In Loving Memory

Our heartfelt condolences to those of you who lost a loved one or a dear friend.

August 2009
Catherine Gentile

October 2009
Kazumi Masada
Donald Yoshikawa, class of1949
Connie Tadios Matsumura, class of 1952

November 2009
Grace Kuwada Novitski, class of 1947

December 2009
Ricarte Dadez, class of 1952

January 2010
Takeo Anbe

February 2010 Newsletter Online!

The February edition of The Lana’i Connection is online! You can browse through the articles on this site or download a complete copy of the print version (15.1 MB, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

Download the sign-up forms for these upcoming events:

And don’t forget to check out our updated photo galleries:

The First Dole Scholar

by Jane Nakamura (Sakamura)

In the summer of 1951, a momentous public announcement marked the beginning of many life changing events for this shy, quiet, timid and naive Lanai High School graduate. I was selected as the very first recipient of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company’s four-year college scholarship. All scholarship candidates were the children of Hapco employees working at the Dole Pineapple Cannery, the Wahiawa pineapple plantation, and the Lanai pineapple plantation. A special scholarship committee screened, interviewed, and finally selected the winner from amongst the many applicants on the basis of scholastic achievement, character and promise, good citizenship, leadership qualities, and financial need.

I never expected to win, but I had been encouraged to apply for the scholarship anyway. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained” was what my parents taught me as well as “when opportunity knocks, open the door.” Many years earlier, our family had moved to Lanai from the Big Island, and my father became a carpenter for Dole who helped build many of the Lanai plantation homes. My mother worked as a salesclerk for Yet Lung Store until the store closed. After that, she worked at Richard’s Shopping Center first as a salesclerk and then as their bookkeeper. My parents worked diligently to support our family of eight. Funds were tight, and without the Dole Scholarship, affording college would have been impossible. My heart is filled with gratitude towards the Scholarship Committee, the Dole Company and especially God for the honor that was bestowed upon me.

The Dole Scholarship paid for two years at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, my Junior year at a mainland college of my choice, and my senior year back at the UH Manoa followed by graduation with a degree. They also decided to pay for my 5th year to obtain my professional teaching certificate. In addition, this remarkable, first -of-its-kind scholarship paid for all my travel expenses to and from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA. Attending Bucknell University was an unforgettable experience. I was the only girl from Hawaii during a period in history (1953-54) when many of our fellow-Americans thought Hawaii was a foreign land of grass shacks inhabited by native Hawaiians in hula skirts. Hawaii was not yet a State but just a Territory of the United States of America. Many of the people at Bucknell were amazed at my grasp of the English language–Some even thought I had a Bostonian accent.

Mr. Forrest Brown, director of the University YMCA which welcomed Bucknell’s “foreign” students, arranged weekly meetings where I was the guest speaker enlightening the audiences (church groups, business people. various clubs and organizations, etc.) about Hawaii. I answered questions, played the ukulele, danced the hula, and spread aloha. I was an unofficial Hawaiian ambassador. Following my UH counselor’s advice and preceding my transfer to Bucknell, I had enrolled in the Honolulu YWCA’s Beginner Hula Class which taught me “The Hukilau Song” among others which I performed at these meetings. My initial nervousness was gone as I sensed God’s presence. The scripture which sustained me was “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” from Proverbs 3:5-6. I encountered no antagonism, prejudice or racism. The people in the audience were genuinely cordial and interested in Hawaii as evidenced by their questions and comments. While only a few had visited Hawaii, many planned future visits. These weekly speaking engagements gave me self-confidence and courage.

I spent 33 years as a public school teacher. I also worked part-time in Teacher Development for the Central District for a year. After retiring from the Department of Education, I spent a number of years pursuing a part-time career in Financial Services by becoming a licensed financial advisor. Because of the Dole Scholarship, I came out of my timid shell, gained a college education, had a wonderful career teaching a generation of Hawaii’s youth, and inspired all of my four children to attend college.

Honoring Others

Monetary gifts of aloha have been made in memory of deceased members or in celebration of milestones and special remembrances.

Kerry Honda in memory of his dad, Isamu Honda
Jacob and Rosita Hueu in memory of a good friend, Ricarte Dadez
Nona Armstrong Minami in memory of her husband, Kiyoshi Mana Minami
*Encarnacion C. Adiarte: Enclosed is my contributuion in memory of Grace Kuwada Novitski, class of ’47. I am a retired teacher of the San Francisco Unified School District. I was teaching at Paul Revere School when Mrs. Novitski was the school principal there. She was a wonderful administrator.
*Mary Elizabeth Beaver Jones: From the Novitski Family in memory of Grace Kuwada Novitsiki who passed away on October 24
Janet Mizomi Miyashiro in memory of Grace Kuwada Novitski
*Claire and Don Shaffer in memory of Grace Kuwada Novitski who was a loving, kind teacher and a friend to many.
Chiyoshi Oshiro in memory of his wife Shirley Honda Oshiro

* Denotes non member

Our Latest PSHF and LACA Contributors

as of January 10, 2010

Mahalo nui loa for your generous support which is utilized to fund worthwhile projects and defrays the association’s operational expenditures.

*Adiarte, Encarnacion C
Agaran, Juanita
Asuncion, Irene Bersamin
Damian, Suzanne Pascua
Goshi, Rita Nagamine and class vendors
Hashimoto, Setsuko Kurashige
Hokama, Harold
Holsomback, Charlotte Richardson
Honda, Kerry
Hueu, Jacob and Rosita
*Jones, Mary Elizabeth Beaver.
*Kaneshige, Beverly
Kwan, Charlie
Lantz, Nancy Belez
Loo, Sakae Nakama
Lopez, Sr., Alfred & Alfonsa Arao
Minami, Nona Armstrong
Miyamura, Haruo and Alice Eligado
Miyashiro, Janet Mizomi
Nakasone, Ruth Fukushima
*Oasay, Angel
Obado, Lui
Outhouse, Cynthia
Reyes, Gloria Obado
Rowray, Eleanor Ballesteros
*Shaffer, Claire and Don
*Tokushige, Norma
Viduya, Jr., Libby & Loretta Canida
Woo, Natsuko Higa
Lana’i Invitational Golf Association

* Denotes non member

Recent Contributory Club Memberships

Your continued support has made it possible for LACA to carry out its goals and objectives. Our heartfelt mahalo nui loa for your generosity!

Contributor Pineapple Club ~ up to $99
Encarnacion C. Adiarte
Irene Bersamin Asuncion
Charlotte Richardson Holsomback
Angel Oasay
Lui Obado
Norma Tokushige

Century Pineapple Club ~ $100 up
Charlie Kwan
Alfred & Alfonsa Arao Lopez, Sr.

Golden Pineapple Club ~ $500 up
Sakae Nakama Loo
Chiyoshi Oshiro

Membership Purposes

Your involvement is vital in sustaining LACA’s membership purposes. The beginning of this new decade, 2010, is a good time to make a positive difference and be of service to our alma mater, Lana’i High and Elementary School and our hometown, Lana’i City. Due to the economic slump, scholarships, awards and grants for the school year 2009 -2010 have been reduced. Hopefully, the original fundings can be reinstated next year pending our financial support. May we count on your involvement in carrying out the following purposes?

To promote fellowship among the alumni and the community members.

  • Attend the Annual Membership Social, April 10, 2010, Pearl Country Club on Oahu.
  • Sign up for the LACA Las Vegas Connection for October 9, 2010, at the Cal.
  • Reconnect throughout the year at class reunions, ohana and community events.
  • Participate in the annual Lana’i Invitational Golf Tournament at Olomana in August.
  • To provide college scholarships to deserving graduates of Lana’i High and Elem.School.

Your generosity will be appreciated.
Tax deductible donations made payable to the Public Schools of Hawaii (PSHF) with the footnote in the left hand corner of the check: for LACA Damian Vocational Scholarship will also be awarded. Not available for 2009 – 2010 is the $1,000 LACA Vocational Scholarship.

To honor the students of LHES for outstanding school or community services.
When donations rebound, the $300 Kiyoshi Minami Student Award for School or Community Service will be available.

To keep in touch with former schoolmates and friends in the community
Members can get an update on Lanaians through:

  • The Lana’i Connection newsletter
  • E-Newsletter at
  • Archives and Photo Gallery at 1064 Sand Island Parkway.
  • LACA life time membership.
  • Volunteer to be on the Board of Directors and represent the general membership.

To promote and participate in the civic, industrial, recreational, educational, social, and cultural activities of the community.

  • Feb. 10 – Mar. 23: Participate in Foodland Shop for Higher Education and help earn a$2,000 scholarship for a LHS senior. Remember to designate Lana’i High and Elementary School as the recipient of your shopping points.
  • May 21: Lana’i High School Awards Assembly.
  • May 22: Lana’i High School Commencement, 2:00 p.m., gym.
  • On Lana’i, stop by and visit the Lana’i Culture and Heritage Center.

To support specially deserving student activities and class projects and deserving faculty activities.
In addition to contributions made to PSHF, non-deductible contributions made out to LACA will pay for the association’s operational expenses and surplus money would be available as discretionary fund for LHES. Pending submittal of required documentation from Lana’i High School, $1,500 has been budgeted for the Kiyoshi Minami Student Activity/Class Project Grant.

To honor the members of the Association for outstanding services to the school or the community.
An inscribed LACA Distinguished Member Award plaque is presented to the recipient at the Annual Membership Social of which he/she is a special guest at the function.

2009 LACA Las Vegas Connection

by Suzanne Pascua Damian

Sixty eight attendees on September 5th, enjoyed impromptu hulas and the Ninth Isle Serenaders. Music rendered by the Kamehameha Schools graduates and retired United Airlines employees, Lance Babo, Flash Jensen, Roy Rabanal and Kim Owen Wong was captivating and delightful! Great rapport with the audience kept everyone in the banquet room until the end of the event. The small group thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie, ono, savory, buffet and the abundance of “good kine” door prizes.

Natsuko Woo, won the grand prize of a complimentary weekend at the Cal. She commented that she had never won anything in her life. Hopefully, she’ll use the prize for the October 9, 2010 LACA Las Vegas reunion. Special recognition was given to the Sanchez Ohana for not missing any LACA/Vegas reunion since 1996! Susana Kincaid accepted the gift of aloha for her ohana.

Thanks to all who helped and provided assistance to co-chairs for the event Monica Cockett and Suzanne Damian: Joy Enfield, Jeri Iba, Carol Fujimoto, Randy Piena, Ruth Nakasone, Donna Ching, Rosita Hueu and Joana Hanawahine. A special mahalo to the California Hotel’s catering staff, Kathy Nemoto, David Lebbey and John Reppeti. Photographer was Jeff Whaley.

The night before on September 4, a gathering in the LACA Hospitality Suite at the Cal brought together newcomers: Victorino/Debbie Sabino, Norante/Marilyn Fernandez from Ewa Beach, Cynthia Outhouse from Arizona, and Nita Agaran from California and old timers Linda/Ted Perez, Randy Piena, Karol Sweet, Trudy Duggan, Ruth Nakasone, and others (sorry names are unavailable). Party-goers enjoyed pupus, beverages, and shared their hidden talents as karaoke singers.

Mark your calendar and save October 9, 2010 for the upcoming LACA Las Vegas Connection. Don’t wait until the last minute to mail in your sign up form/payment.

2009 Block/Camp Holiday Bash Acknowledgments

by Rosita Viduya Hueu

Honoring lifetime friendships, Lanaians got together at 1064 Sand Island Parkway, for a neighborhood reunion on December 5th. It was a day for reconnecting with former neighbors, classmates and friends, who came from the neighbor islands and the mainland. LHES past and present faculty members also joined in the festivity. What a delight it was to mingle with Lana’i’s Living Treasures and meet the ohana of businesses and retailers of the plantation period!

A special thank you to:
Robert Kinoshita, president/owner of Kula Sand, LLC for the use of his business lot (HCSR: Honolulu Container Storage and Rental), for setting up the area and providing space for the craft/food vendors and neighborhood tents. The donated roast and kalua pig from Robert and his friend, Mafa, evoked “before time” memories of luaus on Lana’i.

Heartfelt gratitude to Alexandria and Patrick who pitched in and helped Mafa in carving and packaging the succulent pork.
Volunteers and participants who were instrumental in handling the various tasks which resulted in a fun-filled, fellowship event:

  • Snack and dessert donors
  • Craft and food vendors
  • Media Publicity: Alberta deJetley, Joana Varawa
  • Invocations: Myrtle Reponte, Kepa Maly
  • Traffic control: Joe Jamero, Robin Collado
  • Photo Gallery: Sharen Hashimoto
  • Sound Systems: Jay Reponte, John Kauwenaole
  • Photographers: Jerry Whaley, Delaine Ige
  • Map backboard donation: Denton Miyamura
  • Lana’i City Map Display: Reynald Butch Gima
  • Emcees and Commentators: Nelson Tamashiro, Nani Watanabe, Kepa Maly, Colbert Matsumoto
  • Lana’i Reflections: Mary Ellen Nakoa
  • Set-Up: HCSR staff, Kisha Carlos, Kelsea Uyeda, Jacob Hueu, Robert Viduya, Libby Viduya
  • Taste of Lana’i: Donna Ching, Claudia and George Higa, Geraldine Iba, Monica Cockett
  • Lucky Numbers: Kiyomi Kunishige, Ruth Teraoka, Helen Takenouchi, Hattie Higa Lucky Number Donors
  • Robert Garcia’s Escrima Students
  • Name Tags: Charlotte Holsomback

Robert Kinoshita, Lana’i Invitational Golfers and Nona Minami for the most welcome and generous monetary donations for the LACA Hawaii operational expenses.

Aloha Liaison: Gail Tamashiro, Hatsue Higa

Song Leaders: Maggie Luczon, Irene Seawright, Monica Cockett, Nani Watanabe

Comedian: Mel Cabang

Musicians: H3, John Kauwenaole, Bock 35: John Tanodra, Ale Arao, Lui Obado, Val Tanodra, Nani Watanabe, Jay Reponte

Dances – Hula, Paranku, Filipino: Rufina Kula, Katy Murayama, Gwen Macion, Lucy Lumanlan, Luella Lum, Geri Hatada, Vicki Hanby, Priscilla Ambrosio, Charlie Sakanoi, Arlene Aranita, Teresa Dias

Gloria Obado Reyes served as Block 35 coordinator and enthusiastically contacted former residents of Block 35. They wore camp tee shirts, sold merchandise and set up a bulletin board posted with correspondences from former neighbors who couldn’t be at the event. Block 35 revelers who set up the tent and assisted in selling kalua pork bentos with the proceeds earmarked for LACA’s operational fund included: Douglas/Priscilla Obado, Lui Obado, Donna Ching, Bill/Laraine Avery, Marge Asato, John/Bev Tanodra, and Jim Cummings. The kanikapila portion did not materialize and attendees missed out on the keyboard performance and singing of Henry Dulan. Our apologies to Henry for the inconvenience he incurred.

The Lana’i spirit of aloha prevailed from tent to tent. There were hugs and kisses galore and an abundance of flashbacks to the past. Two catalysts present whose goals are to perpetuate the legacies of our ancestors through oral history interviews were Kepa Maly, Executive Director of the Lana’i Culture and Heritage Center and Colbert Matsumoto, CEO of Island Insurance Company and an attorney.

To each of you, thanks for the Kodak moments and in making more memories. An attendee’s departing comment was: “If you gonna do this again next year, I coming back. Wuz good fun!”

Visit the LACA Photo Gallery to see more photos from this great event!

“Stable Camp” Honda

by Bessie Honda Kiyota, class of 1951

There were three Honda families in Lana’i City, all unrelated. Our family was known as the “Stable Camp” Honda with seven boys and three girls. Two boys were nicknamed Rusty and the other two were nicknamed Rocky.

My father, Ishimatsu Honda, arrived in Hawaii from Hiroshima, Japan in December, 1906. He settled in Kukuihaele, a small town on the Big Island. He got married and ten years later with mom and five children they moved to Honolulu. After living six years on Oahu and with an additional child, the family left for Lana’i in 1927. My other three siblings and I were born on Lana’i.

We lived in Block 19 better known as Stable Camp. I remember, so well, the families I grew up with: the Sorida’s, who were our neighbors for so many years; the Caluya clan which included the Viduya’s, Garalde’s, and Dalde’s, also the Osako, Kaya, Akahoshi, Sakamura, Hayashida and Hashimoto families. Having come from humble beginnings, we, the younger Honda siblings, are grateful to our older brothers and sisters who worked so hard to help us pursue our career goals. They motivated and inspired us to value education and trust “where there is a will there is a way.

Five of us had the opportunity to go to college. Nobuo, Earl and I became teachers. Yukio was a lawyer in Los Angeles, and Long Beach in California. Fred worked as a recreation director in Los Angeles.

Today there are only four of us left. My sister, Alice Nobui who is 92 years old, still has her home on Lana’i. Yukio is retired and lives in California. Earl (Rocky) and I are now retired and reside in Pearl City.