August 2013 Lanai Connection

The August 2013 issue of The Lana’i Connection is online! Click to download the August 2013 for the 20-page newsletter to view online or print.

Also, don’t forget to download the sign-up sheets:

IMPORTANT: Forms and payment must be received by September 12, 2013.

If you’re not already a LACA e-Subscriber, sign up today! e-Subscribers help us save the cost of printing and postage — and you receive a notification in your e-mail when the newsletter is available online for viewing/printing. Get the newsletter before your classmates who are receiving the newsletter by postal mail!

Once-in-a-Lifetime EPIC Celebration on Lana’i

By: Juan Degamo

The Lana’i High School (LHS) 75th Anniversary Celebration held on Lana’i July 5-7 on is now looked upon as being the LARGEST gathering of LHS alumni EVER anywhere. Nearly 500 alumni from more than 35 classes representing SIX generations of LHS alumni classes of the 1940’s to the present.

The events for this once-in-a-lifetime celebration began with the opening of the 1988 LHS 50th Anniversary Celebration time capsule on Saturday July 5th on the school campus. A crowd of nearly over 100 alumni gathered near the outdoor stage to witness the opening of the time capsule. Prior to the opening an informal program took place with LHS Athletic Director and LHS alumnus class of ’90, Roderick “Sumi” Sumagit welcomed everyone back “home” to Lana’i. Present were alumni who graduated in the 1940’s and on to the present. Before the actual opening of the time capsule, LHS Principal (Ret.) Pierce Myers was introduced to say a few words. The time capsule was then opened. The heavy concrete lid was pushed aside. And out from chambers of the time capsule were half a dozen sealed PVC tubes all containing items that were “buried” 25 years prior in 1988. After the ceremony many remained to reunite and talk story.

That afternoon the items were taken out from the PVC tubes and were then put on display in the school cafeteria for alumni and the general public to view. What an experience it was to view and see these items that did not see the light of day for 25 long years! Items put on display were letters written by elementary students (now alumni themselves), hundreds of pictures, as well as all sorts of nick-knacks and trinkets. Also on display in the cafeteria were Memory Boards put together by participating alumni classes sharing pictures and memorabilia of their school days at LHES. A program to officially kick off the LHS 75th Anniversary Celebration weekend took place with guest speakers such as recently retired LHS Principal, Mr. Pierce Myers, former LACA President and original LACA board member during the presidency of Mr. Tommy Nunotani, Rosita Viduya-Hueu, 2012-13 Associated Students of Lana’i High (ASLH) Student Body President, Megan Amby, former LHS Principal (Ret.) Mr. Howard Sakamoto, and 2013-14 ASLH Student Body President, Tyler Pascua. In between speakers a performance was put on by Mr. Matt Glickstein and his elementary school student members of the Lana’i Academy of Performing Arts. Also at this event alumni registration and check in took place. Containers were issued to classes who wish to participate in the 2013 Time Capsule scheduled to be buried by the end of the 2013. And this time capsule is scheduled to be opened in 2038 for the LHS Centennial (100th) Anniversary.

Later that same evening at the bowling alley the annual LHS Alumni Throwback Dance Party V took place. This event was first held in 2009 as a way for the LHS class of ’77 to celebrate turning the “Big 5-0”. The following year the class of ’78 followed suit. In 2011 however, the event was renamed as the LHS Alumni Throwback Dance Party now held annually on the Friday before the Pineapple Festival. Year after year since 2010 this event has grown to epic proportions with scores of alumni coming home to hold their class reunions during this weekend which is now known as the Pineapple Festival/LHS Alumni Reunion Weekend. And what better time to come home and be amongst scores of other LHS alumni than during the Pineapple Festival. The evening started with a pot luck dinner traditionally “hosted” by the class who’s turning the “Big 5-0”. And this year’s class was the class of ’81. Live music was provided by reunited members of school rock bands of the 60’s and 70’s. It was quite a night to remember as SIX generations of LHS alumni were reunited all under one roof.

The next morning excitement filled the air around the town square as preparations were underway in Dole Park for the annual Pineapple Festival. Meanwhile however, down at the school parking lot were LHS alumni and their classes all gathering and readying themselves for the LHS 75th Anniversary Celebration Parade of Classes. Although the majority of the participating classes chose to PROUDLY walk the parade route holding a class banner, there were a few classes that took it to another level with floats, pickup trucks, Hummers and golf carts. All decorated with school and class PRIDE. Participating classes were the class of ’59, ’63, ’73, ’64, ’61, ’67, ’82, ’78, ’74, ’79, ’72, ’70, ’80, ’75, ’84, ’76, 2010, ’77, ’85, 2003, ’97, ’83, ’90, ’86, ’89, ’87, ’81, ’88, ’68, ’93, and ’96. As the last class was given the signal to head out onto the parade route down Fraser Ave., Grand Marshal, LHS Principal (Ret.) Pierce Myers and Mrs. Jessie Figuerres-Myers (class of ’75 alumnus) were already returning back to the school parking lot. Therefore, at that on moment, the parade encircled the ENTIRE parade route going down Fraser Avenue, 8th Street, Lana’i Avenue, and 7th Street. Throughout the parade classes proudly shouted out cheers and yells from their days at LHS. As the last class returned back to the school parking lot, Grand Marshal, Pierce Myers called everyone to gather closer in the middle of the parking lot. There he summoned all LHS alumni cheerleaders to lead everyone in the singing of the Lana’i High School alma mater. Mr. Myers gave class of ’63 alumnus cheerleader, Royalene “Mamo” Aiona-Fernandez the honor to sing the opening notes. “Lana’i High…” For many, they haven’t sung the alma mater since their high school graduation. But once the song started, it was all like being in high school once again. Everyone sang with gusto and pride! Just as we all did in high school. Throughout the song the parking lot was a SEA of alumni. It was a chicken skin moment I am sure no one will soon forget for a long time to come.

After the parade classes went over to Dole Park to put up a tent and their class banner to “kapu” a spot for their class to sit and relax during the annual Pineapple Festival later that afternoon. During the first 3 hours of the festival (3:00-6:00pm), festival organizers gave the LHS 75th Anniversary Celebration the opportunity for alumni to share their talents and provide the entertainment to festival goers. Pulama Lana’i’s Chief Operating Officer, and LHS alumnus (class of ’75), Kurt Matsumoto also said a few words at the kick off of the festival. 6:00-9:00pm featured the headliner entertainment of the festival. The festival ended with a spectacular fireworks display that Lana’i has ever seen from Pulama Lana’i.

All in all this weekend was indeed a weekend to remember for a long time to come. It was such a good feeling to see SIX generations of LHS alumni come together sharing one common bond of being PROUD alumni of Lana’i High School. Alumni from as far back as the 1940’s came home to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime celebration. For one alumni who graduated in the 1940’s, the use of a walker did not stop from making the trip home to be part of the celebration. And it was all due to the social media of Facebook that this EPIC event and celebration took place. Even for people who did not have Facebook. All it took was reaching out via a few email addresses and the rest is history. All 500 alumni from more than 35 classes representing SIX generations. So until next time, see you in 2018 for the LHS 80th Anniversary Celebration.

Unearth of Time Capsule

004 - Time capsule picBy Jaime Dugay

The chairman of the 75th Anniversary was Juan Degamo and it was a huge success. None of our Class of 52 turned out. It seems like they’re saving their money for Vegas LACA in October.

The opening of the 25 year capsule was well attended. The contents were displayed in the school cafeteria. There was a good turnout for the parade, where possibly 22 classes participated. Lots of people turned out to watch the parade which was delayed for the tail end to pass. Lots of food, music and dancing were had at the pot luck in the bowling alley. At the Pineapple Festival held from 3 to 9 on Saturday, there was a good turnout. A fireworks display concluded the event. Gatherings for class reunions and families continued at Manele on Sunday.

Families Converge For The 4th Caluya Reunion in Las Vegas

by Irene Dalde Seawright

Caluya - Simply Ohana

As folks began to gather in the Maile Banquet room for lunch at the California Hotel on Saturday June 29 for the 4th Caluya reunion, people noticed that the nearly 100 participants were dressed in a black t-shirt with “Simply Ohana” written on it.

This was a gala occasion that the Caluya families, who originated from the island of Lanai, faithfully come together every five years.

The original Caluya family was Manuel and Ambrosia Caluya.  Their children consists of the following:  Benny and Carmen Caluya and ten children, Liberato and Loreta (Caluya) Viduya and four children, Anastacio and Trinidad (Caluya) Dalde and five children, Melicio and Flora (Caluya-Narito) Garalde and nine children, Frederico and Evelyn Caluya and eight children, and Alfredo and Caroline Caluya & four children. The third generation left the island of Lanai between 1955 thru 1985 after they graduated from Lanai High and Elementary School seeking higher education and/or jobs and settled on Oahu and Southern California. After the parents (or second generation) retired from the Lanai Pineapple Company, they joined their adult children and family wherever they chose to be “transplanted.”

Pre-celebration was hosted by Ben and Lei Dalde as folks gathered in their room for hospitality enjoying snacks, music and singing on Friday night.  It was a nice relaxing atmosphere especially for those who spent 4-5 hours driving to Vegas.  The next morning, the group met down stairs at the Main Street hotel to enjoy two sessions of slot tournament.  Everyone had a great time, especially the winners, Franklin Baptiste and Duane Dalde.

The luncheon began with a candlelight ceremony as the deceased family members were memorialized, followed by the passing of the lit candle from the oldest to the youngest of each family.  For the Benny Caluya family, Carol Caluya Voss passed the candle to Mason Caluya, 2 ½ year old, for the Trinidad (Caluya) Dalde family, Irene Dalde Seawright passed the candle to Kassia Lelua Alapag, 8 months old, and for the Flora (Caluya) Garalde-Narito family, Jane Garalde Primicias passed the candle to her granddaughter Giselle Primicias, age 2. Irene is the eldest at age 72 and Kassia Lelua the youngest at age 8 months.

Entertainment was provided by the “Chicken Hekka Band”, comprising of Glenn Alapag, Joice Dalde Alapag, Jane Garalde Primicias, Ben Dalde, and Franklin Narito.  The guests were pleasantly surprised by Anthony and Gabriel Voss, 12-year-old twin sons of Michael and Taniaz Voss as they demonstrated their multi-talents of playing the guitar and ukulele and singing.  They were also joined by their mother Taniaz and their Aunt Michelle Voss and grandmother Carol Voss.  Other guest entertainers were Kuuleialoha Tipon, Sonny Dalde and Punahele Dalde.  A fun-filled afternoon of music, songs, jokes, games and group singing was enjoyed by all.

The 5th Caluya Family reunion is scheduled for 2018.

Celebrating Juanita Tolero’s 88th Birthday – LHS Class of 1945

by: Bill Avery

 Does anyone know these Lanaian’s in this photo?


They are from left to right:
Abigail (Abby) Tolero, class of 1953, Angie Perez, class of 1960, Juanita Tolero, class of 1945, and Laraine Saranillio Avery, class of 1959.


This photo was taken at the Mililani Golf Course celebrating Juanita’s 88th birthday. Juanita grew up on Lana’i, and is also Angie and Laraine’s God Mother. When you get these four together you need an interpreter and a referee. I have learned descriptive words from them in two languages. Some of the things they say make my face turn red and my legs shake especially on the subject of sex! I have suggested therapy to them, but they say I’m the one who needs it. Why would they say that?

Laraine & I recently celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary. She scared the heck out of me when I caught her staring at our marriage certificate. When I asked her if there was a problem, she calmly answered, “I’m looking to see if there is an expiration date to this.”

What da heck was she thinking!!!


Ben Dalde has a Platinum Arm…and is one lucky bugga!


Ben and Lei Dalde @ The California Hotel.

 At the California Hotel & Casino, a craps player is designated a “Golden Arm” if they roll the dice for at least one hour.  It’s an elite membership as there are only about 4-6 new members added each year.

Our own Ben Dalde (Class of ’63) has earned that designation not once, but twice!  That makes him a PLATINUM Arm.  The first time was on July 4, 2004 when he rolled for 1 hour and 14 minutes.  The second occurred on April 30, 2006 when his roll lasted 1 hour and 17 minutes.  Can you say lucky?!

Every year the California Hotel hosts a Golden Arm Reunion and Banquet for the members in conjunction with a Craps Tournament in Las Vegas that’s open to the public.  This year it was held on the last weekend of April.  Anyone who qualifies with long rolls over the weekend gets to play in the tournament on the last day.

And guess what?  Uncle Ben was the lucky overall winner!!!  Congratulations … now what comes after platinum?


Welcome Home All the Way from Florida – Alec Garalde

By Jane Sakamura Nakamura c/o 1951

Welcome Home, Alec Galarde
L to R. Back: Alec Garalde, Domingo “Tommy” Allas, Stanley Ajirogi, Bessie Honda Kiyota. Front: Eric Ozoa, Vincent Ozoa, Jane Sakamura Nakamura, Paul Matsui, and Charles Kwan. Photographer: Sally Ajirogi

On Sunday, July 14, 2013, eight members of Lanai High’s Class of 1951 had lunch at the Pearl City Gyotaku Restaurant.  We made hasty arrangements to meet when Alec Garalde contacted us.  He had flown about 5,000 miles from Florida to visit family and relatives in Hawaii as well as attend the 75th Anniversary of Lanai High and Elementary School and the Pineapple Festival.  Joining Alec at Gyotaku were Stanley Ajirogi with his wife Sally, Domingo “Tommy” Allas, Bessie Honda Kiyota, Charles Kwan, Paul Matsui, Jane Sakamura Nakamura, Vincent Ozoa and his son, Eric of Everett, Washington.  (Eric picked up his wheelchair-dependent father Vincent  from the Hale Nani Rehabilitation Center where he was receiving therapy.)  As usual we enjoyed reminiscing with each other. 

CLASS OF 1952 at The Willows

by Hattie Higa

Class of 1952

On May 14, the Class of 1952 met for a buffet lunch at the delightful Willows Restaurant.  We had a nice private table reserved for us in the tropical setting. It was a great buffet with prime rib, Hawaiian food and many other delectable dishes.

Present were: Suzie Pascua Damien, Mildred Esclito Barona, Richard Miyazaki, Ruth (Hideki) Nakasone, Randy Piena, David Funada, Ruth Matsui Teraoka, Kiyomi Akahoshi Kunishige and myself.  It was good to see Randy and Mildred join our class luncheon as it has been awhile since they have been able to attend.  It was especially important for David to be with us.  After all he was our guest of honor!

I thought David was really enjoying the food when he got up for the third time.  HE FOOLED ME! He went to pay the bill!


Also, mahalo to Millie Esclito Barona who is still cooking. She became a cafeteria manager in Molokai.  She brought us gifts of shredded mango and two kinds of jellies.  Many thanks to Suzie and Richard M for rounding up Randy. I had not seen him in a long time.  Thank you Helen for making the reservations, although she couldn’t come at the last minute.  See you all at the next class event!

Class of 1959

By Apolonia “Apol” (Agonoy) Stice c/o 1959

From L to R: “Thor” Timbreza (Class ’57), Jojo (Endrina) Timbreza,Hilton Lui, Marge (Morita) Asato, Lucena ( Magoay) Ramirez, Apol (Agonoy) Stice, Pedring Dugay
From L to R: “Thor” Timbreza (Class ’57), Jojo (Endrina) Timbreza,Hilton Lui, Marge (Morita) Asato, Lucena ( Magoay) Ramirez, Apol (Agonoy) Stice, Pedring Dugay

At this year’s 75th Anniversary of Lanai High School, the class of 1959 was well represented by Janet Anbe Otani, Pedring Dugay, Joanna Endrina Timbreza,  Hilton Lui, Marjorie Morita Asato,  Leatrice Nobui Suzuki, Roy Okamoto, Richard Sabino, Harry Yamatsuka, and Apolonia Agonoy Stice.  As Juan Degamo stated on the social media we were the only ‘50s class marching in the parade around Dole Park.  Our class theme was “We Remember” in which we honored and remembered our 11 classmates who have passed away.  Many of the spectators expressed their sentiments that we had 8×10 photo/posters of our dear friends.  It was a touching moment that we recalled Asuncion Bertomen Nakooka, Pearl Fuchigami, Katherine Higa Uchino, Randolph Iona, June Joyce Jamero Babayan, Harry Lee, Ruth Morimoto Pang, Ted Nakafuji,  Gloria Jean Trugillo Fortuna, Edward Yara, and Jean Yokoyama.  (At the 100th Anniversary we will honor the classmate(s) who will be present!)

Several gatherings were held during the week.  Lea hosted an evening at her home, Apol prepared a luncheon after the parade at her home and on Sunday the  classmates and their spouses enjoyed a farewell brunch at the Manele Golf Clubhouse.

Many memories and laughter were shared during these brief days on Lanai.  We had hope for more classmates to join us but all who couldn’t attend were with us in spirit.Class of 1959