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About 150 Kauai pensioners enjoyed their annual picnic on July 19—not at the beach or in the park, but at their union hall! They sat with their clubs—Lihue, Kekaha, McBryde, Gay & Robinson, and Golden Years—and enjoyed fun games, prizes, speeches, food, and a chance to talk story with old and new friends.

Unlike some activities where pensioners sit all day listening to speeches, eating, and playing bingo, Kauai pensioners actually get up and get active. They participated in dart blackjack, mini golf, and ring toss (aka “Portuguese horseshoes”). These activities require a mix of skill and luck, but the pensioners were “game.” They lined up to take their turn at each activity and their chance to win a package of prizes—then lined up again for another try. With all the competitive banter and laughter, no one would suspect that the game participants were in their 70’s and 80’s!

The pensioners also challenged their brains with a word puzzle and guessing the number of sugar packets in a plastic container. Kauai Division Director Michael Machado always makes sure that the pensioners have a mix of mental and physical activity. Judging from the crowd that day, the pensioners already seem to incorporate exercise and brain stimulation into their daily lives. Everyone looked fit, healthy and had a grand time.

Endorsed candidates speak 
And what’s a union picnic during an election year without political speeches? The mayor, two state legislators, and most of the endorsed candidates for the County Council came to say a few words.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho said his father was a Lihue Plantation truck driver so understands what most of the pensioners went through when they worked on the plantations. He is grateful for the the hard work and sacrifice of all retirees and for the good relationship he enjoys with the Division.

Council Chair Jay Furfaro worked in management at Sheraton Kauai and Princeville and appreciates the support he has from the ILWU. Councilmember JoAnn Yukimura thanked the pensioners for their sacrifice and assured them she is working on expanding Kauai bus service and affordable housing for them. Councilmember Tim Bynum thanked the ILWU for being the first union to endorse him when he first ran for the Council and says he feels an affinity for the ILWU because his son-in-law is a member at St. Regis. Councilmember Ross Kagawa came directly from a youth athletic activity and expressed his appreciation for continued support. Councilmember Mel Rapozo was traveling and unable to attend.

House Rep. Derek Kawakami thanked the pensioners for their sacrifices to make life better for those like himself. House Rep. Dee Morikawa emphasized her own union roots as an HGEA member and said she represents working families in the Legislature.

Candidate KipuKai Kualii said his father was an ILWU member from sugar, and he himself was a member when he worked for the Westin Kauai. Candidate Arryl Kaneshiro, not to be confused with his father Darryl, former Kauai councilmember, said he went away for school but returned home to Kauai and hopes to serve his community.

Candidate Dylan Hooser, running for a House seat, is proud of the ILWU’s endorsement and pledged to keep an open mind and an open door if elected.

Business Agent Doreen Kua also read a message from Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, running for U.S. Senate.

(L-r) Retired Business Agent Jesus Guirao, Tarcala Sanigumba, Division Director Michael Machado and Solidad Lagazo. Tarcala, who received a necklace made by Dylan Hooser, and Solidad, who got a microwave oven were the grand prize winners at this year’s picnic.

Bingo fun 
As with most pensioner activities, the highlight of the day was bingo— with prizes, of course. The coveted bingo prize was a big bag of rice, which pensioners proudly carted off to their cars soon after they shouted “bingo!” Bingo caller Robert Girald was assisted by his wife, Gloria, and runners, Jesus Guirao, Ernest Domingo, and Alfred Castillo. This year, Councilmembers Bynum and Kagawa as well as candidate Hooser also helped to deliver prizes to winners.

Always a good picnic 
It was a beautiful summer day—hot and sunny—and the Kauai pensioners enjoyed a wonderful picnic with nary a glitch, thanks to the hard work of Division FTO’s (Mike Machado, Pamela Green, Doreen Kua, and Calvin Corpuz), Division Clerk (Mona Dotario-Agor), and their spouses. Even the pensioners who did not win a prize went home contented.

Pensioners tried their hand at “Portugese horseshoes,” among other games. “The Kauai Labor Day is special to us because of the retirees’ active participation in our ILWU event,” said Division Director Michael Machado. “Their enthusiasm and spirit sets an example for all ILWU members on Kauai.”

Pensioners focusing on their putting skills in mini golf.

ILWU endorsed candidates Daynette “Dee” Morikawa (House District 16), Arryl Kaneshiro (Kauai County Council) with Jesus Guirao, who is a member of the ILWU Local Political Action Committee.