February 2019 Newsletter

Download the full PDF of the February 2019 Newsletter by clicking here. (2019 LACA Las Vegas Luncheon sign-up form is included on the last page of the newsletter.)

The Lana’i Connection is published twice a year to inform members of the purposes of the Lana’i Alumni and Community Association (LACA).

Articles and photos may be submitted by no later than a month prior to publication via email to info@lanaiconnection.com  or via mail at LACA, P.O. Box 515, Pearl City, Hawaii  96782.  We reserve the right to edit and or accept any article before publication.

Editor:                Coochie Tanodra Cayan

Copyreader:       Monica Cockett

Designer/Webmaster:   Donna Shiroma Nakasue

LACA MEMBERSHIP is only $10.00 for your lifetime.  Membership is open to all alumni, residents and community supporters.  Email for more info and how to apply for membership info@lanaiconnection.com or go to website lanaiconnection.com/blog.

The LACA Scholarship Fund are sent by the board of directors to Lanai High School for the yearly awards.  All donations at this time to the LACA are not tax deductible.  The LACA is working towards a non-profit status to assure your donations may be tax deductible in the future.  LACA scholarships are awarded at the annual LHES Awards Assembly in May by board representatives.  Your checks should indicate it is for the LHES scholarship fund.  Mahalo nui loa for your consideration!

HOW TO CONTACT LACA BOARD OF DIRECTORS:  You may write to the LACA at P.O.Box 515, Pearl City, HI  96782 or via email at info@lanaiconnection.com


Co-chairman:  Monica Cockett and Coochie Tanodra Cayan

Treasurer:       Ruth Nakasone

Secretary:       Coochie Cayan

Directors:      Marge Asato, Susanne Damian, Marilyn Fernandez, Norante Fernandez, Bruno Oroyan, Linda Degamo (Lana’i), Suzanna Kincaid (Lana’i), Bill Ruidas (Maui Connection).

23rd LACA – Las Vegas Connection Scholarship Luncheon celebrates “Lana’i – Pleasant Memories Ne’er Forgotten”

by Coochie Cayan

The 23rd annual LACA Las Vegas Connection Scholarship Luncheon convened on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at the newly renovated ‘Ohana Room (California Hotel) with smiling Lanaians and friends.  A Hawaiian “Oli Aloha” (welcome chant) was offered by Coochie Tanodra Cayan (LACA board secretary) and an Invocation read by Ruth Nakasone (LACA board treasurer) to welcome everyone. A moment of silence was observed to honor all LACA and Lanai folks who have ua hala recently.

This year’s LACA Scholarships were awarded in May, 2018 to two deserving seniors – Leslie Nabor for the $1,500 Thomas Roy Nunotani Scholarship, and to Christopher Tan for the $1,000 Suzanne Damian Pascua Scholarship.  Congratulations to both of you!

An excellent buffet lunch was enjoyed by everyone as the Kevin Brown Trio played authentic Hawaiian music.  The program began with recognition of Na Kupuna and their longevity with the LACA board activities which included Ruth Nakasone, Sue Damian, and Juan “Johnny” Tanodra.  Both Sue and Johnny were on the original “Lanai Connection” planning committee 23 years ago!  

Folks were asked to share their “pleasant memories” of living on Lana’i.  Garek Gaboya shared his mother was Tina and his grandmother was Ursula Saloricman.  At a recent family reunion, he looked for the old house, took pictures and recalled growing up at his grandma’s home on Block 46.  

Rose Anbe recalled respecting all our elders.  She grew up on Block 21 near the Nobui’s, the Morita’s, the Hirayama’s and other families.  Rose saw Victor “Thor” Timbreza at another table and noted he was a classmate too.  LACA thanks Rose for volunteering to take photos at the luncheon.  

Nora Miranda shared growing up on Block 35 meant we were near the community Rubbish Pile and that is where us kids would rummage for bike parts and other “treasures.”  She misses Lana’i with the long ago pineapple fields, but does not miss the pineapple bugs that went into your clothes and nose!  Her uncle, Juan “Johnny” Tanodra added that Block 35 had a lot of musicians.  In his day, there was a lot of events at the Social Hall where they all played music and enjoyed the party too.

David Gaboya, brother of Garek, remembered the pineapple fields and working there in his youth.  He said the #1 fields were fun working in the summer and visiting his grandmother.

Jojo Endrina Timbreza shared her wedding day blues at the Sacred Hearts Church.  After the wedding ceremony, everyone headed to Pu’u Pehe (Sweetheart Island) at Hulopoe Beach for the last blessing.  Jojo and Thor waited in front of the church for their ride, but Aue! everyone had left.  Luckily, Dolpho Sanchez was driving by and stopped to ask them if they needed a ride!  They made it to Sweetheart Island and received the last blessing for their wedding vows!

Doris Anbe shared how they enjoyed the flower gardens of Lana’i especially the beautiful Ito garden with so many flowers.  Her son really loves Lana’i, and so she helped them plan their memorable wedding and dinner at the Koele Lodge.  Doris and her family continues to visit Lana’i and enjoys catching the ferry to Maui too.

Meanwhile, the raffles and silent auction was busy with tickets and bids.  This year’s most sought after raffle were a Tahitian black pearl necklace valued at $1,500; a single black Tahitian pearl necklace valued at more than $500; and five sunrise shell necklaces also valued at more than $200 each.  These beautiful pieces were donated by LACA supporter Herman Helemano Lee, Hawaiian artist.  Lucky Donna Lloyd, wife of Ted Lloyd (Tanodra ‘Ohana) won the Tahitian black pearl necklace and Sue Damian won the single Tahitian black pearl necklace.  The sunrise shell necklaces were won by the mother-daughter team of Joy Jacobs and Stacie Nefalar.  Other raffle items included a handmade ukulele (to Doris Anbe) and a wall clock by Pedring Dugay, two pineapple design clocks (Monica Cockett and Stacie Neffaler) by Ricky Tamashiro, and a Lana’i Playhouse print (to Jason Gaboya).  The California Hotel $100 dinner certificate was won by Thor Timbreza and the five-day California Hotel certificate won by Sharon Gaboya.  All Silent Auction items were settled with the winning bidders.  All proceeds from the raffles and Silent Auction goes towards the LACA Scholarship Fund to Lana’i High School who awards two deserving seniors yearly.  Donations are gratefully accepted throughout the year, too.

The exciting surprise of the luncheon was the appearance of Vacation Hawaii’s media crew, Kevin Kaneshiro to interview LACA folks on the 23rd year celebration.  Unbeknownst to all, the Hawaii News Now newscasters, Steve Uyehara and Grace Lee were the interviewers and video-taped the excited Lanaians and guests.  Most of the attendees posed for photos with Steve and Grace to share on social media immediately.  The Hawaii News Now team especially wanted to tape the group singing the alma mater.  Everyone gathered around Na Kupuna and sang their hearts out!!!  It was quite joyous and the news team had fun talking story with folks and were appreciative of the leis and makana (gifts) presented to them.  What a superb ending to the 23rd scholarship reunion!

LACA looks forward to the 2019 scholarship luncheon and seeing you and your ohana and classmates there!  Come and join in the festivities!


Naha ke kanaka, ka hale o ke aloha.
Broken is man, the house of love.
One is grieved by the death of a beloved.

(‘Olelo Noeau 2210)

Everett Cabanilla
Alfred Lopez, Sr.
Naleihua Iona O’Neal
Mildred Sakaue
Kikue Shigematsu
Molly Sakamoto
Yoshi Sakuma

Lana’i Alumni News

  • The Class of 1958 gathered in September at the Main Street Hotel, Las Vegas to talk story, share a meal and recall Lana’i High memories. Classmates in attendance were Monica Cockett, Carol Ann Fujimoto Tsumura, Jeri Hiroyama Iba, Enigdio Jamero, Leroy Cabanilla, Irene Dalde Seawright, and Jerry Seawright.  Laughter and memories abounded as the classmates reminisced about the good old days and some kolohe times!
  • The Class of 1961 remembers their late classmate, Delores Darlene Cole Lanai (1943-2016) who lived on Lana’i for her Sophomore year with her grandparents, Rev. and Mrs. Tuttle. Darlene so loved Lana’i; she legally added it to her last name.
  • The Class of 1968 celebrated their 50th reunion on Lana’i with much talk story time, a golf tourney, a trek to Hulopo’e and several bountiful pot luck meals.  Folks travelled from New Mexico, California, Oregon and Hawaii nei.  The typical wintry rains of Lana’i appeared but did not dampen the high spirits of the CO’68. 
  • The Class of 1969 met on November 11th to plan their 50th class reunion for the latter part of 2019.  Classmates Bruce Matsuura, Wade and Bernie Tamashiro, Wayne Tamashiro, Sharon Hashimoto, and Coochie Cayan convened at the 99 Ranch to discuss possible venues, dates and places.  A survey of classmates via email and calls resulted in a probable reunion at the 2019 LACA event with a close second for meeting on Lana’i the weekend of the Pineapple Fest.  More information will be sent to all CO69-ers.
  • The Classes of 1969, 1970 and 1971 convened on November 17th at the Zippy’s Vineyard for an early breakfast and talk story session.  Early birds included Winona Masutani, Ray Tamashiro, Deborah Lee Eharis, Jo Ann Young, Joe Pat Au, Dorinda “Pinky” Blanko, Ricky Oyama, Coochie Cayan, Theron Fujie, Elaine Yamaguchi, Ricky Tamashiro.  These informal quarterly breakfasts convene to continue the Lana’i spirit of fellowship and remembering good fun memories.  Also, mahalo for the donations to the LACA Scholarship Fund from Ricky, Dot and Jo Ann.  Next breakfast fellowship in early 2019
  • Remember the Pinelads beat Punahou in 1956 (see LACA e-news, November 2017) in a memorable basketball game? One of the players, Dr. Ismael Naanep, is a retired physician in Des Moines, Iowa and his granddaughter, Cari Naanep is a notable athlete like her grandfather.  Cari won the 2018 Iowa Girls Tennis Tournament in Iowa City, and will be inducted into her school, Johnston High Hall of Fame.  Dr. Naanep was in the last immigrants of Filipinos in 1946 to join their families to work in Hawaii’s plantations. 

Lanai one team updates

by Coop DeRenne

The Lanai One Team group is moving on the final design for the building of a new batting cage/ field house for the high school baseball games. The following have provided much needed kokua:

  1. Shane Victorino and his foundation, through his right hand lady, Kari Uyehara, have provided expertise to our project. Thanks Shane and Kari!
  2. Architect, Charlie Palumbo, Pulama Lanai, has finalized our design and will see the project through its completion. Thanks Charlie!
  3. Lanai Community Association (LCA) has graciously allowed our Lanai One Team organization to be the “holding tank” for our donations. Thus, beginning today, if you want to make a tax write-off donation, please send to the following account: Lanai One Team Account, attn: Kay Okimoto, Lanai Community Association, P.O. Box 630763, Lanai City, HI 96763.
  4. Les Tamashiro will spearhead our major Honolulu fundraiser early in 2019 with details to be announced. Again, thanks to you all! God Bless!
  5. For details on the final design, please email Coop DeRenne at coop@hawaii.edu.

The Lanai One Team has 43 sport-community members within our consortium that we started two years ago. Thank you all for your support, prayers, and friendship. This is the update from this past December I asked you all to pray for our mini-transportation crisis on Lanai with our athletic teams. Since Dollar Rental Car went out of business, we had no way to transport our student-athletes tothe airport and harbor.

Then God showed up! After much prayer and numerous phone calls leading to dead ends, on behalf of our school principal, Elton Kinoshita, and athletic director, Sumi, I was able to reach D.O.E.’s Maui County Director of Transportation, Robert Joseph. He led me to Hana School’s principal, Rick Paul and his Director of Transportation, Wailani “Lani” Nakooka, who both blessed us with a super used 14- passenger school bus. In addition, they will donate another bus to us this spring. Furthermore, Shane and Mike Victorino Jr., blessed us with a shipping waiver for the transportation fee. God orchestrated this bus transfer through wonderful people. That is how God works! We on Lanai thank you all for your support and prayers. God bless you all! With aloha, Coop.