Former home lands head broke barriers


POSTED: Thursday, August 20, 2009

She played a pivotal role in creating thousands of homes for native Hawaiians and was among the women who broke the gender barrier, stepping into traditional male jobs in Hawaii.

Hoaliku Lucia Drake was a welder at Pearl Harbor during World War II and later a Honolulu police officer.

She distinguished herself as an able administrator when she served as director of the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands in the 1990s, negotiating a $600 million settlement that provided $30 million a year for 20 years for the program.

Drake, 88, born in Honolulu, died Aug. 3 at home in Waianae.

Services for her are scheduled at 7 p.m. today at Borthwick Mortuary, with viewing starting at 4 p.m.

Graveside services are scheduled at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Hawaiian Memorial Park.

; Former state House Speaker Henry Peters said his mother constantly amazed members of his family in the way she broke barriers and rose to become a leader in the community and government.

“;She set new standards. ... She worked really hard all her life,”; Peters said. “;I'm very proud of her accomplishments. ... I'm proud to call her my mom.”;

Peters recalled his mother attending school while working as a police officer and eventually earning two master's degrees.

After retiring from the police force, Drake, who had worked as a leader in various community organizations including the Parent Teacher Association, was appointed by Mayor Frank Fasi as human resources director.

She later served as the home lands director under Gov. John Waihee.

Peters said his mother taught the family to be inclusive and embrace everyone.

“;Not just family called her Mama Drake,”; Peters said. “;The bottom line was she really enjoyed people.”;

She is also survived by her daughter, Heila Wallace, sisters Henrietta Stern and Agnes Cope, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.