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Danny Kaopuiki's

Kama`aina Profile

April 2004

Ahoi Simeona

Did you know that there are approximately 40,000 Hawai`i islanders residing in the state of Washington? Yep…we come from every corner of Hawai` , from every one of those far away islands that most of us call `aina hanau, land of our birth. Matters not that we grew up in little known places like Kaumalapau or Kahului or Lihue or Kaunakakai or Waianae or maybe from “da beeg”cities like Hilo or Honolulu, we all share aloha aina, a common love for our islands. There are fascinating stories about the 40,000 po`e (people, you and I) who now live here and 40,000 stories about who we are, what we do, where we hang out. Over the next few months, I will introduce you to kama`aina po`e (local people) and kauwahi (places) that are an intergral part of our Wakinikona (Washington) Pacific Islander community.

Our first kama `aina I want to profile is AHOI SIMEONA. Born in Honolulu, a 1946 Kamehameha graduate, Ahoi graduated from Lehigh University and returned to Hawai`i. From 1960 to the 1980s, he had an outstanding career with MidPac Lumber in Honolulu and was involved in the building of Hawai`i Kai. During his career, Ahoi became friends with some of Hawai`i’s most influential businessmen and politicians, including former Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi. Ahoi and his wife Billie, also a ’46 Kamehameha grad, moved to Seattle in 1990. With the help of several of his friends in politics, Ahoi was able to get a federal grant that created the Lokahi Hawaiian Club, a cultural organization that even today, continues to promote activities to perpetuate the values of the Hawaiian culture. Through the efforts of Ahoi and other Lokahi members, specialists were found who addressed health, welfare and financial concerns of Hawaiians now living far away from their island home. Lokahi has also brought in teachers and entertainers to ensure that the mo`olelo (stories) and mele (songs) and hula (dance) of old Hawai`i will not be forgotten. Ahoi was instrumental in creating this legacy of perpetuating Hawaiian culture which continues with the Lokahi Ho`olaulea (celebration) by far the most popular annual Hawaiian event in the Seattle/Tacoma area. Ahoi and Billie live in Federal Way.

Auwe, it’s pau hana time…time to hele on! Let’s see: you’ve met two of our Wakinikona Kama`aina so there are only 39,998 more to go… Hey, call me if there‘s another kama`aina with a very special story that you think the rest of us should know about! A hui hou (until next time) and ALOHA!


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