Jean Holmes continues love affair with Kaua’i

This year’s Kamehameha Day Parade is not only the first big floral parade in

Lihu`e since 1991, it’s different because for the first time some non-Hawaiians

have been invited to participate.

To co-chairmen Edee Bandmann and Jack

Wilhelm, “Bridging The World With Aloha,” the statewide theme decided

upon by the King Kamehameha Celebration Commission, meant that people from

other ethnic groups who also have the aloha spirit in their hearts, should be

included.

The people selected as Honorary Marshals for this year’s parade

will be riding in convertibles down Rice Street, Saturday, June 10.

Those

selected are: Dorothy Nakazawa; Jean Holmes; Georgia Mossman; Louie Almodova;

Nancy Fuller; Sachi Ikeda; Mary Thronas; Dede Wilhelm; and Raymond Aki. Also

named is Harold Aiu, who, as a newly-elected member of the Paniolo Hall of

Fame, will be on horseback.

Jean Holmes’ love affair with Kaua`i had its

beginning 35 years ago when she arrived to work as a reporter for The Garden

Island newspaper.

She soon became editor of the newspaper and during the

next 20 years she got to know and love the island’s people.

She was

responsible for opening up the pages of the newspaper to everyone, rich and

poor, of any nationality or background. All brides rated the same size picture,

whether their fathers were in management or part of the sabidong gang.

She

believed people were interested in what was happening to their neighbors all

around the island and baby’s first birthday, the grandparent’s golden

anniversary and church activities were recorded, and the faces of the

participants brightened the pages of The Garden Island.

Hawaiians and their

cultural activities were treated with respect and she insisted their beautiful

language be given the correct spelling and punctuation. And Jean is very proud

of her years of membership in the Womens Auxiliary to the Royal Order of

Kamehameha I, an honor seldom given to those not of Hawaiian blood.

When

she retired from the newspaper in 1984, there was an outpouring of letters

from readers/friends, visits to say aloha, mahalos from the people who had the

good fortune to work for her, and a large and wonderful hotel ballroom dinner

party in her honor.

After that retirement, she did a stint as news director

at what is now KQNG radio station, an entirely new medium (proof that old dogs

can learn new tricks).

After that retirement, Jean spent the next decade

teaching journalism at Kaua`i Community College, where her students basked in

the individual attention she gave each one of them.

She really retired

just last year, after her 81st birthday.

The culminating honor came last

June when she was named one of Kaua`i’s “Living Treasures,” where she

felt her cup of love and aloha, that being given and that being received, truly

runneth over.

“These certainly are not the only Kauaians who

demonstrate that people of all races and cultures can live together

harmoniously, but they are representative of that special quality known as the

spirit of aloha,” says Bandman.

Commentators will be JK and Melanie

(Hanohano) Tehada, on Rice Street near Vidinha Stadium, where the parade will

start at 10 a.m. Bill Dahle and Eloise Oclit will be the commentators on the

lawn of the old County Building, where the units will pass in review. O`ahu

judges will select the most outstanding pa`u riding units and awards will be

presented to the winning islands after the parade, between acts at the

ho`olaulea.

There will also be food and craft booths.

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