(BIVN) – On the eve of his deportation, 67-year-old British national and undocumented immigrant Graham Ellis was honored by the Hawaii County Council for his years of community work on Hawaii Island.
Puna councilmember Eileen O’Hara read the commemoration aloud at the council meeting on Friday morning, as Graham’s wife Dena stood by his side. The two celebrated their wedding surrounded by friends and family at Seaview Performing Arts Center For Education on July 4th.
As the certificate stated, Graham was a founding president of the Village Green Society, Hawaii Volcano Circus, Kalapana-Seaview Association, Friends of the Akebono Theatre and the Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance. In 1987, Graham founded Belly Acres eco-village, and in 1990 he began the HICCUP circus to “promote the healthy development of children and the community using performance and circus arts.”
“Big Island has been my home for 36 years,” Ellis told the council, adding that “its been an honor to be here in this county, and a privilege too.”