Melvin “Baggy” Tsuchiya and Edward “Eddie” Ho will be honored as the inaugural members of the Menehune Legacy Hall of Honor, Saturday, Aug. 6 at Waimea High School.
This is the first year of the Hall of Honor.
The hall is dedicated to recognizing any athlete, coach or booster who has contributed to the Menehune symbol of spirit and tradition, a release from the Menehune Booster Club states.
The honoring of Tsuchiya and Ho is a way of remembering two men who impacted the lives of many athletes around Kaua‘i, Waimea Athletic Director Jon Kobayashi said.
“These men laid the foundation for our school,” Kobayashi said. “They were the coaches for my generation. It’s important to remember what they’ve done and not let it stay in the past.”
Tsuchiya was a football, basketball and track coach at Waimea. He also taught English at the school and served with the 100th Infantry Battalion in Italy.
“Baggy was just an outstanding person,” Menehune booster club member Basilio Fuertes said. “He was my coach from 1956 to 1960 and he was the type of guy that you liked to play for.”
At Waimea High, Ho was a Mr. Everything. Ho taught chemistry, physics and biology. He served as vice-principal for two years and assisted with football. But it was the pool where Ho made his name.
“He contributed so much to our swimming,” Fuertes said. “He knew how to coach all sorts of people. You always gave him 100 percent because you wanted to learn from him.”
The West Kaua‘i Lions Club named its annual swimming meet after Ho after he passed away at the early age of 46. This year, the Eddie Ho Memorial Swimming Meet will see its 38th year.
Fuertes said the booster club plans on adding new members to the hall of honor each year. There will be photos of those honored located on a wall in the gym at Waimea High School.
“These guys are really important to our athletic department.” Fuertes said. “We’re going to put their photos up on the wall and people can come by and look at these important guys and see how they were so many years ago.”
The Menehune Legacy dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Waimea High School Athletic Field. Tickets will be sold for $25.00. Anyone interested in contributing or willing to purchase tickets can contact Jeff Emoto at 335-8585 or Jon Kobayashi at 338-6800, ext. 175.