Saturday | January 21, 2017
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Honokaa Hongwanji to host 111th annual Memorial Service

The Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple invites the community to join its 111th annual Memorial Service at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 19, in the social hall, followed by Bon dancing at 7 p.m.

Anyone of any faith is encouraged to remember and honor loved ones who passed away in the last 12 months. A simple and healing ceremony, the service not only pays tribute to the departed, but expresses gratitude to them and all ancestors in an uplifting way, often referred to as a “gathering of joy.” During the Memorial Service, names of those who died in the preceding year are read aloud, as families and friends step forward to offer incense as a symbolic gesture of remembrance.

For the Memorial Service on July 19, names may be submitted in advance to the Rev. Shingo Furusawa at 775-7232 (phone), 987-4928 (voice/text) or by email ( During the Memorial Service, when the person’s name is called, anyone may step forward with friends and family to offer a small amount of incense (provided), with aloha. Even without advance arrangements, anyone can honor loved ones by submitting a name just prior to the beginning of the ceremony.

Admission is free.

As the service concludes, everyone is welcome to stay, enjoy and join in the dancing, music, food and celebration. A traditional Buddhist style of folk dancing, Bon Odori (Bon dance) is accompanied by lively taiko drums and music, led by dance groups in colorful happi coats to represent different temples. Young and old participate in the Bon dancing, whether they are beginners or lifelong dancers.


Things are falling into place.

Save the date Saturday, Aug. 16, for the Hamakua Sugar Plantations Day Festival in Honokaa Town.

You’re not going to want to miss the festival, where together the families of the area that worked for Hamakua Sugar Company at any point in their careers will gather to catch up on the times.

Will you take part in educating the youth of today about the plantation days and how the sugar company influenced the way of life for their parents and grandparents? Come celebrate the lifestyle that helped form this community. The purpose of this community gathering is to commemorate the closure of Hamakua Sugar Co. It’s been 20 years.

This event is being spearheaded by a group of community members as well as county officials with the hope it will become an annual event.

“Help us spread the word! Tell anyone and everyone who you know that worked for the Hamakua Sugar Company,” said Darde Gamayo. “We are looking for videos of the sugar plantation … any of the operations involved in growing/harvesting/processing … This is the email address where you can send your pictures or videos, Check us out on Facebook.

“Does anyone know of any Korean families still in the area that worked on the plantation? Of all the ethnic groups, we are only missing representatives from that group.”


Third Thursday Thrive is slated for 6-8 p.m. Thursday, and on the third Thursday of every month, thereafter.

Come to North Hawaii Education and Research Center in Honokaa and join the grassroots community group potluck to support sustainability and expand connections within the Hamakua community.

All are welcome. Bring a dish to share and a beverage for yourself. Also bring your own nondisposable plates and silverware.

For more information, email Diane Scheurell at


Plan your workshop, classes or fundraisers at the Historic Spencer House and help support “A New Beginning” for this iconic Waimea landmark.

Reservations are now being accepted for special events and classes, meetings and presentations in this beautiful 22-room home and, in the process, will help bring this 16-decades-old residence back to life in the 21st century, with reasonable introductory rentals.

For more information, call Paul Johnston at 938-4540 or email, or for scheduling, call Betsy Sanderson at 938-2897 or email You also can find them on Facebook.


In case you missed this last week, please note the second annual Waimea Small Business Expo will be from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, July 18, at Kanu o Ka ‘Aina. The theme is “The Go-To Place For Our Business Community.”

The expo is free and open to all — whether you are a startup or want to manage your small business more efficiently. There also will be free business workshops available, with varied topics including entrepreneurship, payroll law, LinkedIn and the top 20 business apps.

Exhibitor booths are available to companies that provide resources to small businesses. Booths are $30, with all proceeds going to support community and school programs in Waimea.

To register for a workshop or booth, or for more information, visit or call 890-2516.

To submit items for the weekly Kokua Way column, email


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