Aloha, a beautiful word that encompasses so many wonderful meanings and emotions. We are so very blessed to live in the “Land of Aloha.” In such a beautiful place that is populated with a rainbow of people from around the world. These islands and the people have not and still are not treated with the mutual respect that should be reciprocated among the many children of God. The Hawaiian Islands are literally the melting pot of the Pacific Rim. Tolerance and acceptance of the many different cultures, religions and personalities that visit these islands distinguished the people of Hawaii as the original ambassadors of lokahi (unity) and aloha (unconditional love).
The original inhabitants of paradise were plagued by several hundred years of war among the many chiefs until the great King Kamehameha united the islands. Upon his death, the kingdom and islands were faced with extreme challenges and influences from within the kingdom and from foreigners from all over the world. The British, French, German, English, American, Russian, missionaries, whalers and sailors brought controversial change to the culture, religion and morality. With the Great Mahele (land division) and Haole (Caucasian newcomer) controlled agricultural industry came the mass labor immigration to the islands. First came the Chinese then the Japanese followed by Russian, Portuguese, Mediterranean Philippine, Korean, Africans and others. The field work was harsh and the life style and treatment of the laborers was at times harsher. With the labor unions came a more conducive working environment and an official representation. In 1959 came Statehood and slowly over the years the politicians, lawyers, doctors, policemen, firemen, nurses, salesmen, laborers of Hawaii have become a rainbow of people whose ancestors came from around the world.
The big estates still dominate the land ownership in Hawaii. However, these estates are controlled by a few men and women who do not properly represent the majority of people living here together as citizens equal and on the level of society. In the past, many of our ancestors and family members were mistreated by people in power in Hawaii. The mistreatment in the past brews the hatred that is passed on from one generation to the next. The hatred becomes a cancer in the hearts and minds of the children and eventually destroys the spirit of aloha that God meant for his rainbow of children to all share in together.
As Freemasons, adults, parents and mentors we must demonstrate the pure principles of masonry through our aloha to the public and to the children with our actions and our words. When we are frustrated with business, politics, religion etc. , it is difficult not to want to cast blame on another individual, religious or ethnic group. Masons should never contemplate, let alone state a racist comment, nor should he remain present if he hears any racist remarks made in public or in private. It does not matter who our ancestors were, we are all brothers in Freemasonry.
I am proud to be the Worshipful Master of a lodge which is made up of American Freemasons from so many different ancestral and cultural backgrounds. We have brothers in our officers line that are of Samoan, Hawaiian, Greek, German, Italian, Philippines, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, English, Scottish ancestry and a just about every other ethnic background in our sidelines and quarries. We are united into one sacred band or society of friends and brothers, among whom no contention exists, except that noble contention, or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree. My brothers, I call upon you to help stop the prejudice that we are aware of and to truly live aloha by our every thought, action and deed.
“Mans mind plans his way, God directs his steps.”