Aloha to all my Friends of Waialua Bandstand in the Park. This is a special newsletter as it will be my last one as Chairman of the Board. I have been promising (or maybe threatening) for a while to retire from the position and it has now happened. At the meeting of the Board earlier this month my retirement was accepted, and a new Chair was elected, Bob Hayes. Bob is a relative newcomer to the board but no newer than I was when I got the job as Chair from Ken Martyn, the real father of the Bandstand.
In the 13 years that I have had the privilege and honor to serve as the Chair there have been a number of changes, but the original purpose has not changed, to bring a feeling of community to Waialua through the establishment of the bandstand as a central meeting point and a venue for musical entertainment. I would like to express my appreciation to the community for their support over the years. Some of the changes that you have witnessed have been the solicitation of donations from more than just individual members that has allowed the expansion of our programs to include support of the music programs at local schools. One great example has been the support for visits to Waialua Elementary School by the Hawaii Opera Theater each year to put on performances that include participation by the students giving them a hands-on experience with music. Another change has been for the Friends to step up to today in social media by setting up a website (which you are enjoying right now). And we now send out email reminders of the programs to all who have signed up on our roster. And in the most recent step we now have a Facebook Page (that I still haven’t figured out how to access being an “old dog”).
Over the years we have seen a number of performing groups come and go but we have managed to maintain a high standard and the size of the audiences demonstrate to me at least that you are still enjoying the concerts. Speaking of the audiences, it gives me a great pleasure to see families at the concerts with young children playing on the grass. The bandstand park is intended to be a place for families to enjoy and watching the youngsters dancing and playing warms my heart. Keep it up, parents! There have been too many groups for me to recognize all that have made my time in office a pleasure including hula halau, military bands, duos, small bands, large bands (including one that came all the way from Michigan) and taiko drums, Latin bands, and the list goes on. I must not omit two of my particular favorites, the Waialua High School Band and my all-time favorite, the Royal Hawaiian Band that played the first concert in the then new bandstand back in 2004.
If you have read this far and want to know more of the history of the bandstand I commend to you the History located elsewhere on the web site. It was assembled by Kendra Martyn and she has done a fabulous job. In addition to Kendra, who has been of stupendous support to me over the years, I want to express my deep thanks to the man who taught me everything I know about the bandstand and its operation, Nate Nathanson, who was on the board from the beginning until he had to retire for health reasons a couple of years ago. My deepest thanks to these two wonderful people.
Now it is time for me to step aside, and for Bob to take the reins and guide the Friends for a while. I am confident he will do a superb job. But if you look around at the concerts you will see me either sitting out on the lawn with the rest of you or perhaps helping in one way or another with the production of the concerts. Thank you all for your support of the Friends of Waialua Bandstand in the Park over the years.
A Hui Hou!