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AKAKA FALLS LIONS CLUB CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF SERVICE

HONORING OUR PAST; EMBRACING OUR FUTURE

 

On a beautiful Saturday morning under sunny skies at Akaka Falls State Park on September 14, 2013, the Akaka Falls Lions Club members and guests commemorated their 50 years of service to the community with a delightful program.

Emcee Lion Kaloa Robinson did a masterful job in making sure that the program moved along expeditiously, with an opening chant from Kahu Kimo Awai and speeches from Akaka Falls Lions officers.  The highlight of the program was a history of Akaka Falls by long-time resident, Sam Ho Chee, the father of Akaka Falls Lions member Sandra Kalehua, and the daughter of “Aunty” Hattie Ho Chee, one of the co-authors of the legendary and beautiful Akaka Falls song. He talked about the town of Honomu and its history, and about the love legend of Akaka.

 

The evening banquet at Nani Mau Gardens was another significant event in a beautiful setting.  Table displays featured photos of Akaka Falls Lions club activities – service projects, social and fund-raising events, a sponsors “tree” indicating the many Lions who sponsored or were sponsored into the club, pictures of all current members, pins from the many clubs and dignitaries in district 50, and historical documents delineating the origins of the club.  Also on display was the original charter of the club, which was founded on July 1, 1963.

Emcees for the evening were Lions Diane Kent and Richard Unoki.  They did an outstanding job of keeping the program rolling along in a timely manner.

Tail-twisting was done during the fellowship and dinner hour by five members of our “Mother” club, the Crescent City Lions, President Dwayne Mukai, Hawaii Lions Foundation trustee Gregory Ayau, Secretary Sharon Sakoda, and Lions Keene Fujinaka and Ronald Keith.  They also filled in while the dancers were preparing for their entrance.

Entertainment was provided during the fellowship hour by Lion Ray Peralta, affectionately known as “Sugar Ray” by his colleagues.  Lion Crystal Robledo led her “O. G. HE RE” Tahitian Dance group in the after dinner portion of the program, to the delight of the members and guests, especially when they singled out several of the Akaka Falls Lions to dance with them – Lions Tracy, Ben, Ryan, Blayne, and Alan.

The menu consisted of prime rib roast beef, shrimp scampi, stuffed chicken marsala, garlic mashed potatoes and a variety of salads and vegetables.

The dessert was a sheet cake from KTA, with a Lions logo in the center, and “Akaka Falls Lions Club” and “50 years of Service” surrounding the logo

The program consisted of a proclamation by Hawaii County Mayor, Billy Kenoi, a resolution commending Akaka Falls Lions from Representative (and Hamakua Lion) Mark Nakashima, congratulatory messages from District 50 dignitaries, and featured a 17 minute video of activities from both the distant past and recent years.  The three charter members, Lions Myron Isherwood, Jr., Hiroshi Shima, and Minoru Shimabukuro and their spouses, were recognized for their long years of service and dedication to the club.  They provided many insights on the history of the club and how it has grown to be among the best and most active in the district.

Also featured on the program were reflections on their experience in the club by Past District Governor Alan Garson, and Lion Glen “Shige” Shigehara, and from more recent inductees, Lions Ryan Kadota and Rockelle Augustin.

The entire club sang two songs, “We’d Rather Belong to the Lions”, (with word changes by Charter President Lion Myron), and the beautiful “Akaka Falls” song written by Helen Lindsey Parker and Hattie Ho Chee.

The event culminated with a “banzai” toast, led by Lion Shige and Crescent City Lions President Dwayne Mukai, and the closing song, Hawai’i Pono’i led by Lions Walter Otomo and Tani Matsubara.

There were many references to the theme, “Honoring Our Past, Embracing Our Future” in both the rhetoric, and in the variety of individuals – “old-timers” and recent recruits, who participated in the program.

 

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