2019 Hakalau School and Community Reunion in Las Vegas!
Click below for information, presentations and photos from previous reunions:
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A fun-filled time with friends and families who attended Hakalau School and who live or lived in the Hakalau Plantation Community... Reunions are held each year, often in Las Vegas! About every other year, the reunions take place in Hilo and Hakalau.
Left: Former residents of Honomu and Wailea posing at the 2019 Reunion in Las Vegas.
All photos courtesy of Jeff Whaley.
Hakalau Down Camp 1st Row, left to right: Ruby (Yoshizumi) Iwamoto, Tomiko (Kimura) Almeida, Josephine (Mamhot) Yokoyama, Arlene (Andagan) Waugh, Conchita (Bungula) Cadiz, Betty (Tabata) Castro 2nd Row: Arthur Ortiz, Calvin Motoda, Michael Ortiz, Theodore Kenji Kimura, Chad Andagan, Monica (Andagan) Lyman, V Jody Andagan, Jerry Rabago
Ken Shimabukuruo sent his report on the most recent reunion:
The 2019 Hakalau School and Community Reunion was held on Sept 23 - 25 at the California Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. As in the past, this year’s reunion saw a lot of returning attendees as well first-time attendees. In attendance were numerous members of the younger generation. It was good to see more of the next generation who were not born in Hakalau interacting with those that were from the various camps and surrounding communities of the past.
The theme this year was to share some of the stories about experiences growing up in the Hakalau “Plantation Days”. A selection of contributed experiences were read which covered communal outhouses and no need for flushing, Bon Dances and teeth brushing as a group at the trough in elementary school. Also introduced was an initiative to trace some of the families’ histories from pre-Hakalau days and beyond. Hopefully a book would be printed with these family histories and could be a sequel to “Sugar Town” by Yasushi “Scotch” Kurisu.
112 Hakalauans, spouses, children, relatives and friends attended the 3-day event at the California Hotel and Casino. We had attendees from across the country, from the East Coast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, West Coast and Hawaii. In all, eleven states were represented. As always, there were numerous Hakalau family reunions that took place during the event.
We were honored to have Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter who represents the Hamakua district in attendance. She gave an inspirational talk about the values instilled in us by growing up in the “Plantation Culture” of Hawaii.
The reunion consisted of a reception on the first evening in the Ohana room to allow for all attendees to talk story and eat/drink in a free-flowing format. 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. The second evening was devoted to a banquet in the Ohana Room 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. The hospitality room was open during the days and after the evening events to allow for further talk story and catching up.
Mahalo to the reunion committee of Max Cadabona, David and Toby Fusato, Van Alan and Janet Fusato,
Ruby Iwamoto, Calvin Motoda, Diane Soo Hoo,
Bob Yamada and Norma Yara. Mahalo to the people who generously donated cash and goodies for the hospitality room. And most important, mahalo to all the attendees who made the reunion a success! Everyone was deeply touched by the true Hakalau Ohana and Spirit!
Honomu/Wailea 1st Row, left to right: Rita (Barcena) Alcosiba, Cindy (Barcena) Baring, Sumie (Yamasaka) Fairburn, Kazuko (Ogawa) Hamada, Mabel ((Miyamoto) Momohara, Sally (Otake) Sullivan 2nd Row: Kazumi Hamada, Sandra (Shimabukuro) Yamada, Sadao Ogawa, Dennis Nishiyama, Millie (Barcena) Kiyan, Francis Oshiro 3rd Row: Douglas Motonaga, Akira Takata, Roy Nakasato, Eugene “Buzzy” Capellas, Ralph Morita, Jose Barcena