Eagle helps Gladys rest in peace

Gladys was neglected for several years in a closet at Waimea High School.

That closet was in the library on the school campus, and Gladys was put there after school officials acquired a synthetic skeleton due to increasing sensitivity about having real human bones as visual aids for educational purposes.

Not much is known about Gladys except that Waimea High School science department teachers acquired her in the 1950s, and fondly named her Gladys.

There was no history for her except that she was probably in her twenties when she died, and she was from India.

After several years of residing in the closet at the Waimea High School library, she was finally laid to rest in the neighboring Waimea United Church of Christ graveyard.

Patrick Pereira, now the Waimea High School vice principal, and his son Liko Pereira, formerly the Waimea High School head football coach, hand dug the cemetery plot for the burial.

As the years passed, it was difficult to say where the grave was located, and no one at the WUCC church knew for sure where the exact spot was.

They had a general idea.

That account was given by Helen Masaki, a WUCC Cemetery Committee, member to Scott Martin, who decided that he would undertake the formal marking and blessing of Gladys’ grave as his Boy Scout Eagle project.

“Scott’s project was kind of unusual, as it didn’t involve painting a building, or building picnic tables,” said Rodney Martin, Scott Martin’s dad.

“Instead, at the suggestion of Aunty Helen Masaki, Scott was going to construct a concrete border around an unmarked grave in the church graveyard,” Rodney Martin said.

Scott Martin discussed Gladys’ grave with Pat Pereira, and, with his help, pinpointed the boundaries of Gladys’ grave, the first step towards the formal marking.

As the formal grave site dedication took place, Scott Martin said he wanted to express his appreciation for the help he got from fellow Boy Scouts Nathan Martin, Ryan Kunselman and Gabby Sakai.

Ken Sakai and Rodney Martin spearheaded the efforts to set the forms and supervise the pouring and finishing of the concrete.

Dean Fujikawa of Diversified Awards donated the bronze plaque that marks Gladys’ final resting place.

As the process to mark Gladys’ grave continued, Mark Ulanday found the poem that was read when Gladys’ was first buried in 2003.

The work completed, Pastor Olaf Hoeckman officiated at the formal blessing ceremony that took place earlier this month. Vivian Hoeckman provided the gathering of Scouts, leaders, and volunteers with post-service sandwiches and refreshments.

Rodney Martin said that the Eagle project “was a long, drawn-out process that many Boy Scout parents can relate to.”

Rodney Martin explained: “Once Scouts get into high school, it becomes more difficult for them to want to stay in the program because they have so many other interests and demands placed on them. It takes commitment and family support to keep the Scout heading towards that goal they started out with close to 10 years ago, to achieve their Eagle badge.”

Scott Martin extended his appreciation to Helen Masaki for her guidance, help, and suggestion that led to Gladys being able to enjoy a final resting place next to the campus where she had spent several years helping students to advance their education, he said.

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