A holoku is a Hawaiian dress with a train. This might turn into more than one story, as mine usually do!
We were part of an Hawiian promotion at Brentwood Mall, in Vancouver (Burnaby) B.C. They had an enclosed space, filled with water. They decided to build an island in this water, and my husband played the part of Macahuku, the shipwrecked artist, and he did pastel portraits of people on this island. His clothes were battered to make him more “authentic.” I was dressed in Hawaiian Mumu’s and I scheduled the appointments from the perimeter of the Island! Get the picture?
Jessie Nakoako who played and sang, Loretta Chin, chaperone, but also a Hula dancer, and three teenagers, Moanalani, Alohalani, and her sister, Kaui, whos full name was Kauimiolikunaokala Kamkaokilani.
When they weren’t performing, the girls. joined us down on our Island. We formed quite a friendship.
Here’s where my story takes a turn (for the better, I hope), The last night of the promotion, the Brentwood management threw a Luau in the public area of the mall for the staff of all the stores. The Hawaiian group wanted us to go, but we said we weren’t staff, so we were not allowed to go. They went and talked to the manager. “If the McGuires don’t go, we no go.” We were given tickets.
When we arrived, the girls were waiting to greet us, and said to come and sit with them at the head table. We said we couldn’t do that… and went to one of the other tables that were set up. The girls sat with us. Manager said they had to go and sit at the head table. “ If McGuires can’t sit at head table, we no sit at head table.” Guess where we sat!
Kaui and Moana were both graduating from high school that year, and invited us to go to Hawaii to be at their ceremonies. Loretta had a suite in their home and invited us to stay with them in Kahalui. I still remember the address… 154 Molakai Akau. We went for two weeks, but along the way, it got extended for another week, when we were to stay in Honolulu with Loretta’s Mom, so we could attend a Ball. The Holuku Ball! There would be a prize for the best dressed Hawaiian couple, and another one for the best dressed Houli couple. I bet you thought I forgot about the Holoku!
Dress… Oh Oh! Had to be a holoku.. a dress with a train… and my husband was to wear white pants and a sash made of the same dress material.
Loretta took us shopping for a pattern and the material to make a holoku… and I made it and a sash for Mickey on her sewing machine. Then I had to have a few lessons in how to walk in a dress with a train. We had a lot of laughs and decided on shell leis to help disguise my “nui nui opu!” (In English, big tummy!)
My husband felt the beginning of a kidney stone attack coming on, so we changed our reservations again and flew home. Never got to the Holuku ball!
We had a small gallery at Scotsdale Mall, and when they had their Hawaiian promotion, I wore it, and we won the prize for best dressed participants in the mall!
In a very round about way, I did get us back to the holoku!