LIHU‘E — The King Kamehameha Day commission paid tribute at Saturday’s parade to the late Helene Kealamokihana Vierra, a former Pa‘u Queen in previous parades, and her ‘ohana, many of whom participated in other parades commemorating King Kamehameha.
Organized under the direction of Kaua‘i King Kamehameha Day Commissioner George Thronas, Helene’s husband Tommy Vierra was selected as the Pa‘u Marshall.
He rode Saturday in the air-conditioned cab of a pickup driven by their son Ohu Vierra, bearing a tribute banner portraying the late Pa‘u Queen, who passed away in March.
Tommy is a retired firefighter and was married to Helene for 48 years, participating in parades for 12 years starting in 1971. During that time, the Vierra couple involved all of their children and grandchildren.
Ohu was Tommy’s driver and Kamalani Vierra, Ohu’s son, served as the page for Leesah Merritt, Tommy and Helene’s only daughter, who served as the parade’s Pa‘u Queen.
Eliza Kealamokihana Vierra, daughter of Kalani Vierra, better known as the head of the Kaua‘i Ocean Safety Bureau; Alyssah Kawaiokanaio Vierra, Leesah’s daughter; and Kelsie Mahealani Vierra, Ohu’s daughter, served as the queen’s attendants.
Kalani Vierra and Nohili Vierra, a Kaua‘i Fire Department firefighter, served as escorts.
Kalani and Nohili are sons of Tommy and Helene.
James “Kimo” Kaliloa Viado, the Kahuna Pule of the Royal Order of Kamehameha, Chapter 13, served as the 2012 Mo‘i Kane, the primary dignitary which opened the Kamehameha Day parade which left the Vidinha Stadium parking lot and wound its way along Rice Street, ending at the historic County Building where a variety of crafters, food booths and entertainment greeted the entourage in a ho‘olaule‘a.
James has been married to the former Linda Kainani Bukoski for 43 years and has three sons, Kanuni, Kuikahi and Kalakupua, and a kupuna kane of one grandaughter and two grandsons, one graduating from Kamehameha Schools and the other still attending.
Kimo retired from GTE/Hawai‘ian Tel in 2002 and is now employed at the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort and Spa as a bell captain.
He joined the Royal Order of Kamehameha in 1980 and has portrayed Prince Kuhio as well as served as the Mo‘i Kane for the Kaua‘i Polynesian Festival and is the continuing Mo‘i Kane at the Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club May Day Celebration.
Joining the regal dignitaries, the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, Chapter 3, Kaumuali‘i and its Women’s Auxiliary, Aha Hui Ka‘ahumanu, Chapter 6, Lihu‘e and Hale O Na Ali‘i, Halau O Kapiolani represented the Hawai‘ian clubs. Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., the Governor’s Liaison Wanda Kau-Shibata, whose sister represented the Princess of Maui, and the Kaua‘i County Council also joined the parade.
The Kaua‘i All Girls Rodeo Association offered the colors for the parade which included Kainoa Wong as the Princess of Ni‘ihau, Breana Ai Makanalani Poai as the Princess of Kaua‘i, Kamanaolanaoku‘uleihok-uokalaniiwili‘iamekealoha Hornos as the Princess of aho‘olawe, Noalani Oba as the Princess of O‘ahu, Amanda Barretto as the Princess of Lana‘i and Jade Nakamoto as the Princess of Hawai‘i.
Also joining the festivities were the Miss Kaua‘i 2012 Lei u‘i Kaholokula, the Miss Kaua‘i Filipina 2012 Deanna Rapozo, royalty from both DMD Productions and Na Hoku O Kaua‘i pageant and a large walking unit from Ori Ovira, a Tahitian dance group.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.