COURTESY OF LAHAINALUNA HIGH SCHOOL
A rainbow arcs above the Lahainaluna "L," a landmark carved into a hill above the school in West Maui.
175 years of pride
A week of festivities are planned to celebrate Lahainaluna's history
Pride for beauty, unity, tradition and history. Despite the age of Lahainaluna High School, it maintains its magnificence. Preparing for another milestone, the school's staff, students, and alumni have reason to be proud.
Lahainaluna High School
Ka Leo Luna
Ellen Cabading and Tasha Pagdilao
980 Lahainaluna Road
Red and white
Anniversary celebrations for the school known as the "Oldest School West of the Rockies," will give participants a chance to start following the celebration theme of "Honoring our Traditions, Celebrating our Culture."
Anniversary events are scheduled to begin today and end Saturday. There will be an archive display in the library open throughout the week from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day, with the exception of Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Campus tours and an open house are happening on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Anniversary merchandise will be available at the hospitality room in the library. From today to Thursday the room will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. An order form is available at www.lahainaluna.com.
One of the largest events will be the parade on Front Street, Friday at 5 p.m. This tradition, which once took place during homecoming week, is making a comeback.
For the anniversary festivities, the parade is broken up into three segments, each representing a group of graduates and starting on different streets. The first segment, representing students from graduating classes between 1930 and 1960, starts at Baker Street. From Kenui Street, representatives will appear on behalf of graduates from 1961 to 1985. Representatives from the graduating classes of 1986 through 2009 will join the others from Ala Moana Street.
At 6 p.m. Friday, opening ceremonies will commence at Kamehameha Iki Park, also known as Armory Park. Russell Yamanoha, 1984 alumnus and KHNL sportscaster, will host the event. The band Lahaina Grown and musicians Keoki Kahumoku and Peter deAquino will provide entertainment.
Alumni also will attend class reunions on Thursday and Friday. The Boarders' Reunion will be at the Lahaina Jodo Mission immediately following the opening ceremonies.
Concluding the celebration will be the 175th Pageant and Luau on Lahainaluna's athletic field. Former boarders Micheal (Pangan) Tabura, Class of 1989, and Kathy Nakagawa, Class of 1988, will host. The two can also be heard on-air at KSSK-FM as Mike "Makani" and "Kathy With a K."
The pageant will present the school's history through song and dance, with a theme based on a line of the alma mater, "Na Lamaku Pio'ole": "The ever-burning torch of wisdom and tradition."
Thanks to the 175th Anniversary Committee and all who volunteered their time, the events and activities will definitely offer more reasons to be proud of this school.
History unites students, staff and LHS alumni
Cherished memories include homecoming parades, big bonfires and David Malo Day
Lahainaluna High School has endured for 175 years, and the traditions of the school hold a special place in the hearts of the students, staff, and alumni.
Jon Shigaki, a 1986 graduate, is now the school's smaller learning communities grant coordinator. Shigaki recalled that nearly all students participated in events throughout the year.
To start the year off with a bang, homecoming week brought positive energy and excitement. Class competitions leading up to the big game were scheduled. Cheering contests were always held on Fridays during lunch recess. Spirited students participated in boys' cheerleading, class banner contests and other games.
Each class was responsible for making a float for the homecoming parade. Eager people lined up along Front Street to watch the parade and subsequent festivities at Malu'uluolele Park, where the royal court was presented, skits were performed and contest winners were announced. In the end, the Alma Mater Contest showed how much pride students had for their school.
"I can honestly say that the competitions brought us respect for each other, school pride and school unity," Shigaki said.
The boarders had their own traditions as well. Back then, the boarders had to attend football games in a strict dress code. Female boarders wore white mu'umu'u, while male boarders wore black ties, white collared shirts tucked into black pants and shiny black shoes.
Lori Gomez, a 1960 graduate, returned to the LHS ohana when she became the professional development resource teacher for the Lahaina complex. Gomez remembers some traditions that brought the students and teachers together as a family. After the flag pledge but before classes started, patriotic songs were sung.
"Homecoming was always the main event, which culminated with a big bonfire," Gomez said. "The bonfire was symbolic of the torch mentioned in our alma mater ... (a) torch of learning that cannot be extinguished," said Gomez.
The class of 1960 became the first "statehood" class when Hawaii officially became a state in August 1959. Most of the clubs reflected professional careers to prepare the students for the real world.
"We were taught Hawaiian values like respect toward people and the 'aina (land), integrity, and giving back to the community," said Gomez. "I remember that we all were treated as an 'ohana (family) and learned what makes an 'ohana work -- the sense of giving, sense of sharing, and the sense of community."
Jean Miyahira, the school's administrative services assistant, graduated in 1958. Miyahira also remembers the parade that filled Front Street and the remarkable bonfire afterward.
"I remember that our principal was really into football, so whenever our football team won a game, he would schedule a pep rally," Miyahira said. "Most of our pep rallies were held in the staff parking lot."
Everyone celebrated the school's 125th anniversary on Boarders' Field.
"We had a big cake," Miyahira said. "The cheerleaders placed candles on it and for that special occasion, the 'L' was lit." said Miyahira.
The school's accountant clerk, Ivy Huerter, graduated in 1977. She remembers building floats on flatbeds and using chicken wire and tissue paper to design their float.
On David Malo Day, the boarders entertained the audience with their songs. Since there were no female boarders until 1980, girls from the Hawaiiana Club participated with the male boarders.
"After David Malo Day, the girls from the Hawaiiana Club and the boarders went to the 'L,' bringing lei for David Malo's grave and lime for the outlining of the 'L,'" Huerter said.
These traditions and events live in the hearts of the alumni to remind the next generation that the past was what brought them together.
"What inanimate object are you most afraid of?"
"Jewelry. It's a phobia. It just grosses me out."
Rowelle Leanne Malijana
"Hallways, because they're creepy."
"Ceiling fans. It might break off and hit me."
"Cheese graters. I might cut myself."
"Elevators, especially when I ride alone."
"Curtains when they blow in the wind."
"The SPAM can. I don't want to get cut."
"Ladders. I'm afraid they'll fall on me."
"Balloons. I don't like thinking it'll pop in my face!"