander" grouping should be more available now. But, as always, the "squeaky wheel" gets the first/most attention so we need you all to get involved!
Time to hele on.....a hui hou e malama pono........................Danny
Copyright © 2004-2009 by Northwest Hawai`i Times