George Palakiko William Hookano celebrates his 71st birthday, 1920.

Ka Hoʻolauleʻa La Hanau no George Palakiko William Hookano
71st Birthday Party for George Hookano
by Thelma Chun, Hoolauleʻa Ukulele Club

The Hoolauleʻa Ukulele Club honored their Advisor-Instructor, “Uncle” George Palakiko William Hookano on his 71st birthday, The event was held on Saturday, January 19,1980, five days prior to his actual birthday.

Club members, members of the Hawaii Government Employees Association, Royal Hawaiian Band members, members from the Moiliili Community Center, members of George Hookano’s Kamaainas (his old orchestra) and friends gathered at the Pikake Room of the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu for this event. They were joined by George’s own family and special friends. One of them was Mrs. Helen Kapaka who came from Kauai to celebrate her nephew’s birthday and then after midnight it was her 95th birthday. It was said that she has been George’s inspiration for continuing our Hawaiian traditions.

Music was provided by the Royal Hawaiian Band under bandmaster Ken Kawashima and later during the program by Mr. & Mrs. Keith Haugen and “Aunty” Genoa Keawe and her musicians.

He was born on January 24, 1909 in Lihue, Kauai to William and Maria (Opunui) Hookano. He was one of their 22 children. In 1925, George was sent to the Waialee Boy’s Training School at Kahuku, here on Oahu. It was at the School where George began his serious study and appreciation of music under Albert Kane. He did not want to return to Kauai because of the education and training he received at the School. Remaining here on Oahu lead him to study under the famous Austrian bandmaster, Henri Berger and this subsequently earned him a position with the Royal Hawaiian Band under Mr. Berger and then with Major Mekia Kealakai. George has taken only a short leave of absence from the Band and his dedication has earned him 50 years of service, He still remains as their master of ceremonies even though he is retired.

George has nine children: George W; Mrs. Stanley (Elaine) Kuloloia of Honolulu and Mrs. Donald (Audrey) Kalehuawehe of Maui from his first marriage. Mrs Georgiana Kahalehoe, Mrs. Winona Aglin and Elizabeth of Honolulu; Samuel of Texas, Stanley of Honolulu and Steven of Los Angeles from his marriage to Ethel (Nunez), who George proudly says is American Indian, Hawaiian, Irish and French.

George was also honored by a surprise visit by Governor George R. Ariyoshi and Mrs. Ariyoshi; a resolution from the State House of Representatives, message from Honolulu Mayor Frank F. Fasi presented by Mr. Harry Boranian of the City and County Civil Service Department and a personal message given by Keith Haugen. Joaquin Lum, a retired member of the Honolulu Police Department played the role of master of ceremonies in helping with these presentations.

Mid-way thru the program and Hawaiian dinner (kalua pig, short ribs, lomi salmon, chicken long rice, luau squid, aku poke, kim chee, kulolo, haupia, poi, rice and other delicious foods) a birthday cake with 72 candles was escorted by members holding long sparklers while all three hundred members and friends sang their best wishes to George. The Club gave him a koa wood pig board as their gift to which George remarked, “I wish I was young again so I can go surfing!”

There was a lot of singing, dancing and laughter all in celebration of George Hookano and for his contributions to our community.

[This is the son of William Hookano Iwiula, from yesterday’s posts.]

Ka Hoʻolauleʻa La Hanau NO GEORGE PALAKIKO WILLIAM HOOKANO

Ua hanau ʻia ʻo George Palakiko William Hookano ma ka la iwakaluakumaha o January i ka M.H. 1909 i Lihue ma Kauaʻi. ʻO William ame Maria (Opunui kona inoa ʻohana) Hookano kona makua a he iwakaluakumalua mau keiki a laua iloko o ka ʻohana. A i ka nui ʻana o George, ua kipaku ʻia mai i Oʻahu nei ma ka Home kula Waialee Boys Training School i Kahuku. Aia no hoʻi i aʻo i ke kani pila malalo o ke kumu aʻo, Albert Kane, a mahope iho, ua aʻo mau malalo o ke alakaʻi pana kaulana, Henri Berger kai hoʻomaka i ka Royal Hawaiian Band me ke Aliʻi Moʻi ʻo David Kalakaua. Ua ʻolelo ʻia mai, ʻaʻole e hoʻi aku ʻo George i kona ʻaina hanau ma Kauaʻi no ka mea, hauʻoli iloko o kona manaʻo e aʻo a kanipila me Henri Berger ma. A malia, ua komo a hana no ia me ka Royal Hawaiian Band malalo o Berger, Major Kealakai a hiki i keia manawa i hoʻomaka ma ka hana, He kanalima a ʻoi aku makahiki i hana kanipila no ka pana o ke aupuni Honolulu City and County.

A ʻoiai, ua hanai a nui o kona ʻohana me kana wahine i male ʻelua ʻia ʻo Ethel (Nunez kona inoa ʻohana). ʻOlelo mai nei, he hapa ʻInikini ʻAmelika, me ke koko Hawaiʻi, Irish ame Palani. He wahine haʻaheo me he pua rose e mae ʻole. Iwa mau keiki a George a penei no hoʻi: George W.; Mrs. Stanley (Elaine) Kuloloia, e noho ana laua ma Honolulu nei ame Mrs. Donald (Audrey) Kalehuawehe e noho ana ma Maui. Mrs. Georgiana Kahalehoe, Mrs. Winona Aglin ame Elizabeth e noho lakou ma Honolulu nei; a ʻekolu keikikane i koe, ʻo Samuel e noho ma Texas, Stanley e noho ʻoia ma Honolulu nei, ame Steven e noho ma Los Angeles. A malia, ua hoʻohanohano ʻia ʻo George me ka hoʻolauleʻa la hanau i ka Pikake Room o ka Neal S. Blaisdell Center ma Honolulu e ka Hoolauleʻa Ukulele Club no kona kokua, kumu aʻo ʻana, alakaʻi mele a ʻo ka mea nui, he kanahikukumakahi makahiki ona. E pomaikaʻi ke Akua ia ia me ke ola kino maikaʻi. A hui pu ʻia me na hui kanipila ʻukulele ʻokoʻa (ka HGEA, Royal Hawaiian Band, na kanaka lala o George Hookano’s Kamaʻainas) ame kona mau ʻohana a poʻe hoa aloha i hoʻolauleʻa me ka hauʻoli no kona la hanau. A ua holo mai nei kekahi poʻe hanohano, a ʻo kekahi ʻoia kona Aunty Helen Kapaka no Kauaʻi mai. A ma ka la aʻe nei e hoʻolauleʻa i kona la hanau – he kanaiwakumalima makahiki ona. A ʻoia kai i hoʻokau i ka manaʻo iloko iho o George e malama i ka nohona Hawaiʻi.

Ua kanipila no ka Royal Hawaiian Band me ke alakaʻi, Ken Kawashima a mahope o ke ahiahi o ka la umikumaiwa o January, kanipila me ka leo mele a hula ʻana ʻo Mr. ame Mrs. Keith Haugen, he mau hoa punahele, ame “Aunty” Genoa Keawe me kona poʻe kanipila. Ua hoʻomaka ʻo “Aunty” Genoa me George mamua a poina ʻole ʻoia i ke kokua ame ke aloha o George i haʻawi ia ia.

Ua hoʻokipa mai ke Kiaʻaina, George R. Ariyoshi ame kana wahine i haʻawi i kana ʻolelo hoʻomaikaʻi ia George e like me ka ʻolelo pumehana a ka Mayor Frank F. Fasi o Honolulu nei i heluhelu ʻia e Harry Boranian, ka luna o ka City and County Civil Service Department. A ua hoʻohanohano na poʻe lala o ka Hale o na Luna Makaʻainana o ka Mokuʻaina ʻoneʻi ia George me he palapala hanohano. A ʻo Joaquin Lum, he makaʻi i hoʻomaha hana a e kani ʻukulele ma ka Club kai i haku hoʻolauleʻa o kela ahiahi.

Ua ʻai iho i na mea ʻai ʻono o ka ʻaina, ʻoia no hoʻi, ka puaʻa kalua, pipi pulehu, lomi salmon, chicken long rice, luʻau heʻe, poke aku, kim chee, kulolo, haupia, poi, laiki ame na mea e aʻe. A he mea kamahaʻo i ka ʻikena i ka lawe mai ʻana o ka birthday cake me he kanahikukumalua kukui liʻiliʻi maluna pono o ka cake, a hahai aku kekahi mau kanaka me ke lama hulalilali. Ua himeni na poʻe apau me ka mele “Hauʻoli la hanau ia ʻoe.” Ua haʻawi aku ka Club i ka makana la hanau he papa loloa no na mea ʻai (kapa ʻia i keia manawa he “pig board”) i kalai ʻia ma ka laʻau koa a pane kolohe mai ʻo George, “Ina he ʻopio no wau, a e heʻe nalu me keia!” Nui ka leʻaleʻa me ka hauʻoli i ka hoʻolauleʻa no George Hoʻokano. He kanaka haʻahaʻa a maikaʻi no kona lawe hana me ke kokua ia makou ame na poʻe apau o keia pae ʻaina ʻo Hawaiʻi nei.

(Alahou, 2/1/1980, pp. 6-7)

Alahou, Helu 4, Aoao 6. Feb/Mar 1980.
Alahou, Helu 4, Aoao 7. Feb/Mar 1980.

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