I was very glad I went to the Waiʻanae Coast Hall of Fame induction ceremony. I initially went because my grandmother, Margaret Kaʻaʻa Apo (1910 – 2002) was being inducted, but I found that because it was the first set of inductees, it was a veritable “who’s who” of Waiʻanae over the last century.
Most of the inductees were long passed (my grandmother in 2002), but included surfers Rell Sun and Buffalo Keaulana, rancher Sebastian Reiny, developer Chinn Ho, Katherine Maunakea, legislator James “Jimmy” Aki, Waiʻanae and Nanakuli HS teacher and coach Richard Engler, OHA trustee Frechy Desoto, slack-key guitarist Ray Kane, Hawaiian language specialist Kaʻupena Wong, and the original members of the Hanabusa, Tamura and Meyer families. The awards were given in four categories: Business, Education, Culture and Arts and Sports and Recreation.
My grandmother was inducted for her work on the Hawaiʻi Board of Education, the state Constitutional Convention (Con-con) and helping make Hawaiian one of the official languages of the State of Hawaiʻi. As an article in the Star Advertiser noted at the time:
Apo was a member of the benevolent royal society Hale O NÅ Ali‘i for more than 50 years, said the society’s president, Hailama Farden.
“She was a mÅnaleo, a native speaker,” he said. “As part of the 1978 Constitutional Convention she had a big part in getting Hawaiian declared the state’s official language.”