ALOHA FESTIVAL 2006 (8/7/06)
When Julian Avilla approached me and told me the desire to have an Aloha Festival way back in 1995 - I thought to myself what a great idea.
Of course the Presidio Trust had no control over Area B of which they have now and the National Park Service was leery to have such a festival on Crissy Field at the Presidio of San Francisco.
Through sound negotiations we managed to have the Aloha Festival the first ever in 1995 and it was a pleasure to see so many Polynesians and others gather in one place and celebrate the joy that is Hawaii and all the goodness it has given to the world all these many years.
Shane Eagleton had carved some large poles of red cedar from Alaska the signature symbol on the large wooden poles being the DNA that we all humans possess and from which much can be deciphered. We had the connections and through the good office of folks that possessed heavy equipment we were able to transfer these large works of art, some sixty feet long and four feet wide to Crissy Field, avoid any traffic jams and without any interference from the U.S. Police and the Park Rangers. It was all good by a great feat that had the gods of our side.
Julian Avilla and Shirley Avilla better known to the world as Aunty Shirley worked closely with me and others to make this First Aloha Festival a memorable one. This was 12 years ago. It was at the Aloha Festival that we invited the Muwekma Ohlone and had the blessings of the carved poles. Barbara Jo Griffin was there and so was Brian O'Neill one head of the Presidio Management working for the NPS and Brian of course the head of Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
It was at the Aloha Festival that I met my web master that has remained faithful to me all these 12 years. He requested me to look at Shane Eagleton's portfolio which I gladly shared with Joel Skidmore. One thing led to another and today we are good friends. Shane Eagleton has gone to share his wood carving work at the University of Hawaii and lives on the Big Island. He travels all over the world. Every year I visit the Aloha Festival and check it out for myself. After the first two years the Aloha Festival moved from Crissy Field to the Main Post on the Grass Parade Ground by buildings 38 and 39 the two buildings that housed Sixth U.S. Army and Presidio of San Francisco. General Mallory the last General of Sixth Army now deactivated may have witnessed the first Aloha Festival.
The Aloha Festival rakes in a lot of money and I hope that the money is used to foster the Polynesian culture and bring solace and healing through dance, music, sailing, unity, and the sharing of humanity.
Every time I visit Hawaii I am in contact with the indigenous people and if one really knows the history of the British and Captain Cook and the Americans it does not do justice to humanity and the Hawaiian people. What once was a great culture has been decimated. Today as always Hawaii needs to be free and the fetters removed that have been placed by greed and some folks that are spiritually bankrupt.
The Pacific Islanders' Cultural Association (PICA) has many members and supporters. I always choose Sam who keeps the faith and the values of the Hawaii people alive. At the Presidio of San Francisco I would talk to Sam and he would talk to me about simple ways, the love of wood carving, the peace of mind when canoeing, the simplicity of listening to the wind and being comfortable in the dense forest of Hawaii.
This year I could not spend much time but I did go where I was prompted to go at a time and met Julian Avilla, Sam, Shirley Avilla and David. You see them all - four at the top of this article. Each of these four I met and each of these four I hope with keep the Aloha Festival moving and on the right track. When we planted that first seed it was about spirituality and genuine Mahalo.
Kudos to the outrigger canoe padding clubs that do a good job and to the numerous organizations that foster the true spirit of Mahalo and teach dances, music, cuisine, and those things wholesome that the true Hawaiian people are so proud of. The Polynesian people are blessed and it is this true blessing in its unpolluted form that should be passed on. Commercialization and a vain attempt to do good through greed and the White man's mantra will tarnish any Mahalo.
Pacific Islanders' Cultural Association
Lots of vendors and food.
Performances on two stages.
Some fine Hawaiian Dances.
Overflow on to the streets.
Thousands come to the Aloha Festival.
Fire Station and U.S. Garrison Headquarters.
George Lucas letterman Digital Center.
The old Funston Avenue Buildings.
Cars parked by the 100 Series Buildings.
A mass sea of spectators.
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