A bill to name a planned County facility in East Maui as “The David Kanaloa Kaho`okele Jr. Nahiku Community Center” is pending before the Economic Development, Energy, Agriculture, and Recreation Committee, chaired by Councilmember Don S. Guzman.
The EAR Committee will consider the bill on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, held on March 30, the Nahiku community expressed support for naming the community center in honor of David Kanaloa Kaho`okele Jr., who passed away on Jan. 1, 1972 after many years of community service.
Kaho`okele’s family originally owned the property where the new community center is located. The Old Nahiku School was built on the site in the 1800s.
Guided by David’s wife, Mary Kaohelani Adams Kaho`okele, the school was renovated to also be utilized as a community center, where Nahiku residents could gather for cultural and educational programs, economic development opportunities and other community events.
Fire destroyed the historic structure in 2005. David’s son Kumu Kamalu Kaho`okele was instrumental in working with State to secure funding for the new community center.
Founder and President of the Nahiku Community Association, Dorothy Marlene Kamalu Lena Kaho`okele, is the oldest granddaughter of David Kaho`okele, who she refers to as “Tutu Man,” or “Tutu Kane.” She describes him as a scholar.
David was well known in the East Maui community as someone who perpetuated Hawaiian culture and values. He had a reputation as a master practitioner in Hawaiian wa`a (canoe) construction. His last canoe is displayed at the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku. He was also an expert “poi thrower,” excelling in a traditional Hawaii sport no longer widely played.
Many of his significant contributions to the ancient Hawaiian arts were recorded, and he was a consultant to prominent cultural organizations, including the Bishop Museum in Honolulu.
He was honorably discharged from the U.S. military after service during World War I.
A land surveyor in the early 1920s, David Kaho`okele was an expert in East Maui geography. He advocated for numerous educational and civic causes, and rose to serve as a Territorial legislator.
If the naming is approved, the David Kanaloa Kaho`okele Jr. Nahiku Community Center will stand as a legacy to this extraordinary man.
Feel free to express your views by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The East Maui community may also drop off testimony at the Council’s Hana District Office (5101 Uakea Rd.) or call 248-7513 for more information.
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