Neighbor islands donate many Memorial Day leis


POSTED: Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Question: I see there are places on Oahu to drop off a lei for Memorial Day. But if you live on a neighbor island, is there some way to donate? I live on the Big Island. When I was a kid, we would bring a plumeria lei to school, and it would be shipped to Oahu.

Answer: Neighbor islanders are said to be among the best contributors to the annual Memorial Day event, in which leis are placed on the graves of military veterans at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl, and all state veterans' cemeteries.

On the Big Island, schools such as Waiakea Elementary, Waiakea High, Konawaena Elementary, Konawaena High, Hookena Elementary and Mountain View Elementary have been “;great participants,”; according to the City and County of Honolulu's Department of Parks and Recreation.

The department is coordinating the collection and distribution of leis and plumeria flowers on Oahu.

On the neighbor islands, the state Office of Veterans Services is coordinating the collection of leis from schools, then delivery to Aloha Air Cargo.

On the Big Island, call Joe Flores at 933-0315 to find the most convenient place to drop off your donation. Aloha Air Cargo will ship the leis to Honolulu by Thursday or Friday.

Donations on Oahu should be dropped off Friday at designated parks offices and fire stations. Call 768-3002 for information.

Matson has donated two refrigerated containers—one to be stationed at Punchbowl, the other at Aloha Air Cargo and later taken to Punchbowl—in which the leis will be stored. The Boy Scouts will then place them on the graves on Sunday.

The 60th annual Mayor's Memorial Day Ceremony will be held at 8:30 a.m. Monday at Punchbowl.

Blackmore the Artist

The granddaughter of William P. “;Blackie”; Blackmore e-mailed us recently, saying she was delighted to run across columns about the local artist we wrote two years ago, prompted by a reader's request for information (”;Kokua Line,”; Jan. 30, Feb. 6 and Feb. 12, 2007).

Tera Thompson, who lives in Alaska, shared this other bit of information about the prolific artist:

The family lived in Waimanalo for many years before moving to Kailua. Although Blackmore had no formal art training, he was able to supplement the family's income with the sale of his paintings (although he was known to just give them away).

Thompson's grandmother Jean, Blackmore's widow, lives in Hilo. Their only child, Thompson's mother, Judi Thompson, also sold her paintings at the Honolulu Zoo fence and now lives in Mexico.

Blackmore died July 5, 1977, from mesothelioma, “;as he had worked in the engine rooms onboard ships in the Navy.”; He entered the Navy as a teenager and retired as a commander, Thompson said.

He was at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, and “;can be found in the Walter Lord book, 'Day Of Infamy,' revised version,”; Thompson said. “;I remember when Walter interviewed him at the Zoo fence. His firsthand account opens the chapter of Dec. 7th. The chapter might be entitled, 'You'd Be Surprised At What Goes On Around Here' and includes my grandmother and mother.”;

Of his art, Thompson says, “;My grandfather painted a fragile Hawaii that he knew would not last.”;

Write to “;Kokua Line”; at Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).