I cannot thank enough, all of the organizations and individuals that supported us in our effort to participate in this event. Mrs. Sharon Bowman for the canoe “Au Hou”, Aunty May Au for allowing the name “Au Hou”, Mr. John Kekua and the Kekua Foundation, Mr. Anthony Guerrero of First Hawaiian Bank, Ms. Sharon Shiroma Brown and the First Hawaiian Foundation, Chair Haunani Apoliona and the trustees, officers and staff of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Mr. Merle Kelai and Matson Navigation, Co., Mr. Kevin Akana and Akana Trucking, the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian, Ms. Jennifer Tozer and Ms. Carolyn Rapkievian of the NMAI and, Mr. Gordon Lee who greatly honored us by asking our assistance in the restoration effort of the canoe given by Queen Kapi‘olani in 1855 to the National Museum of Natural History. Again, mahalo nui loa for allowing us this opportunity to be a part of this most historical event!
Finally, I would like to recognize and express my appreciation to Board Member Jerry Muller for taking on the task of organizing the travel and tour arrangements for the delegation. Well done, Jerry!
—Billy Richards, President
National Museum of the American Indian
Smithsonian NMAI Opening Ceremony, September 21, 2004 –“An experience never to be forgotten.”
The Friends delegation was amazed and awed with the people, service, sites, and history available during our trip. Our itinerary included a: Liturgy for Native People’s at the National Cathedral; OHA reception held at Renwick Gallery; tour of the U.S. Capitol courtesy of Senator Akaka; march in the Native Nations Procession on the National Mall; formal presentation of our canoe Au Hou to the NMAI; tour of the White House; attended the dedication of the Queen Kapi‘olani canoe restored and displayed in the “Na Mea Makamae o Hawai‘i – Hawaiian Treasures” exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History; and attended a film preview of “The Hawaiians, Reflecting Spirit” by Edgy Lee, hosted by OHA.
The majority of us stayed in Rosslyn, Virginia. When we had free time, one or more of us traveled to neighboring cities such as Fair Lakes, Georgetown, Washington DC, Boston, and as far as Kansas City. Our group endured the sore okole and body aches from the long flight to D.C. and back to Honolulu. Some of us soaked our bodies and feet, or iced our joints from walking to and from the Metro. It was worth it.
We want to thank those who made our stay one that was filled with Aloha and who represented the true meaning of friendly customer service: the front desk agent at American Airlines; the waitress, Ann, at the Marriott Residence Inn; John who never left Dennis’ and Jason’s side; Martha Ross of OHA/DC; the Metro driver who gave us candy; the manager at Olive Garden in Fair Lakes who made sure we had a taxi to take us home.
It made you wish more of our friends and family could have experienced this unforgettable moment.
On Saturday, October 30, 2004 Hokuala‘i along with Hokule‘a landed on the shores of Hilo Bay after sailing to Kaua‘i, Kaho‘olawe, and Kona. Jerry Ongies, Jay Dowsett, and Billy Richards were invited to accompany the crew and special staff members of Punanaleo – Hilo.
New Members: Bobby Puakea, John/Rose Simonds