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It has been 62 years since we graduated from Lanai High School. We decided to celebrate this milestone with a mini-reunion on both Maui and Lanai the week of May 12th through 16th. Here’s what we did:
May 12, Monday: Kiyomi Akahoshi Kunishige, Hatsue Higa and Helen Kaya Takenouchi and her husband, Frank flew into Kahului and headquartered at the quaint Maui Seaside Hotel. We called Jaime and Lu Dugay, however, they had family commitments and could not join us. The weather was raining heavily the entire time on Maui. Frank wanted to go fishing but the rain defeated him. His friend took him out one day to fish on the other side of the island, but still no luck due to rainy and windy weather.
May 13, Tuesday:We spent the day walking and browsing the entire Maui mall and the open market. Happily, Hattie also ran into some relatives at the mall.
May 14, Wednesday: Our entourage packed up and drove to Lahaina where the rains had finally stopped. Kiyomi and Helen walked around the historic town square while Hattie watched our bags at the ferry pier and Frank returned our car rental. Finally, we boarded the noon Expedition ferry bound to Lanai. The ocean was a bit rough, but no one got sick during the 45-minute ride. When we disembarked at the Manele Small Harbor we were all amazed with the changes there. It didn’t look at all like Lanai. In fact, Kiyomi said it reminded her of northern Maine’s ferry harbors.
Greeting us and providing rides up City were classmates Molly and her husband, Howard, and Stanley and his wife, Midori. How wonderful to see familiar faces and our home island! We looked for a place to lunch, however, both the Blue Ginger and Canoes eateries were closed until 2:00 p.m. Luckily there was the 565 Restaurant were we lunched over hamburgers. Our group split up – Frank to go fishing and the rest of us to settle in at our accommodations. Later that evening, we ate sushi made by Molly and chicken hekka cooked by Stanley and topped the night with talk story and laughter over our good old days.
May 15, Thursday: We had breakfast at Canoes and recalled when it was Tanigawa’s in our days. Frank went fishing again! No fish story yet! The rest of us walked around the town square; then over to the school grounds. We didn’t recognize any of the school buildings (remember we had the old wooden buildings) and it just
looked entirely different. We met Mr. Kinoshita, the principal and he mentioned he is related to our absentee classmate Edith Kinoshita Gikui. It sure is a small world!
The rains started up again as we made plans to dine at the Hotel Lanai. Helpful folks came with umbrellas and towels to dry us all off. Molly and Howard, and Stanley and Midori also joined us for an enjoyable dinner and more talk story at the Hotel Lanai.
May 16, Friday: It was still rainy. Kiyomi and Helen ventured out to the Blue Ginger restaurant for breakfast. Hattie wasn’t feeling well and wisely stayed indoors. Later that afternoon, both Kiyomi and Hattie departed for Honolulu. Also, Stanley and Midori flew to Honolulu and met up with Richard Miyazaki and his wife on a jointly planned trip to Japan. Molly folks invited the rest of us to a delicious supper and I must say that Molly is still a great cook!
May 17, Saturday: Helen and Frank attended the Buddhist church service in the morning then lunched with the visiting Maui minister and some of the church ladies at the Manele Bay Hotel. It was pricey yet delicious! Then we packed our bags to catch our flight back to Honolulu.
Our time on Lanai was beautiful and relaxing. Molly, Howard, Stanley and Midori were wonderful hosts. We all wished we could stay longer, but as we know, all good things must come to an end. Our mini-reunion started off with eight classmates. Sadly, our classmate David Funada had passed away during this time. Cancellations were reluctantly made by Stanley Juan, Henry Pascua and Marcellino Sugitan. Also, Ruth Teraoka caught a bad cold and could not join us either. That left us three classmates for the reunion – Kiyomi, Hattie and Helen. Luckily, our classmates on Lanai – Molly and Stanley could join us to total five classmates for the Class of ’52!!! In retrospect we feel this may be our last reunion, but who knows maybe we’ll all meet again in Vegas!!!
Our heartfelt thank you to Roger and Helen (Yamato) Vaughn of New Mexico for their recent donation to our class fund and to Earl Honda for his continuous service since 1953 as class treasurer.
Friendship is one of life’s greatest blessings. We hold dear not only the memories of classmates who have died but also their late spouses. They have passed on but are not forgotten. We are grateful to those who supported, gave generously, and participated in our class activities. Thanks for the memories. (Names of deceased classmates were listed in the February issue of the Lanai Connection.)
Meeting was held at MFC, May 21st at 11:00 am. Present were Stanley, Mildred, Mitsue, Takeko, George, Richard and Jane Okimoto whom we have not seen since 2013. Not present; Marcellino.
The following items were discussed:
Mildred brought a delicious cake, Stanley brought a large box of my favorite Manapua, Jane brought assorted Sushi (Tuna, Shrimp, Sea Urchin Eggs, Octopus) and fried Chicken on a skewer. She also shared her Miso Soup and Salad, Richard ate most of the sushi. Richard brought some spinach from his garden and surprised that everyone seems to prefer it over the donuts that he usually bring to the meeting. Everyone seems to be eating healthier food in our old age. I still love donuts.
We celebrated Stanley’s 80th birthday with a Bavarian Lemon Cake from Victor Benes that Mildred bought. We didn’t sing happy birthday to Stanley because he didn’t wear a Lei like the lady from Kauai next door. The ’55 grads from Kauai were sitting next to us and planning their Class Reunion and having a great time. Also, happy birthday to Millie, our classmate in Hawaii. A lady from Lanai (Rivera?) was with them because her husband Richard was from Kauai. George seemed to know them.
Travel News: Stanley just returned from Vegas, Mitsue is going there in May, Takeko is headed for Hawaii to attend a wedding, Jane is going to Harrah’s Indian Casino on Friday and Richard is going to VV and Pala Indian Casino next week. Mitsue wanted to go there too but very inconvenient for her daughter to take her from Temecula. Jane has a tiny green frog in her wallet. Richard has a 4 inch frog doll that travels to all the casinos and one in his front yard. Superstitious–NO. George returned from Hawaii after spending 10 days there. He said the weather was great.
Garden News: Richard’s cucumbers are producing enough to make a weekly Kim Chee supply. Several zucchinis are about 5 inches long. Spinach are growing like weeds. Tomato plants are ready for church.
Jane requested that we go to another restaurant next month. Stanley mentioned that the Spot Restaurant next door to the place he picked up the manapua was pretty good. He enjoys oxtail soup that is a special on Tuesdays.
Takeko is deciding if she wanted to volunteer to co-chair for a Christmas program for their group. It involves making 12 items for the 12 days of Christmas with a Hawaiian theme. She was looking for an octopus as one of the items but concerned about the smell. Sounds like a lot of work but she did a similar project last year. I guess retired teachers (Ruth, Jane, Hattie, Stanley O, Richard M) still enjoy making crafts–maybe.
Mitsue spent awhile in Marukai but didn’t buy anything. Very shocking news because her cart was usually full in the past. She mentioned that she rarely cooks now that she lives alone.
Other News: Faulty GPS, Korean dramas, Marukai membership cards, dirty slot machines, old people, smokers, health.
Next meeting will be at the Spot Restaurant in Carson on June 18th.
Traditionally held during the 4th of July / Pineapple Festival weekend since 2009, the LHS Alumni Class Reunion Weekend this year was attended by twelve (12) alumni classes all celebrating Lana’i’s rich plantation past. Classes who came HOME that weekend of July 4-6 were the class of 1964 (Celebrating 50 Years), 1967, 1970, 1972 (Celebrating turning 60), 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982 (Celebrating turning 50), 1984 (Celebrating 30 Years), and 2004 (Celebrating 10 Years) were represented in full plantation pride in the 2014 Pineapple Festival’s “Plantation Parade” on Saturday July 5th around historic Dole Park. It was quite a sight to see as parade participants were dressed in pineapple picker garb wearing cover pants, arm guards, aprons, gloves, bandanas, straw hats, rubber boots, goggles, and water bottles looking like they all were on their way to the labor yard. Seeing people dressed in these pineapple picker work clothes brought back many fond memories of a bygone era of when pineapple was KING on Lana’i working in the pineapple fields in the summertime. Oh what memories what memories. Next year the 4th of July / Pineapple Festival / LHS Alumni Class Reunion weekend will be July 3-5, 2015.
I was born in Sprekelsville during the cane field plantation days delivered by a midwife as was many of us of that generation. I helped to care for seven siblings. Our home had a kitchen with dirt floors, an outhouse, and we gathered vegetables in the field. Then during the war our family moved to Lanai. War time meant covering the windows with black paper so no light could be seen. There was curfew and sirens every night. I remember the emergency gas masks, the bomb shelters and the island’s Japanese families being separated from us. Hardship faced everyone.
We all grew up together, whether Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Hawaiian, and so on. We were not taught to discriminate because we were all the same poor hard working plantation folks. We all ate home grown vegetables which my mom cooked it in a variety of ways for our family. Those plantation days taught us to be humble, forgiving as well as to be strong to survive the war time and hard work in the fields.
School lunches often had peas and carrots which I disliked. I only had two pairs of shoes growing up on Lana’i and both had to last as long as possible. I remember my first prom gown was white although during high school I wasn’t allowed to go out alone with boys. My father was very strict. I can still picture his leather belt, and guava or hibiscus branches smacking across my legs for childhood violations. In those days, it was not child abuse but the way all children were disciplined. Now I can thank my father for his strict ways as it molded me to understand family discipline was necessary with our large family.
Today, I can see how my childhood, my family and friends have all taught me to be more forgiving and loving towards all people and animals. I reflect on my poor youth to my middle age and now my senior years and see it as a full circle. A full circle from the hard plantation days to a more fortunate lifestyle today. I give thanks and give back to all who I can help.
There is a saying that says when you give it will come back tenfold. I believe that all kind acts will be returned many times over. That belief sustained me as I remember having my fortune told when I was in my 30s and it was read that I would have an illness. At that time, I prayed to change that negative fortune reading and by doing kind acts as much as possible. Now as a survivor, I believe that acts of kindness and a benevolent God has made me a better and stronger person today. Each morning, I greet the day with a smile, and give thanks as life is very precious and tomorrow is not promised. Yes indeed life is a full circle and we are all a part of that circle of life. God bless us all!
The LHS Class of 1964 celebrated their 50th Class Reunion during July 4-6, 2014. We are the first class of eighteen Baby Boomer classes to celebrate a 50th reunion. The reunion was a wonderful series of events beginning on Friday with the Fourth of July community celebration, that included a Welcome Back karaoke and dance potluck, followed by dinner at the Senior Center. Saturday included a visit to the Lanai Cultural Center then participation in the Pineapple Festival. Sunday was spent touring Maunalei Gulch. The fifty years that have passed, and changes that have occurred, only enhanced our spirits in reestablishing relations like we did so many years while growing up on Lanai. As is the case with all reunions, after the initial period of reacquainting and learning about each other’s fifty years, we spent fond moments recollecting our years on Lanai and what it means to each of us. We all agree that time has passed very quickly and we have some words of wisdom for future celebrants. That is, to cherish each moment from your past, present and all the time to come.
Each of us traveled a long way in 50 years. Our Senior Class Motto was “Learn Today and Lead Tomorrow” which was so important in formulating our lives after leaving high school. Life on Lanai prepared us well with lessons from LHS but also the lessons we learned from the many family, friends and community members that guided us during those years. Today, our special recognition and thank you again goes to our parents (who were our special dedication on page 4 of the 1964 Ka Hoku) because without them we would not have had the motivation, structure, support and encouragement to pursue the many opportunities in our lives. Even if most of our parents no longer survive, we know their spirits are with us and they know how grateful we are for their lessons. The Class of ‘64 thanks our parents and all the people of Lanai that were a part of our lives and gave us the direction we needed for success. Very importantly, there are educators that require special mention like Ms. Kubo (Akahoshi), Mrs. Helen Fujie and Mr. Patrick Esclito who served as class advisors/counselors during our senior year. Also, many others played a major role educating us in our high school years, such as Mr. Jacob Hueu, Mr. Stanley Oshima, Mrs. Molly Sakamoto, Mr. Howard Sakamoto, Mr. Donald Matsui, Mr. George Ito, Mr. Edward Kuboyama, Mr. Robert Saiki, Mr. Albert Murota, Miss Vivian Matsumoto, Mr. Elbert Ryan and Mrs. Sylvia Mitsunaga, (Please know that there were many others but this article would not have the space to accommodate everyone). These educators gave us the knowledge and confidence to look ahead and become good contributing members of society. Thank you all.
On Commencement Evening in June 1964, there were 38 of us that were in the graduating class. However, there were many other students that have been a part of “our class” through the years, but for greater opportunities or circumstances, left our class before June of 1964. We include them as “our class”. If we have inadvertently omitted someone from this list, please accept our apologies because some memory lapse is typical of our age group. So, our class is as follows (by high school names): Lorraine Agliam, Edna Allas, Antonio Arucan, Myrna Awa, Placido Ballesteros, Everett Cabanilla, Eulogio Cabotaje, Julia Dahang, Danny Del Rosario, Alvin dela Cruz, Jimmy Fernandez, Jane Hayashi, Elsie Hayashida, Glenn Herolaga, Elizabeth Hobdy, Roger Hubin, Michael Kawasaki, Norrine Kubota, Gary Largo, Leslie Lukela, Francis Miyamoto, Al Donna Nishimura, Lance Nobui, Patrick Obado, Aileen Oda, Fernie Olsen, Eric Onuma, Warren Osako, Glenn Oshiro, Sidney Oyama, Stewart Oyama, Estella Ann Pagay, Penny Remilya, William Park, Phillip Ruidas, Francine Sagawa, Paulette Samonte, George Stegmuller, Carolyn Suetos, Jane Tesoro,
Jessie Tesoro, Edith (Puanani) Tolentino, Evelyn Tolentino, Tom Urpanil, Jr., Ricky Washauer, Pee Wee Weaver, and Alan Yagi.
Our lessons on Lanai ensured that each of us became a contributing member of society and we will leave this world better than when we were brought into this world after World War II in 1946. Our class song was “He” but another class favorite was “Climb Every Mountain” and we did. How have we contributed in the past 50 years? All of us have found our niche and worked diligently for five decades. Most of us are certified “household engineers” that prepared the future generation that will take our places in society. We can tell you without a doubt that the next generation will do as ours have and will leave this world better than when we brought them into this world. Many of us went on to a wide variety of professions that included educators, medical specialties, marketers, customer service/salespersons, corporate specialties and executives, religious servants/leaders, civil/military service and also entrepreneurs of our own businesses. We share this with everyone to give re-assurance, like classes that preceded (and succeeded) us, that even small town Lanai continues to produce some of the best. There are no doctors or lawyers amongst us but we can assure you that we are doing our part to ensure that these professions will continue for years to come, especially the medical professionals.
The class of 1964 “learned” and “led” as we committed ourselves to do 50 years ago. For several years now, most of us have begun the next stage in our lives, which is retirement. Whether it is the joy of being a remote control specialist and/or couch potato, indulging in a newly found or long lost hobby, community volunteer or traveling to see the world, we are content with how life has been formulated from our Lanai roots. For many, it also means experiencing the joys of being a grandparent and for a few extra fortunate ones, great-grandparents.
This was a great setting to celebrate our reunion events. Some of us “practiced” a little before the main events and gathered on Tuesday and Wednesday before our Thursday surprise gathering by the generous offer of Stewart and Julia Oyama. Of course we met at Blue Ginger for breakfast meetings. Michael, Lance and Stewart played the great, well-renowned, free golf course called Cavendish. Anyone that does not play Cavendish is missing a great opportunity.
On Friday, we started our formal reunion with a gathering at the Senior Center. We all knew this location to be the former public library. Attending the dinner were Edna (Allas) and Chole (granddaughter) dela Cruz and Everett and Fran Cabanilla, Betty (Hobdy) and Dan Applebaker, Stewart and Julia (Dahang) Oyama, Warren and Susan Osako, Michael and Shauna Kawasaki, Lance Nobui, Patrick and Billye Obado and granddaughter Aulii Olsen, Myrna (Awa) Bedford, Evelyn (Tolentino) and Herman Calbero with Wendy (daughter) and Kanoe (granddaughter) Macario, Billy Park, Linda (Pagay) Rivera and Eric Onuma. We took a moment to honor and remember those classmates that have passed on to eternal life and had to leave us way too soon. They are Jane Hayashi, Roger Hubin, Al Donna Nishimura, Phillip Ruidas, Francine Sagawa, and Jessie Tesoro. We’re still processing the 50 years of history we received. The best part is seeing that after all these years, none of us look like our pictures in the “annual” but we are all better looking than 50 years ago. It was fun to see that Julia and Stewart, Evelyn and Herman (and others) are celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary soon.
When we met for breakfast at Blue Ginger, we recalled the old days when Tanigawa’s, the Lanai Inn, Sportsman’s Bar and Lui’s Restaurant were the only restaurants on the island. How nice it is to see that Lanai has changed from a plantation town to one with world-class venues. We also learned that we might have to save up a few Social Security checks to eat at a couple of the resorts. But, we all felt great to see these changes.
Classmate Warren arranged for us to visit the Lanai Cultural Center. We were so proud to learn that Warren is one of the mainstays of the center. The center showed the life on Lanai before, during and after our years growing up on Lanai. We toured with much laughter in seeing the good old days picking pineapples but also shed tears of sadness knowing that those wonderful years are now just memories. We are grateful for Warren, Kepa and Onaona Maly, Albert Morita, Simon Tagiri and others that are saving the history of Lanai.
Our Saturday afternoon activity was participation in the Pineapple Festival: so many of us have heard about this wonderful event but have not been privileged to attend. Julia, Evelyn and Stewart organized the #1 team in the parade and what a terrific and memorable occasion it was. Those that braved the parade were Stewart, Edna, Michael, Lance, Billy, Eric, Betty, Linda, Everett, Patrick and Myrna. What a treat it was to see so many familiar faces from the past but it also brought sadness to know that many others should have been out there with us or watching along the route. After the parade we all gathered at the Senior Center for treats and refreshments.
Then it was Sunday morning and the final activity for the Class of 1964. We took a journey that was not offered 50 years ago; a tour of Maunalei Gulch. It was the usual bumpy ride to Maunalei that most of us have forgotten what it is like to ride on Lanai roads. The tales of Maunalei Gulch came to life for us on this day. What a treasure.
Upon return to the city, we had to head our separate ways because our great weekend came to an end. We know that we will always cherish the memories from 50 years ago, the spirited 2014 Pineapple Festival and the wonderful memories of this great 50th Reunion weekend. The Class of 1964 would like to give a special thank you and congratulation on a job well done to Julia and Stewart Oyama, Warren Osako, Michael Kawasaki and Evelyn and Herman Calbero for planning, organizing and executing a great series of events. We are also very grateful for those like Warren, Albert and Kepa that continue to live and save the legacy of Lana’i past, present and future.
Again, to those that have proceeded us thank you for your guidance and support. For those that follow in years to come, keep up the good work and, as the Class of 1964 will tell you, be proud of your Lanai roots.
Thanks to all the participants at our 55th High School Reunion held July 12th. The moon was full…we should have had a moonlight picnic just like the good old days sitting around the Bon Fire… Do hope that those who missed our Oahu reunion held at Apolonia’s beautiful beach home will make an effort to attend the Vegas celebration during LACA/Vegas gathering this September…it should be fun!
Stanley won Pedring’s handmade beautiful clock. Lucky Pinelad you! Our brains were wreaked playing games with lots of nice prizes.
Don’t forget to take the banner to Vegas. Special thanks to Hilton Lui for saying the blessing before the meal and remembering all of our classmates who have left us. We miss them especially the recent death of Mildred Oshima. He also gave a benediction asking God to keep us safe and healthy.
Happy 55th Anniversary! I suppose our next big reunion will be when we celebrate our 75th birthdays.