I am sorry I could not be in New York, at the grand celebration of PPSEAWA at 90! A CD and lovely photo montage was given to me for consolation, by those sisters from Hawaii who had the fortune to be there.
However, over the years of affiliation with the organization, I have also become somewhat of its Historian ( for 10 years) : I do recall earlier PPSEAWA mile stone birthday events we celebrated here in Honolulu and in the PPSEAWA Region, which I was happy to attend:
- 70th Anniversary at the Oahu Country Club - at the Annual Meeting 1998, with several visitors from PPSEAWA USA.
- 75th Anniversary at the Queen Emma Summer Palace,2003. With 80 guests – including several International Executive Board Members. It was an elegant and happy Hawaiian celebration with Hula and Music. This birthday was also beautifully recognized at our Triennial International Conference in Singapore, 2004.
- 80th Anniversary at the Outrigger Canoe Club, to coincide with the 2008 PPSEAWA International Midterm Conference, with a visiting International membership of about 60, from 12 countries.
- 85th Anniversary – no celebration at home, but a great occasion at the 2013 Triennial International Conference in Suva, Fiji. The Executive Council members placed a commemorative plaque at the Peace Park in Suva, while the conference attendants sang and applauded.
It was in 1992 after meeting with Florence Kelley at a luncheon, that I became interested in joining PPSEAWA Hawaii . So, in 1994, together with 24 long time members I went as an “observer” to Nuku’alofa, Tonga to attend my first PPSEAWA International Conference. It was the most amazing experience and immediately got me hooked on becoming a “PPSEAWA Woman”.
I was convinced (and still am) that it would be worth my time as a retiree and long time globetrotter to learn from and enjoy the friendships of wise and dedicated women at home – in Hawaii, as well those who I would meet from the PPSEAWA Region. As PPSEAWA Hawaii board member and president (twice) I served in every board office and saw the organization as a hub of talent, welcoming, changing , absorbing, and experience. PPSEAWA Hawaii, after all, was the incubator and origin of the ideas for an International Women’s Organization which could show the human values generated by friendships amongst women as a force “for Peace in the region amongst its member nations: strengthening the bonds of friendship.” (from our mission statement)
Since 1928 to 2018, the Association members have met at 26 all embracing Triennial International Conferences, elected new officers for the Council of PPSEAWA International, paid tribute to the achievements of its national member organizations, made plans for the future and honored PPSEAWA’s mission by setting examples for cooperation, tolerance and problem solving abilities.
I attended six such Conferences, participated in and prepared program presentations to show case PPSEAWA Hawaii, with great success. I also served on the Council as International Treasurer from 2007-2013. The women I worked with have given me unforgettable insights into the richness of the PPSEAWA soul, made up by the multitude of dedicated and inspiring members in their home countries in the Region.
In memory and in gratitude for these wonderful years I have spent amongst so many PPSEAWA Women, I also miss our late “Golden Girls”of PPSEAWA Hawaii who, with their strength, character and open arms built our reputation as one of the leaders amongst PPSEAWA International member friends.
Today, I would like to emphasize that our status has not and will not change. PPSEAWA Hawaii has a permanently reserved seat on the International Board of Directors. This was given to us since inception, in recognition of Hawaii’s independence as a US Territory when holding its first Conference in 1928, in Honolulu. Be with us and claim your seat!
We are all looking forward to celebrate PPSEAWA Hawaii’s 100th birthday, in Hawaii, in 2028.