2017 Hakalau School and Community Reunion in Las Vegas
Photos and video courtesy of Valerie Poindexter, Hawaii County Council Chair and Hakalau's Representative (District 1)
Former Hakalau Up Camp resident, Ken Shimabukuro, reports:
Recognizing the Reunion Committee
It took a lot of work by the Las Vegas Reunion Committee. The great thing about Hakalau people is the spirit of helping each other. Have had a lot of comments on how the committee is like a professional organization. The committee was composed of Max Cadabona, Toby and Dave Fusato, Ruby Yoshizumi Iwamoto, Calvin Motoda, Ed Toguchi, Robert Yamada, Robert and Norma Goto Yara and myself. The great thing is that we all come from different camps and were not classmates except for a couple of people. I can't say enough about how the Hakalau people just have that Spirit of Kokua.
Overview of the Reunion
The 2017 Hakalau School and Community Reunion was held on Sept 12 – 14 at the California Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. This year’s reunion saw a lot of returning attendees as well first-time attendees. Also in attendance were numerous members of the younger generation. There was a lot of reminiscing of “Hakalau Days of old” and lots of “talk story time” with long-lost friends in the hospitality suites and during the banquet. The reunion really showed the Hakalau Ohana spirit is strong and full of life. There were numerous Hakalau family reunions that took place during the event as well.
About 150 Hakalauans, spouses, children, relatives and friends attended the 3-day event at the California Hotel and Casino. As in the past reunions we had attendees from all corners of the country. Even Hurricane Irma did not deter those from Florida and Georgia from attending. This year we were surprised by two guests who represent Hakalau from the past and Hakalau today; former teacher Joe Kuroda who taught at Hakalau School for one semester in 1953 and Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter who currently represents the Hamakua district today. Both of these people were impromptu attendees who heard about the reunion while in Vegas and wanted join in the reunion.
In attendance were people from all the different camps and surrounding communities that make up the “Greater Hakalau” community. Former residents of Honomu, Wailea, Hakalau Up Camp, Hakalau Down Camp, Chin Chuck, Chin Chuck Mauka, Kamae, Kamae Mauka, Sugimoto Camp, Umauma and Honohina were in attendance.
The first two days were spent in the hospitality suites so people could spend time catching up on old times or making new connections. The food and memorabilia were like the catalyst for many a conversation and connection among the attendees who ranged from the different generations and camps. There were first time attendees who were born in Hakalau and moved away at early ages, but felt the pull of the Hakalau spirit to attend and find their true roots. The third day was devoted to a banquet with good food and a full program including entertainment, provided by various Hakalau members, drawings of door prizes and ended by everyone singing Hawaii Aloha/Aloha Oe.
Mahalo to the attendees and all the people who helped make the reunion a success! It really showed the true Hakalau Ohana and spirit!
1st Row: Rita (Barcena) Alcosiba, Lynn (Fukushima) Sekiya, Betty (Miyatake) Katzmann, Kay (Kunimitsu) Firebaugh, Sumie (Yamasaka) Fairburn, Fumiko (Hamada) Nishimura
2nd Row: Mabel (Miyamoto) Momohara, Kazuko (Ogawa) Hamada, Cindy (Barcena) Baring, Mildred (Barcena) Kiyan, Sally (Otake) Sullivan, Sandra (Shimabukuro) Yamada, Francis Oshiro, Curtis Ochiai
3rd Row: Edward Murai, Kazumi Hamada, Dennis Nishiyama, Eugene Capellas, Jose Barcena, Sadao Ogawa, Hideo Hamada
Lynn Betty, and Kay are from Honomu and attended Hakalau School
Missing: Keith Ouye
1st Row: Barbara (Endo) Miyose, Lois (Shimabukuro) Parks, Diane (Woo) SooHoo, Saranne (Leong) Chandler
2nd Row: Ken Shimabukuro, Thomas Kawamoto, Richard Hirai
Missing: Genevieve (Paiva) Nishi
1st Row: Marylou (Santiago) Abregano, Wilfred Morikawa, Ruby (Yoshizumi) Iwamoto, Josephine (Mamhot) Yokoyama, Elizabeth (Salcur) Miller, Priscilla (Medeiros) Nuevo
2nd Row: Arthur Ortiz, Michael Ortiz, Diane (Kimura) Machida, Herbert Yoshida, Tomiko (Kimura) Almeida, George Kunihiro, Trudie (Shimizu) Nakamura, Calvin Motoda, Gary Morishita
1st Row: Carrol (Goto) Tokuda, Glenn Yabiku, Hiroshi Arakaki, Yeiko Arakaki
2nd Row: Arlene (Goto) Yonamine, Amy Arakaki, Norma (Goto) Yara
3rd Row: Ted Toguchi, Shigeru Teruya, Ed Toguchi, Robert Yara
Missing: Richard Fujimori
Kamaee, Kamaee Mauka, Honohina
1st Row: Peggy (Kitagawa) Yoshizumi, Bob Yamada, Max Cadabona, Lillian (Kitagawa) Sakae, Nellie Simeon, Ted Inoue
2nd Row: Henry Oshiro, Elmer Yada, Buster Uyejo, Richard Oshiro, Maria (Simeon) Kunihiro, Bobby Oshiro, Leonardo Simeon, Ken Sakae
Chin Chuck Mauka
1st Row: Lillian (Oshiro) Nakasone, Audrey (Shimabukuro) Noahr, Elaine (Arakaki) Gushiken, Betty (Arakaki) Taira, Nancy (Kaneshiro) Capellas, Jane (Hiyane) Nako
2nd Row: Ralph Morita, Reggie Morita, David Fusato, Janet (Shimabukuro) Maesaka, Joanne (Uehara) Toyama, Violet (Tsuchiyama) Yoshimura, Robert Kaneshiro, Van Alan Fusato