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Students to explore value of malama in Lahaina News Writing Contest

By Staff | Jan 13, 2011

Edwin Lindsey Jr.

LAHAINA — Malama is the theme of the 2011 Lahaina News Writing Contest, inspired by the life of Edwin Lindsey Jr. (1939-2009).

The literary, cultural competition is open to all West Side youth in grades six through eight and nine through 12.

“We are honored to pay tribute to Ed Lindsey through this annual contest. By exploring the contest’s theme in their entries, West Maui students learn about the values that were so important to Ed,” said Lahaina News Editor Mark Vieth.

The Lahaina native son was a community leader.

His outreach was extensive, from the mountains to the ocean and into the classrooms.

Lindsey served as a founding member of Hui O Wa’a Kaulua, founding project director of Maui Cultural Lands, president of the Ohana Coalition, organizer of Kilakila O Haleakala, cofounder of Maui Nui Marine Resources Council, member of Na Kupuna O Maui and participant in the Kaanapali 2020 planning process.

His years as an educator spanned over a quarter of a century, with most of it spent at Iao Intermediate School, where he specialized in Hawaiian and social studies.

The County Council recognized Lindsey in 2009 as a Maui Treasure in a resolution: “Ed has been a pioneering force in the founding of numerous organizations and movements to preserve Maui’s ‘aina, cultural landscapes, marine resources and overall sense of place.”

Lindsey’s descendants support the writing contest, now in its second year. The first annual event honored the value of aloha.

Edwin “Ekolu” Lindsey III has assumed the leadership role of Maui Cultural Lands.

“The two important Hawaiian values my dad shared were malama and aloha. He not only shared it; he was a living example of all things Hawaiian,” Ekolu explained

“Aside from aloha, malama is another key value to incorporate into our moral fabric of life,” Ekolu continued. “Malama is defined as: To take care of, tend, attend, care for, preserve, protect, save, maintain… according to Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H. Elbert’s Hawaiian Dictionary.

“Like our fragile native ecosystems where every living thing is dependent on the other for life, our values are tightly related to the same ecosystem, that of a balanced life with aloha and malama,” Ekolu observed.

Lindsey’s wife, Puanani, remains a strong presence in confirmation of her husband’s legacy.

“Today we need to malama many things in our lives, so there will be a tomorrow. Malama means taking care of things properly. We must malama ourselves first before we look to helping others. Family is most important, then we can go out and help. In caring for the land, the land will take care of us,” she said.

In order to fully understand the value of malama, Ekolu and Puanani encourage students to immerse themselves in an act of malama: spending a day in Honokowai Valley with Maui Cultural Lands on Saturday, Feb. 12.

“Volunteers will learn the meaning of aloha and malama by working with the land, healing the ‘aina and strengthening our ‘uhane (spirit) while taking care of those things that have come before us,” Ekolu said.

West Maui private, public and home-schooled youth in grades six through 12 are invited to participate.

Contest submissions are acceptable in most literary forms (poems, stories, narratives, essays and haiku) and will be judged on creativity, content and adherence to theme.

The deadline for submissions is April 1.

First, second and third place prizes will be awarded in both divisions. The Ed Lindsey Award and Most Creative prize will be awarded on an overall basis.

The contest’s award-winning article will be published in the Lahaina News.

Community leaders and local philanthropists have donated to the pool of prizes, including Jerry Kunitomo (Lahaina Pizza Company), Randy and Jim Coon (Trilogy Excursions), Mark Ellman (Mala Ocean Tavern Lahaina), Robin Ritchie, Rockett Ranch Enterprises and Kim Willis (Life Coach).

Lahaina Cannery Mall will host a display of the entries in May, along with an awards ceremony on center stage.

Copies of the rules will be available online this week with this article at www.lahainanews.com; or call Lahaina News Editor Mark Vieth at 667-7866 for a copy.

Students are also encouraged to visit the Maui Cultural Lands Website at www.mauiculturalands.com to learn more about Honokowai, Ed Lindsey and malama.

To sign up for the excursion to Honokowai, the breadbasket of Keka’a, e-mail Maui Cultural Lands at MCL@hawaii.rr.com.

“We really appreciate the community’s support for the competition. Many people knew Ed Lindsey and his efforts in education, environmental preservation and Hawaiian culture, so they are happy to be part of the contest,” Vieth concluded.