Monday, May 23, 2022 |
Share this story
• God bless Hawai‘i
• The story of Martha Sialana Kruse
• Looking back
God bless Hawai‘i
In the summer of 1959, I was between first and second grades. I did not know much about Hawai‘i at that time.
But two good lead-ins caused the imminent statehood issue to arouse my interest! First, every morning, on WFIL radio station, I would hear the popular Hawaiian punch commercial, as well as enjoy the actual drink.
Second, when I was in first grade, I saw a movie, in school, about Hawai‘i. In early July 1959, while sick in bed with the chicken pox, I had the opportunity to read the full story on the imminent statehood status of the Hawaiian Islands.
The remark that impressed me the most was, “People are proud to be Americans!” I, too, was real happy for all of you!
My first time ever in Hawai‘i was in June 1978. I fell in love with the state then, and have been so ever since! On that very first Hawaiian holiday, I enjoyed the “All 8 Islands In One Day” excursion!
My favorite island is Kaua‘i. But I’m very fond of all eight islands. It’s been a great pleasure (and blessing) to vacation in Hawai‘i every year since then!
May the lord continue to bless the Hawaiian Islands and keep the same in his loving care forever and always!
Robert Reynolds, Austin, Texas
The story of Martha Sialana Kruse
Sakadas played a key role in plantation history, as it took men and their families across the Pacific Ocean from the Philippines to Hawai‘i.
In July 1922, Victoriano Sialana, wife Vicenta, sons Jose, 16, Patricio, 9 and daughter Martha, 2 arrived on Kaua‘i, under contract with Kekaha Sugar Company.
This is Martha Sialana Kruse’s story:
In September 1926, I attended my first day of school and did not understand the white American, English-speaking teacher. An older Filipina, 10 years old, had to explain what the teacher was asking of me. “What is your name?” she asked in her dialect, “katsat na dayta nagan mo!” I had learned to speak Ilocano dialect, so I told the teacher my name.
I must have been very quick to learn the English language because in January 1927, Mrs. Rooch passed me to the first grade after four months in her receiving class!
In June 1933, I graduated from the eighth grade with honors. This Sakada girl, under plantation contract, graduated in the top three of the class of 1933! September 1933, I was a freshman at Waimea High School and in June 1938, I graduated one year later than my original class because I stayed home to give my mother tender loving care during my 11th year.
In May 1939 I married an American citizen, George Arthur Kruse, who worked in the machine shop at KSC. The Kruse family was also under contract from Hanover, Germany.
In 1949, after World War II, through the hard work of the Japanese and Filipino veterans and other Asian nationals I was finally in court petitioning for naturalization privileges — Hooray!
Through the next 10 years I was busy with elections, working in the polls, and even went to Republican caucuses. The Republican Party was in office when Hawai‘i was declared a state in 1959. I was a proud Republican Sakada that day.
My family celebrated that day, riding around in our sedan and tooting their horns and waving flags with our eight children. Only seven of our eight were celebrating with us — our oldest Kalani Kruse was already serving in the U.S. army.
Kalani enlisted right after graduation from Waimea High School in June of 1958. Hooray for us! Hooray for the 50th state of the United States of America.
Mrs. Kruse lives in Kekaha and is still very active in community life. She is now 89.
Romang Tumbaga Peake, Kekaha
As we celebrate 50 years of Hawai‘i statehood, we could all remember a few things about how we got this far and then think:
— Our original people still have no nation for their families to grow. When will this come about for them? Too many times money talks louder than pono even within the communities that are meant to assist.
— Now, from necessity we must all consider the importance of interdependence and sustainability for Kaua‘i people. Honolulu missed its chance for sustainability somewhere in the 1960s. It doesn’t look like a recovery scenario to me. We could be more critical of their model and we could all learn to look to the Mainland for less.
— Our children have unhealthy and unreliable models coming across their media connections. We need not fear those connections as much as to learn their purpose and make good choices, quickly discarding the misguided content. Sometimes our youth appear to be “young barbarians” to us. They aren’t, they need for us to guide them with authority.
— Local community management is the right idea, no one “owns” the river. Government and large corporations are suppose to serve our local communities. When they do, everything works really well.
— In some ways the commemorative 50 years celebration should be called “Estatehood,” because we are managed many times in our decisions by those with estates. In this information age we are all now as informed as any other. Let’s keep each other honest, love our island deeply, and as uncle Eddie Kamae would say “Listen To The Forest.”
Mark Jeffers, Hanapepe
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
By participating in online discussions you
acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful
discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments
are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines,
send us an email.