County Council Update
One pleasure of being on the County Council is the opportunity to honor members of our communities who are deserving of special recognition. At the Dec. 14 Council meeting I will recognize the three presidents of our Senior Citizen Clubs: North Kohala’s Bobby Glory, Waimea’s Pat Lewi and Waikoloa’s Stephanie Stearns. I here share some of each of their commendations:
Bobby Glory: Born and raised in Kohala, he worked for Hawaii Police Department with the Special Ops Unit in the days when they wore the drab green uniforms, and also worked for security at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Since then he has dedicated himself to serving others. He is the choir leader for his church, plays the guitar every month at the hospital, is the consummate fundraiser and coordinator for the Lions Club and the Kohala softball team, and has dedicated endless hours as president of the Kohala seniors.
When a friend was prompted to disclose something light or funny about Bobby it was mentioned that upon his return from eye surgery, at a Kohala senior meeting he said, “Hi, I am back, and boy I’m looking really good now!” This humor caught all by surprise because he was not known to talk or joke about himself.
Pat Kimura Lewi: The deep belief in giving back captures her persona. She gives much of her time, energy and talents to address the needs of our community and has specifically dedicated herself to the Waimea Seniors adding a richness and vitality that has made the club one of the most successful on the island. She is also president of the Kaumana Society which has been active since the 1800s. And she has been a volunteer for North Hawaii Community Hospital for the past 18 years.
Pat was born on Oahu but moved to this island before the war. Her parents — the Kimuras — ran the Parker Ranch Store which later became the Hayashi Store. When she was a mere 11 years old she left to attend Kamehameha School for Girls as a boarder where she fondly remembers eating chili for the first time in her life. She went on to the College of Commerce and retired from the County of Hawaii Police Department after 35 years of service.
Pat remembers Waimea when hitching posts were everywhere, cars went around the dogs at the main intersection and hail storms were a common place. She says life’s experiences keep her alive, giving back gives her satisfaction and retirement represents another life phase where one can make a difference.
Stephanie Stearns: Moving from her hometown of New York City to Oahu in 1970 to help manage the Ulu Mau Village for her uncle, the patriarch of the family, was the beginning of her transformation from newcomer to kamaaina. Though she left a year later to tend her mother, she realized that she was a small town girl who spent her life in a big city and had never been beyond the paved road. Stephanie’s return to Hawaii took her first to Kauai and then Maui but the “home of her heart” was Hawaii Island and it was here that she choose to retire.
Her idea of retirement did not include taking it easy because her involvement in the community did not leave time to sit back and relax as president of the Waikoloa Senior Center, coordinator of the Full Moon Waikoloa Potluck, member of the Leadership Council for Waikoloa, vice president of the Waikoloa Library and writer for the Breeze.