Child, now grandma; Grandpa's wisdom


POSTED: Monday, August 17, 2009

Child, now grandma, slept in mom's arms

Fifty years ago a photo of my mom carrying me at City Hall on March 12, 1959, appeared in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. It was a day celebrating the passing of a bill granting Hawaii statehood.

As Hawaii celebrates its 50th birthday this Aug. 21, I will be celebrating my 53rd birthday that same day. That will be a day to remember.

I now have four grown children and four grandchildren. I've been married to my husband for 27 years. My mom died last year in March.

It is my pleasure to say with great appreciation, delight and joy, that I'm proud to be an American and to call Hawaii my home.

The bad economy is affecting many living here, but I have hope that all can go well and be better as we use wisdom in our spending and lovingly support those who are in need.

—Ramona Pualani Machado Nunies, Honolulu




Grandpa had wisdom

A few months ago, I dug up an old picture of my brothers and sister holding a statehood paper, thinking that it would be a nice memento for them as Hawaii celebrates 50 years of statehood. I asked my mother about that day, and she said that she had taken my older brothers and sister to the municipal building and Iolani Palace to “;document”; this event for our family.

Then, to my surprise, she added that my Filipino grandfather sharply criticized her for doing that. My paternal grandfather was the patriarch of the family and had given our family some status in the Filipino community. Born in the Philippines, he joined the U.S. armed services to make a better life for himself. He was a veteran of World Wars I and II, serving first in the U.S. Army and then later retired as a captain in the U.S. Air Force. Quite a feat for any Filipino in those days! I thought he would be ecstatic that Hawaii was finally becoming a state.

But my mother said that he strongly believed that the issues regarding Hawaiian ceded lands should have been resolved first, before statehood, and foresaw problems in the future. And as a Filipino, he understood land controversy issues because of what the Spanish had done to the Filipinos.

It never occurred to me that statehood was both a joyous and painful event. While I am glad to be a U.S. citizen, I am thankful to have had a grandfather whose wisdom and foresight were truly ahead of his time.

—Gisele Garduque Ferreira, Honolulu