HILO – The Waiakea Pirates Athletic Club held their annual memorial service at the base of the green tsunami clock at the edge of the Banyan Golf Course on Saturday morning. The clock stands forever stopped at 1:04, the time when an early morning tsunami devastated Hilo 55 years ago on May 23, 1960. The disaster left 61 people dead.
Throughout the year, the Waiakea Pirates and their ohana faithfully maintain the monument, and lay flowers in memory of those lost. 97 year old Takayoshi Kanda is credited with being the primary caretaker.
After the ceremony, a luncheon was held across the highway at Coqui’s. Everyone was invited to join in the event by MC George Yoshida.
I think its really important to do these ceremonies so that the public will understand what happened in the past. Especially for the younger children. Somebody mentioned that 55 years later, there isnt a single policeman or fireman who was working – who experienced the wave. Never seen anything like that. We gotta keep reminding the public about what happened and how we can prevent such tragedies.George Yoshida