Saturday, February 26, 2011
Today, I met with Deloris Guttman (photo bottom right) historian and member of the African American Culture Center Hawaii, who shared some history of the African Americans in Hawaii. Back in the early 1800's many African America men found their way to the Hawaiian Islands Kingdom on whaling and merchant ships. Some were descendants from black Portuguese of the Cape Verde Island off the coast of West Africa, and others were from the mainland U.S.A. escaping the burden of slavery. Native Hawaiians welcomed their foreign black brothers. Many of these African Americans were knowledgeable and possessed special skills. They served as advisors to King Kamehameha's administration and acted as interpreters for the Monarchy. Some became entrepreneurs,musicians and small businessmen serving foreigners. Today's theme was "sharing past histories (1800-1970) and beyond to educate the public, and Deloris talked about the purpose of "Cultural Diversity Awareness Day" to showcase various ethnic groups and their unique culture through spoken word and performing arts by Dolores Harris (photo top left) and other performers on today's event. Very interesting cultural awareness by Deloris Guttman sharing the past history of the African American Diversity Cultural Center here in Hawaii. To read more, "click here". Story complied by Deloris Guttmann - intro by HUGEAUX. "Click here" to see more photos.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
In 1988-89, Gilbert Gaspar Jr., an officer with the Hawaii Police Department used to paddle canoe. Since SHOPO held their annual softball and basketball tournaments every year, he thought "why not try a canoe regatta involving law enforcement personnel?" Gilbert (photo top right) got it started and hosted it for the first five years. He then decided to rotate the regatta to include the outer islands. All monies raised were donated to different charity organizations including the March of Dimes, American Heart Association and Special Olympics Hawaii. The host island decides what charity organization they would donate their proceeds to, and the regatta was set up pretty much in the same format as other HCRA (Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association) regattas. Other law enforcement agencies were invited including the FBI, Corrections, Marshall's, Military Police, Prosecutors, etc., and even the Fire Department.
Since President's Day weekend was a three day weekend, Gilbert decided that it would be more worthwhile for outside islanders to come over to Kona. Secondly, it was before the regular regatta season so it would be easier to borrow the canoes and practice before the season started. After a few years, Gilbert decided to pass on the torch so others would get involved, and this is how the Annual President Day Law Enforcement Regatta got started in Hawaii. This year's 23rd Annual Hawaii Law Enforcement Canoe Regatta was held on Oahu at Keehi Lagoon, on Sunday, February 20, 2011. It started at 7:45am with a Welcome Chant by, Elizabeth Keama and a Pule, by Mark Paterson (Hawaiian prayer). At 8:45am the distance race began and at 1030am the sprint race. This year teams are, Halawa (16 wins), DOD (USMC - 1 win)),"Securitas" (title sponsor - 2 wins), Team Glen (17 wins), SSD (2 wins) , and Nakoalani (3 wins).
The Hawaii Law Enforcement Canoe Racing Association (HLECRA), is an organization made up of police officers throughout the State of Hawaii. The 23rd Annual Canoe Regatta will be hosted by Oahu and will benefit the Special Olympics Hawaii and this year title sponsor is Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. (Read more) and coordinated by retired HPD Officer Gary Loo (photo right) and the Major for second watch at the Honolulu International Airport. These races have been very special with a team (Team Glen) named after police officer Gilbert Gaspar's brother Glen who was fatally shot while attempting to arrest a suspect in Kapolei at the Kapolei Basket-Robbins on Tuesday, March 4, 2003. This event is also dedicated to all Hawaii fallen Police Officers.
Special appreciation to Securitas Security Services USA, Inc., title sponsor and thanks to Kahai Canario, Lance Anderson, Nathan Fletcher and Jojo White for spearheading this event. I would also like to recognize the Awong Ohana, Darren and Tiare for the pupus at Saturday's lane drawing, the ono breakfast and hawaiian plate lunches during the regatta, and the food at the awards banquet and to Greg Ho and Jeffrey J. Lee for the "boat ride", and SHOPO for the use of their Hall. Thanks also to the Dept. of Public Safety, Corrections Division for the live band. "Click to see Regatta photos." or "Click to see Award Banquet."
Friday, February 18, 2011
The art of Aikido was originated by Morihei Ueshiba who was a famous martial artist and founder of the Japanese martial art of Aikido in Japan in the 1920's. In 1953, Aikido was introduced to Hawaii. The art of Aikido is not to harm the attacker, but to control and subdue him. This is achieved by blending with the motion of an attack or conflict and taking control of its force, making it possible to redirect the power of the attack back onto the attacker. Agility, balance, speed and coordination are utilized rather than brute strength. Aikido is often translated as "the way of unifying life energy" or as " the way of harmonious spirit."
Aikido of Honolulu also known as the "Waialae Dojo" was completed in 1961. Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido, came to Honolulu to preside at the official grand opening of the new dojo on March 12, 1961. This dojo was unique for that time, because it was built for and dedicated only to Aikido training, which made it the only building of its kind outside of Japan. Robert H. Aoyagi, 7th Dan Shihan was the Chief Instructor of the Aikido of Honolulu for over 50 years.
Tonight we will be honoring and celebrating the 5oth Anniversary and the achievement of Chief Instructor, Robert H. Aoyagi Shihan (photo top right) of Aikido of Honolulu who passed away on November 17, 2010. He had just celebrated his 90th birthday and his 50 years in Aikido and the senior members from Hawaii, Richard Hirao, Shihan; Donald Moriyama, Shihan; Dr. Mitsuo Adachi, Sensei and the late Robert Aoyagi, Shihan, represented by his wife, Dora Aoyagi. Cary Okimoto (photo left), now the Chief Instructor will be taking over the Aikido of Honolulu. He related that Chief Instructor Aoyagi treated him like his own son and he was like a second father and always taught him perseverance was the main key in overcoming anything in life. Special guests from Japan are Moriteru Ueshiba, Japanese Master of Aikido and grandson of Morihei Ueshiba, Mitsuteru Ueshiba the son of the third and current Doshu of Aikikai, Moriteru Ueshiba, Seijuro Masuda, an Aikido instructor at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo with the title of Shihan and rank of 8th dan and Yoshimitsu Yamada, an Aikido instructor and ranked 8th dan in the Aikikai and the Chief Instructor at the dojo New York Aikikai.
Also, on February 19-21, there will be a series of classes taught by the Doshu at McKinley High School Gym starting from 8:00 a.m. "Doshu" is the Japanese martial arts title in aikido literally translated as "Master of the Way." It is a hereditary title denoting the head of the Aikikai (aikido). Three men have so far held this role: Morihei Ueshiba from the title's first use to 1969, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, from 1969-1999 and Moriteru Ueshiba, from 1999 to present. See tonights photos, "click here."
Saturday, February 5, 2011
I was invited to cover a wonderful community event this morning at Ala Moana Bowls, and had the opportunity to meet the Ambassador of Hawaii's Surf, Dane Kealoha. He grew up in Waikiki and learned the art of surfing, and was one of the most popular surfers in the early 80's. At the age of 16, Dane took the Junior Men's State Championship and went on to become the world AM Champion in South Africa. At age 18, he was called the Niijima Pro. Niijima is part of the Izu island chain in Japan and is known for its surfing. For more on Dane Kealoha "click here"
Janet Grace (photo bottom right) from One Love Ministries was instrumental in coordinating today's event along with Mr. Kapua Tani of H5 (Hawaii Helping the Hungry Have Hope). Janet explainedthat they want to collaborate with the homeless shelter over at H-5 and give these kids the same opportunities that others kids have, and through the surf ministry outreach to bring them all together and let them know we care about them. "We want to take away the stigma of homelessness and just embrace them and love them". We are willing to go the long haul with them and we will never give up on them. We also want to help and teach them life skills, and make them feel that people truly need and love them."
Dane Kealoha really has a passion to give back to the community. Since his special gift and talent is surfing, he wanted to provide a venue for these kids to come down, get into the water with him, and at the same time have fun. All the kids from the shelter were invited and Dane was able to interact with them. Who knows, we may have another great surfer from Hawaii in the making, but the bottom line is that they have fun as one big Ohana. The kids were even provided with morning meals and lunch. The day started with Dane teaching them the basic surfing skills, body positions and safety. All this was on land so the kids could experience the feeling of being on a surfboard. Once Dane felt they were ready, off they went into the water with several other surf instructors following behind. I am sure it was an experience the kids will never forget. It was shaky at the start for some, but it was a blast seeing them look like they had one beer too many. I still remember my first wipe out in the 60's. I spoke to some of the kids after they returned exhausted and they loved it. You had to be there to see the joy, happiness and love these kids had on their faces.
I would like to thank Janet Grace of One Love Ministries, Kapua Tani and the people at H-5, Dane Kealoha and the following sponsors, Leonard's Bakery who provided the malasadas, Keneke's in Waimanalo who provided the lunches and O'Neill Surf who provided the rash guards and booties for each child. Special thanks to the Honolulu Police Department District 1 Community Policing Team whose main goal is to show support for the people by providing them with education through safety presentations, to share with them how the choices you make in life can affect them both positively and or negatively, but it begins with their own self worth. Let's make Honolulu the safest place to live, work and play. "Click here" to see the event photos.