Wood Craft

By Ben Wood

Saturday, September 21, 1996

Moke Kaaihue Blue Makua

Blue, Moke take final canoe rides

TWO well-known Hawaiians, Moke Kaaihue, 80, a travel industry pioneer, and beachboy Blue Makua, 72, took their final outrigger canoe rides a few days ago. Moke had died Feb. 2 and his ashes were deposited Tuesday in front of the Elks Club. Blue had died Aug. 20. His ashes were spread last Saturday in front of the Outrigger Hotel. Before Rev. Abraham Akaka gave Blue's beachside service, two men softly sang "Ka Makani Kaili Aloha" (The Soft Wind That Brings Love) and others joined in as the banners of the catamarans danced in the wind. In his service, Akaka said Blue reached the young people of Hawaii by helping to start canoe clubs ... The crowd of about 400 sang "Hawaii Aloha" before a flotilla of outrigger canoes, catamarans, surfboards and kayaks set out. Blue's sons - Blue Jr., Nelson and Alika - his sister Violet, his wife Barbara and Akaka were in Blue's race-winning canoe, Malia. Barbara said one of Blue's last wishes was to catch a wave. So as the other boats waited, Blue Jr. took the Malia out and caught a perfect wave. "That's for you, Daddy," he said ...

THEN ALL the boats paddled out and formed a circle. Blue's three boys dived into the water. Akaka said: "From the blue sea up to the blue sky we commit Blue so that he will look down on the islands that he loves." As paddlers in other boats raised their paddles and Barbara gave the ashes to the sea, "the ashes spread into a white cloud in the water and enfolded the boys. I had never seen that before," said Akaka. "The symbolism was so powerful," he added. "Now you are the new Blue," he told the boys. Blue Jr. thanked people in the other boats and said, "Let's race to the beach." "And it was on," said Archie Kaaua, a member of Blue Sr.'s champion Waikiki Surf Club Molokai race crew. "We caught another perfect wave in," Akaka said ...

Kala Kaaihue says prayer

ON Tuesday, Kala Kaaihue said a fitting prayer for his "Uncle Moke" and the canoe crew of Moke's nephews - steersman Kapala Novikoff, Jesse Beamer, Glenn Gibson, Bill Thomas and young Kealii Thomas - started out off the Elks Club, holding the ashes in a tapa-lined lauhala basket woven by Moana Whaley Espinda. Dabbing tears, Moke's widow Ethel said, "OK, 'One Paddle Two Paddle'" and Marmie Magoon Kaaihue led the group of 50 family and friends in a lei of songs. Kealii and Glenn dived in the water and deposited the ashes as the group sang "Farewell, My Tane" and"Oh No You'll Never Find Another Kana

ka Like Him." As the canoe returned, many rainbow pigeons were released for Moke ... Moke and Ethel are dear friends of mine. I wore a favorite Mamo shirt Tuesday. On arrival at the club, I was surprised to see many people in Mamo shirts and muumuu with the same ilima and maile lei print over beige that I was wearing. Ethel said members of Moke's Honolulu Civic Club wear that pattern. "Moke wanted you to wear it," she said ...

ONWARD: The Halekulani's tribute to steel guitar music features Jerry Byrd with the Hiram Olsen Trio this evening at the beautiful House Without a Key setting. Tuesday night, Ed Kenney sang there and did a bit of hula, backed by Benny Kalama, Sonny Kamahele and Alan Akaka ...

Macarena epidemic spreads

THE macarena virus arrived in Makiki Heights last Saturday at Dudley Child's home. The event was a birthday party for Dudley's sister, Cynthia Child, who hit the Big Five-0. Jeff Apaka led the macarena dancers - Woody, 12, and Trevor Child, 10, and Jeff and Chris Austin, B.J. Fernandez and the Birthday Girl. Tom Lyons on uke and guitarist John Treskon played isle music later. Cynthia's daughter, Stephanie Lagodlagod, turned 27 the next day. Back in 1969, Cynthia tried to give birth to Stephanie on her birthday but Steph had a mind of her own even then and popped out in the wee hours the next day ...

Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin in the streets of downtown Honolulu during World War II, writes of people, places and things every Saturday.

Wood Craft by Ben Wood is a Saturday feature of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
© 1996 All rights reserved.


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