On April 17, 2015, Women of Wai‘anae (WOW) was given the "President's Award" by Hawaii Women Lawyers (HWL). HWL President Tricia Nakamatsu recognized WOW for their outstanding service to the community, including awarding college and vocational scholarships to non-traditional students on the Wai‘anae Coast.
On April 18, 2015, a Senate certificate celebrating the Wai‘anae Boxing Club and honoring "Papa" Fred Pereira was presented by Stacy Garcia Jr. on behalf of Sen. Shimabukuro at the Wai‘anae Recreation Center.
The year 2015 marks the Wai‘anae Boxing Club's 50+ year anniversary. It was established by Coach "Papa" Fred Pereira in 1962, and has kept keiki off of the streets and away from negative influences like drugs and violence. The club boasts a proud and long-standing tradition of producing champion fighters who represent the people of Hawai‘i at national and international boxing and mixed martial arts competitions.
"Papa" Pereira, who turned 81 this year, was recognized for his impressive boxing career in the United States Army. He comes from a family of athletic competitors, including his father, Anton, who was an outstanding boxer, and his grandmother, Anita, the oldest runner to compete in the Honolulu Marathon at 80-years-old.
The festive event was attended by family and community members, as well as various club supporters. Entertainment was performed by a local band which played Jíbaro and Bomba & Plena music. On behalf of Sen. Shimabukuro's office, many thanks goes out to "Papa" Fred Periera and his ohana for the invitation and tremendous hospitality.
Mahalo nui loa to Shane Soares for inviting Sen. Shimabukuro, and for being one of the organizers of this special event.
Buffalo Keaulana and Senator Shimabukuro
On Monday, April 6, 2015, the Hōkūle‘a's original crewmembers were honored at the State Capitol. Big Mahalo Nui Loa to Senator Gilbert Kahele of Hawaii Island and his staff for preparing all the speeches and overseeing the Hōkūle‘a floor presentation.
Visit the Senate Majority Flickr album to view more photos.
Hokulea's original crewmembers honored at State Capitol
Source: KHON2 TV News | Click for full story
Various lawmakers in both the Senate and House chambers recognized the Polynesian Voyaging Society, as well as 12 of the 13 living crewmembers of Hokulea's maiden voyage from Hawaii to Tahiti and back in 1976.
PVS was founded in 1973 by Herb Kane, Ben Finney and Tommy Holmes. Then on March 8, 1975, PVS launched its first waa kaulua, the Hokulea, in Kaneohe Bay.
Her maiden voyage to Tahiti in 1976 was led by Mau Piailug, using traditional, non-instrument navigation.
"We are grateful to have our governmental body take the time to celebrate the worldwide voyage and to me, it shows that Hawaii is still with us, that the canoe still matters. As the voyage now heads into the Indian Ocean, which is much more dangerous, it gives us the strength to set sail," said Nainoa Thompson, pwo (master) navigator and president of PVS.
Joining Thompson from the crew were Finney, Abraham "Snake" Ah Nee, Milton "Shorty" Bertelmann, Richard "Buffalo" Keaulana, John Kruse, Francis Kainoa Lee, Kimo Lyman, Gordon Piianaia, Penny Martin, Billy Richards and Dr. Ben Young.
It was the first time all living members of the original crew were together since that groundbreaking voyage.
"We could not have predicted today's event when we launched 40 years ago. We thought we might make a splash, but it turned into something so much larger," said Finney.
"Your island is like a canoe and your canoe is like an island. To take those lessons that we learned on Hokulea and then to bring them back and to apply it to the community to the island that you live on," Martin said.
Hokulea and her sister canoe Hikianalia continue their Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, which launched from Hilo in 2013. The canoes are currently docked in New Zealand.
By the end of the voyage in 2017, the canoes hope to have traveled approximately 47,000 nautical miles.
Volunteers and employees from the University of Hawaii were also honored as they have long helped to house and care for Hokulea.
Senator Shimabukuro had the opportunity to deliver a speech as the introduction for Richard "Buffalo" Keaulana:
A commanding Hawaiian surfer from Makaha, O‘ahu; winner of the 1960 Makaha International; and often referred to as the "Mayor of Makaha," Richard Keaulana was born (1935) in Honolulu, and moved with his family to Makaha, on O‘ahu's west side, at age five. He learned to surf as a child at Waikiki, and made his first surfboard by taking a machete to a blank assembled from glued-together railroad ties.
Keaulana worked as a Waikiki beach boy in the 1950s and earned his nickname "Buffalo" for his generously proportioned head and shaggy reddish-brown hair. A perennial favorite in the Makaha International contest, Keaulana placed third in 1957, second in 1958, and first in 1960. He was also regarded as the world's best bodysurfer.
Buffalo was appointed head lifeguard at Makaha in 1969, a post he held until 1995. The Buffalo Big Board Classic debuted in 1977, a surf contest/beach party that immediately became a local institution. Keaulana is married with six children, including big-wave expert Brian and three-time longboard world champion Russ.
Hawaii Senate Group Photo with Awardees.
Bottom row L-R: Senate President Mercado Kim, Sen. Thielen, Sen. Galuteria, Florence Mae Bowes Lewis, David Lewis, Susan Frank-Kama, Gwen Ahana, Carolyn & Art Frank, Sen. Shimabukuro, Sen. Kidani, Sen. Chun-Oakland, Sen. Taniguchi, Sen. Green, and Sen. Kahele.
Top row L-R: Sen. Gabbard, Sen. Harimoto, Sen. Espero, Sen. Ruderman, Sen. Riviere, Sen. Dela Cruz, Sen. English, Sen. Keith-Agaran, Sen. Ihara, Sen. Inouye, Sen. Wakai, Sen. Tokuda, Sen. Nishihara, Sen. Baker, & Sen. Kouchi.
On Wednesday, April 1, 2015, Senator Maile Shimabukuro delivered the following remarks during a floor presentation honoring Art Frank:
Art Frank, who is deaf and suffers from quadriparesis, is someone who has defied all the odds and served Hawaii's community in countless ways. He has had a long and active role with the disabled community, on the Wai‘anae Coast, and with the Hawaii Democratic Party.
In 1981, Mr. Frank spent five years lobbying for a bill which allows deaf individuals to attend government meetings and request a sign language interpreter or communication access real time translation, also known as "CART." He also worked tirelessly to ensure that Capitol restrooms were ADA compliant, and that disabled parking was afforded to disabled visitors at the Capitol, enduring 27 parking tickets in the process.
Mr. Frank has also testified in support of measures to benefit the Wai‘anae Coast. He has come to the Capitol on short notice, numerous times, to speak out in favor of measures to help alleviate traffic and otherwise improve conditions for the west side. He also attends neighborhood board and other community meetings and events aimed at bettering the lives of those on the Wai‘anae Coast.
Mr. Frank, along with his dear friend who we are also honoring today, Al Lewis, has been a devoted member of the Democratic Party for decades. Mr. Frank and Mr. Lewis have volunteered countless hours for many campaigns. I met both of them on the campaign trail, and was deeply inspired by their positive energy, enthusiasm, and sense of humor. Mr. Frank, who resides on the Wai‘anae Coast, and Mr. Lewis, who hails from Waimanalo, have volunteered for campaigns spanning the island, going as far as the opposite side of the island to support the candidates they believe in.
Raised in Waimanalo, Mr. Frank graduated from St. Louis high school, and is proud of his Hawaiian and "chop suey" heritage. He jokes that he met his devoted wife, Carolyn, in the shower. In fact, she was his nurse, and the first time they met happened to be in the shower of his hospital room. Since being married, Carolyn learned sign language and has always been Mr. Frank's rock. Carolyn has supported all of her husband's many community activities, and kept the home fires burning during the many hours he has spent away from home serving his community.
The fact that we are honoring Mr. Frank and Mr. Lewis on April 1, April Fools Day, couldn't be more appropriate. Both are always cracking jokes and pranks, and together they brought double the laughter to all in their company. Mr. Frank told me that he once proved his point about the inadequacy of the Capitol's bathrooms for the disabled by hurling a roll of toilet paper to the ceiling. That's the kind of comic relief we need more of at the Capitol.
I wanted to end by expressing my heartfelt thanks to Mr. Frank. He was like an angel sent down from the heavens in my time of need. The devotion and time he has spent supporting me, and the belief that he had in me, were instrumental in getting me to where I am today, and I will forever be grateful. Now that I have met Mr. Frank, whenever I feel that my troubles are overwhelming, I often think of him. And once he pops into my head I can't help but smile. I don't think Mr. Frank, who is deaf and suffers from quadriparesis, has ever spent a minute feeling sorry for himself. Instead, he is a man who understands how precious life is, and has chosen to use every ounce of his energy to try and make the world a better place.
Would Art Frank please stand to be recognized.
Accompanying Mr. Frank on the floor are his wife and sisters. Would each of you please stand when I call your name, and audience please hold your applause until I have introduced all floor guests: Carolyn Frank, Gwen Ahana, and Susan Frank-Kama.
Also here for Mr. Frank in the gallery are some of his relatives and friends, including some from the deaf community. Audience, please hold your applause while I introduce our gallery guests, and please stand when I call your name: Representative Jo Jordan, Ruth "Wai" Paaoao; Kukana Kama-Toth; Dr. Lawrence Redmond, D.C.; Jesse and Debbie Jackson; Rev. David and Juanita Schiewek; Dante Carpenter; Nancyann Micky; Wilfred Soong; Ed Chevy; Linda and Jeff Lemrecht; Billy Kekua; Darlene Ewan; Colleen Adade; Lisa Tom; and Patty Sakal.
The Youth of the Year Program recognizes Boys & Girls Club members who, with the help of their Clubs, have overcome personal challenges and have given back to their Clubs and their communities. Youth of the Year winners demonstrate service to Club, community and family; academic success; strong moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability. These high achievers personify the values and character of their hometown Clubs, and are shining examples that GREAT Futures start at Boys & Girls Clubs.
The Opening Day of the Twenty-Eighth Legislature was held on January 21, 2015. Staff, friends, family, and supporters joined Senator Shimabukuro to celebrate the occasion. Former aide, Wally Inglis, who worked with the senator for most of her political career, stopped by to say hello. Longtime family friends Rolando and Susan Cruz, who now live in San Diego, also stopped by with their granddaughter, Ciena Jadu, who is now attending UH-Manoa.
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