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Lahainaluna students will give back to the community at David Malo Day

By Staff | Mar 24, 2011

Boarders in the “Cut Grass Gang” take grass to unload for cattle at the feed house in 1947. Photo by Clifton Ellinger, an English teacher at Lahainaluna.

LAHAINA — Lahainaluna High School’s 42nd annual David Malo Day Ho’olaule’a will center around the theme “Na Leo I Ka Makani” (Voices on the Wind).

One of the community’s foremost cultural celebrations, the event is scheduled for Saturday, April 16, at Boarders’ Field on campus.

The traditional event opens with a pa’ina — a poi supper that includes laulau, lomi salmon and haupia — at 5 p.m., followed by the David Malo Day sunset pageant at 6 p.m.

It opens with a welcome ‘oli (chant), followed by chanting, singing and dancing by the Boarders’ Chorus and Hawaiiana Club.

Unique to this year’s event is Lahainaluna’s celebration of 175 years of its Boarding Department, a work/study concept that is the only one of its kind in the public school system in Hawaii.

Boarding students from all walks of life and from different class years will converge on campus to make the evening special, memorable and mystical.

Toward that goal, the school is asking all boarders, principals, boarding counselors and teachers to be part of the evening that will celebrate all those years that have contributed so much to the legacy of Lahainaluna.

It was 42 years ago, in 1969, that the Lahainaluna Boarders’ Chorus and Hawaiiana Club were founded on the firm belief that students learn three fundamental Hawaiian values: a sense of giving and sharing, a sense of place and a sense of continuity.

The late Jimmie Greig, a civil engineer for Pioneer Mill Company, and then-Principal Ralph Murakami were the two visionaries who started the two cultural organizations.

Teaching the students to “give of themselves” is the foundation upon which the annual David Malo Day is built.

The event is named after Malo, one of the first students to graduate from Lahainaluna, who went on to become a teacher, licensed preacher, sugar planter, a companion and counselor to the chiefs and one of Hawaii’s first patriots.

Since late August, the members of the Boarders’ Chorus and Hawaiiana Club have been learning songs and dances of their unique heritage in the effort to continue the Hawaiian legacy and to learn to become contributing members of society. The notion of giving is evident, as students prepare the food, decorate the field, present the pageant and clean up after the event.

David Malo Day advisor and director Lori Gomez has led the event since 1969. She lends the gentle, yet dedicated, support to the propagation of the host culture of Hawaii.

“Our students exude talent that is pure, innocent and authentic of Hawaii,” she said. “We are not professionals; rather, we are Maui diamonds in the rough. We know we are fast fading flowers in a flourishing, contemporary garden. If our Hawaiian language dies, so, too, does our culture. ‘I Ka ‘Olelo No Ke Ola… In language is life…’ “

“Come be a part of the annual event, a venue in which our students are given the opportunity to give back to the community. Indeed, it is a sense of giving, a sense of sharing and a sense of continuity that are the foundation of our David Malo Day,” Gomez concluded.

For information, and to purchase tickets — the nominal cost is $15 — call 662-4000.