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Uncle George Kahumoku Jr. honored as a Maui Peace Hero

By Staff | Mar 30, 2017

The Maui Seasons for Peace organization last week honored George Kahumoku Jr. as a 2016 Maui Peace Hero during a ceremony at the University of Hawaii Maui College. Here, Kahumoku receives the award from Joanne Laird (left), president of Maui Seasons for Peace, and Secretary Donna Vida. The other honorees were Robert and Donna Hansen, Elaine Arakaki Reneau and Stacey Moniz. PHOTO BY SHANE TEAGARDEN.

KAHULUI – George Kahumoku Jr. has earned numerous honors over the years.

The Kahakuloa resident is a four-time Grammy Award winner and a five-time Na Hoku Hanohano recipient.

There are other titles the Hawaiian slack key master has won that are as singular as his personality, including the 1992 Pork All American-National Farmers Pork Award for raising pigs, the 1992 Ag Leadership Graduate award and the 1982 Hawaii Best Young Farmer of the Year.

Last week Friday (March 24), Kahumoku was named one of four 2016 Maui Peace Heroes by the Maui Seasons For Peace (MSFP) foundation.

The MSFP nonprofit has been recognizing community peace heroes since 2002. Its mission is to promote, plan and deliver annual events that celebrate, honor and recognize peace in Maui’s community.

The 2017 ceremony, held at the University of Hawaii Maui College in Kahului on Friday night, was themed “Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things.”

Joanne Laird is the MSFP president, and she nominated Kahumoku for this honor.

“In these turbulent times, we need to recognize those around us who are ‘beacons of light’ and serve as unsung ambassadors of good will who selflessly donate their time, talent, energy and resources for the greater good,” she said.

“There is so much that I wrote about Uncle George (on the nomination form), because he does so much for so many. Not only is he a talented musician, but an author and a farmer who shares his fresh produce freely.”

“Uncle George has always done so much for our community,” Laird continued her praise, “in sharing his talents and love for the land with the people.”

He is, she said, the Hawaiian Renaissance Man.

Aunty Patty Nishiyama of Na Kupuna O Maui can attest to his good will.

“Whenever, and I mean whenever, Na Kupuna has asked Uncle George to perform at a function, he always accepts and freely shares his talent. He is our hero,” she said.

Kahumoku is humbled by the recognition.

“I’m blessed to be an ordinary man born into an ordinary Hawaiian family, and am an ordinary person who uses our God-given gifts and resources to serve others and do extraordinary things for our community and be blessed with a ‘Hiki No’/can-do attitude,” he said.

He practices the values he was taught by his kupuna.

“It is my hope that my music and Hawaiian values and lifestyle taught to me by my elders as a Native Hawaiian and sustainable Native Planter, and the blessings from God’s gifts given to me, will bring peace and advocate non-violence in our community.”

“I am blessed to have been taught to develop and embrace a vision of aloha, hope and faith. With these three things under my belt, anything is possible. Never give up your dreams,” Kahumoku concluded.