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Students to share with the community at David Malo Day

By Staff | Apr 15, 2010

Students perform auwana hula at the 2009 David Malo Day.

LAHAINA — It is a rite of spring for the West Side community. The breezy days of April that signify the onset of a new beginning are celebrated at Lahainaluna High School with the annual David Malo Day program.

Set for Saturday, April 17, the annual celebration enhances the cultural appreciation of generations of its students to the unique and cherished history of this place.

David Malo was among the first graduating class at Lahainaluna Seminary and later became a teacher, administrator and political leader of the community and Hawaiian people.

He is admired as one of the first Hawaiian patriots in his efforts to promote communication and the educational process within the evolving influences of the arriving missionaries from New England.

Malo’s positive spirit oversees the Lahainaluna ‘ohana from his chosen grave site high above the turmoil of his beloved Lahaina atop Mount Ball (Pu‘u Pa‘u Pa‘u) along with the beaming “L” on the West Maui Mountain’s slopes.

Lahainaluna’s 41st annual David Malo Day Ho‘olaule‘a will center around the theme “Kuleana” (‘Ike Honua… A Sense of Place).

This Saturday, the event begins at 5 p.m. with a pa‘ina: a poi supper consisting of lau lau, lomi salmon, haupia, sweet potato, pineapple and beverage — all parts of the traditional Hawaiian luau meal. Cost of the pa‘ina is a nominal $15.

At 6 p.m., the David Malo Day Sunset Pageant will open with a welcome ‘oli, followed by the chanting, singing and dancing of the Boarders’ Chorus and the Hawaiiana Club.

A special part of the program will feature former Hawaiiana Club members and boarders returning in various capacities to once more grace the stage that was rebuilt in the traditional way last year.

Students from the Class of 1960 will also return to celebrate their 50th Reunion on Boarders’ Field, as well as Class of 1958 members celebrating their 70th birthdays.

The continuing sentimentality of David Malo Day is enhanced by the participation of Kahala and Ilima Greig, the children of Jimmie Greig, a founding father of the event. They contribute their talents in choreography, music and hula to the program, along with famed LHS graduate Keali‘i Reichel.

Also among the musical contributors are Kuulei Alcomindras-Palakiko, Kapili Akima, and Tommy Akima with his “Mele Pono” musicians singing the senior hula.

Also, for the second year, the Lahainaluna Drama Class, under the direction of teacher Graham Seiki, will portray a tableau depicting the life of David Malo.

“We invite all to come and join in with our effort to keep the continuity of the spirit of giving back alive with the David Malo Day Ho‘olaule‘a,” said event coordinator and 1960 LHS graduate Lori Gomez-Karinen.

“Come, be a part of this annual event — a venue in which our students are given the opportunity to give back to the community. Indeed, it is a sense of sharing and a sense of continuity that are the foundation of the event, and this year in particular — with the ongoing deliberations in the state government concerning the future of the boarding program — we wish to emphasize the continuity of this spirit.”

For information, or to purchase tickets, call 662-4000.

In related news, the LHS Class of 1960 will gather in Lahaina on April 15-18 to celebrate their 50th Class Reunion.

Some members of the class have been together from their Kindergarten days at King Kamehameha III Elementary School through their senior year at Lahainaluna.

The nucleus of the class has been led by Timothy Medeiros, and Maui and Oahu class members have been meeting and planning the events since February 2009.

Mr. and Mrs. Sol Kaauamo have come from Keanae, and Angus Peters has come for meetings in Lahaina from Kula.

The Class of 1960 graduated 117 strong, but 20 classmates have since passed. The reunion is expected to have 63 classmates in attendance, along with spouses, children and siblings, to enjoy dinner at Fu Lin on Thursday and golf and a campus tour on Friday.

A talk story gathering is set for Friday night, where a memorial service will be held for the classmates who have passed away, continuing with a nostalgic menu at the AJA Hall to continue to reconnect with one another.

Herb Watson has planned a tour to the Kula Lavender Farm and Tedeschi Winery. David Malo Day will be the focus event with classmates Lori Gomez-Karinen and Josephine Cosma Greig Blair, who have kept the event going for 41 years.    

This will be the first David Malo Day celebration for classmates coming from Japan, North Carolina, Alabama, Montana, Arizona, Nevada, California, Oahu and even some from Maui.

Many of the classmates have not seen each other for 50 years, so the reconnection should be heartwarming as they learn about their lives and plan for the future.

The class has also raised funds for the Lahainaluna High School Foundation to give out as scholarships. In light of the recent happenings with the Boarding Department, some of the funds will be designated to the upkeep of the dormitories.

On Sunday, the class will close the reunion with a farewell brunch at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel. Plans will continue for a class get-together in Las Vegas in October.