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David Malo Day celebrates and honors the rich traditions of Lahainaluna

By Staff | Apr 11, 2013

Students in the Hawaiiana Club and Boarders’ Chorus have been practicing and preparing for David Malo Day since the start of the school year.

LAHAINA – Lahainaluna High School will open its arms to the West Side community and beyond in celebration of the 44th annual David Malo Day Ho’olaule’a.

The event will be held on Saturday, April 20, on Boarders’ Field in the heart of the historic campus at the foothills of Pu’u Pa’u Pa’u (Mount Ball) and the West Maui Mountains.

The 2013 theme of “E ho’i i nani” (May the beauty return) celebrates and honors the rich traditions of Lahainaluna and one of its first graduates and true Hawaiian patriots, David Malo, in an evening of thematic song and dance presented by the Hawaiiana Club and the Boarders’ Chorus.

The sunset pageant is preceded by traditional Makahiki games and demonstrations, and a supper of poi, laulau, lomi salmon, pineapple and beverages.

Since its beginning in 1969, David Malo Day has celebrated the rich values of Lahainaluna, which teaches students the importance of giving back to the community that supports the school and to become contributory members in a global society.

The event was created by the late Jimmie Greig, a Pioneer Mill surveyor and football coach at Lahainaluna, and then former Principal Ralph Murakami. The event has continued to enhance the educational experience of the students and the community to this day.

School advisor and Program Director Lori Gomez-Karinen has been the organizational force of David Malo Day throughout its 44 years and continues to guide the cultural event.

Led by Gomez-Karinen, the Hawaiiana Club members and Lahainaluna’s boarding students learn the selected songs and dances for the event, prepare the food and care for the grounds before and after the celebration.

The Lahainaluna Boarding Program founded in 1836 continues to exist today, offering students from all across the state and from the Mainland the opportunity to participate in a work-study curricula to earn a high school diploma.

The program not only focuses on the concept of work and study, but also teaches students to be resilient, resourceful, respectful, collaborative and independent.

From the beginning of the school year, the Hawaiiana Club and the Boarders’ Chorus have been practicing and preparing for this annual event, which has become an enriching celebration of the traditions of Lahainaluna and the spirit of the village community.

The students thus reflect the philosophy that is the basis of both organizations – a sense of giving, a sense of sharing, and a sense of continuity.

Ilima Greig-Hong and Robert Pomai Krueger are the choreographers and cultural consultants; Kahala Greig and Ui Chang lead the music; Ray Camacho and the cafeteria staff provide instruction and direction with food preparation; and the boarders’ work crew led by Bobby Watson and Alan Yamamoto is in charge of site preparation and maintenance.

“It takes a whole village to put on this traditional festivity – parents, community, businesses, Lahainaluna High School Foundation, alumni and countless volunteers from all across the state,” said Gomez-Karinen.

“We are an island community with island values, mores and tradition, existing in a diverse population and in progressive times. We are most appreciative and grateful for the excellent support and nurturing given us by our immediate community and from the island of Maui and beyond. Indeed, we exist because of our island ‘ohana and the values of our host culture that are deeply rooted in our school. They are a way of life for us.”

The festivities begin a 4 p.m. with the Makahiki games and traditions, followed by the supper (tickets are $15) and the free sunset pageant at 6 p.m. For more information, call 662-4000.