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Category Archives: The Islands of Hawaii

“Since 2008, Hawaii’s Plantation Village (HPV) been paying tribute to individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to honor and perpetuate the legacy of Hawaii’s Sugar Plantation lifestyle and values,” said Jeff Higa, HPV’s Executive Director.  “This year’s honorees are a diverse group whose work continues to share our understanding of plantation culture and history.”

Honorees for 2010 are:

Alan Wong

Alan Wong has continuously contributed to Hawaii’s Plantation Village.  For the past several years, he has named HPV the recipient of his popular anniversary fundraising dinners.  Funds received from these functions have allowed HPV to embark on expansion of their Hawaiian structures, which is in turn allows HPV to tell a fuller story about the contribution by Hawaiians to the Sugar Plantation community.

But, beyond his financial generosity, Alan Wong has been a very vocal supporter of HPV to national and international media, raising our profile and the morale of our volunteers.  He truly understands the value of our mission and Hawaii’s Plantation Village cannot thank him enough for sharing his valuable time and prestigious name with our organization.

Steven Pang

Steven Pang continues the legacy of the Pang Family’s involvement with Hawaii’s Plantation Village.  A man of many talents, he is a frequent sight at many HPV cultural celebrations, usually cooking Chinese food, or managing displays at the Tsoong Nye Society house.  Steve has been instrumental in almost singlehandedly establishing the popular Bon Dance that HPV hosts every June by providing the entire infrastructure for that event:  stage construction, electrical and plumbing, even providing at least half of the food for sale that night.  His wide background in facilities and abilities in a wide range of construction skills has made him an invaluable member of our organization.

Ah Sui (Joe) & Margie Pang

Hawaii’s Plantation Village sits on the site of Ah Sui (Joe) and Margie Pang’s former home.  It is now the site of the Chinese complex exhibit.  Joe, Margie, and their son Steven, and Johnson (Joe’s cousin) were the driving force behind the Tsoong Nyee Society.  They restored many Chinese cultural and agricultural artifacts, giving slide and video shows about the early Chinese.  The Tsoong Nyee Society collaborated with Friends of Waipahu Cultural Garden Park to restore the Chinese Kitchen as an extension of Waipahu Cultural Garden Park’s (WCGP) museum exhibits.

They were volunteers at the WCGP and often joined the Wednesday group of seniors. Margie always brought Chinese delicacies, which were made from items from her yard and garden, to share.  Her corned beef patties with taro are still remembered.  Margie was the first docent for the village, even before there was a village.  She would take school children on tours of her garden, explaining about the many medicinal plants and fruit trees that flourished in her yard.

Ah Sui and Margie Pang have three children, Pat, Wanda, and Steven.

Barbara Kawakami

Barbara Kawakami began her academic career past the age of fifty, earning her degrees, a BS in Textile and Clothing, and an MA in Asian Studies, from the University of Hawaii. Prior to that, she was a dressmaker and designer plus a homemaker.  Mrs. Kawakami was born in Japan and raised on the Sugar Plantations of Hawaii.  Her knowledge of various Japanese dialects as well as her traditional plantation upbringing prepared her well for the interviews she conducted to prepare her book, Japanese Immigrant Clothing in Hawaii 1885-1941.

She was instrumental in establishing many of the clothing exhibits we have at the Village, and providing a foundation for our plantation clothing archives.  She continues to be a great resource for our curators and archivists on plantation clothing and sewing techniques, Japanese and Okinawan plantation clothing, and also early Hawaiian aloha wear.

Mildred & Melvin Makii

Melvin and Mildred Makii are longtime Waipahu residents that have been involved with Hawaii’s Plantation Village from its creation.  In the early days, Melvin helped guide the Village by serving in a number of Board positions and administrative posts, while Mildred was very active in the educational and Japanese language programs.  Their memory of the plantation era has proved invaluable to the narratives and curriculums HPV has developed for the school program.  Fluent in both English and Japanese, both Mildred and Melvin were volunteer docents at least twice a week and continue to lend their time as much as they can.

For more information please contact the Village at 677-0110 or visit our Website at

View from Maui News – Honolulu Transportation |

Hawaii has great clear night skies most of the time and star-gazing can be a lot of fun.   This is one of my favorite activities … and it costs nothing!  Click on the link below for information about what is (and isn’t) happening in August.

August 2010 night skies – the truth about Perseids and Mars.