Ohana100’s first volunteer was our grandfather Daniel Akaka, or "Pa" as we called him. He was with our program since 2014 and at 93, he was our oldest volunteer until his passing on April 6th, 2018.
Fondest memories. . .
While distributing books to students at Kaimiloa and Puuhale Elementary, he began greeting each child by their name. We wondered how he knew that, and realized that each student wore a name tag and he would say their name while handing each of them a book.
Pa Akaka was always excited about going out to the schools and promoting the importance of reading. He loved to say "GO! READ" because its so simple to say and so simple to do. He did just that at Pauoa Elementary.
He always asked how you were doing. "Ehhhh, How you doin' and how's the kids?"
Pa Akaka always believed in the importance of an education. He was a former teacher and administrator at several public schools, and a band and choir instructor at Kamehameha Schools on the the island of Oahu.
A special treat for him was to return to a school he opened in the early 1960's to distribute books. He was its first Principal and gave it it's name "Pohakea" which in Hawaiian means to bring forth light, or enlightenment. A fitting name for a school. We've held annual book giving events there since 2014, and he was there for every one of them.
He also proudly dedicated his life to service. He served in the military during World War II, with his church, and for Hawaii in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate. This service continued for him into retirement when he joined Ohana100 at the age of 89.