by John H. Lienhard
Today, a machine keeps a gentle land from being gobbled up — but only for a while. The University of Houston’s College of Engineering presents this series about the machines that make our civilization run, and the people whose ingenuity created them.
In 1951, a young woman took me to a fancy luau at the University of Oregon. It was peculiar culture shock for me. Half the college students from Hawaii studied in Oregon. My left-brain focus was ill-fitted to the easy-going rhythm of the event. I still had much to learn.
Ukeleles and steel guitars nattered on cheerfully in 8/8 time. Everyone wore shorts or muumuus. And the food! It was roast pork and pineapple — poi washed down with pineapple — pineapple juice and gin. I never saw so much pineapple.
Less than sixty years before, Queen Liliuokalani had ruled Hawaii. She was a poet and composer, but not much of a manager. Hawaiian and American members of the so-called Annexation Club managed to depose her and ask the United States to annex Hawaii.
Hawaii became a U.S. Territory in 1900. The mainland was a huge market for her pineapples and sugar. She became a market for our manufactured goods.
Now think about the armor-plated pineapple. A skilled operator, with coring and slicing machinery, could cut up 10 or 15 a minute. Pineapple canning was absolutely limited by the rate a human could core, peel, juice, and slice a pineapple. And then, all the juice near the skin was wasted.
The exploitation of impoverished Thai farm workers by a Los Angeles-based labor contractor went on for longer than federal prosecutors had previously disclosed and involved more workers and more growers in more states, including Del Monte and Aloun Farms on Oahu and a macadamia nut farm on the Big Island, according to a federal indictment unsealed yesterday.
The indictment, an update to one returned last September, adds more charges of forced labor and related offenses against labor contractor Global Horizons Manpower Inc. owner Mordechai Yosef Orian and five alleged co-conspirators, officers in his company and recruiters in Thailand. The new indictment adds two more Global Horizons officers as defendants.
Aloun Farms owners Alec and Mike Sou are facing separate federal forced-labor charges for actions unrelated to Global Horizons.
Last September’s indictment said Orian, 45, an Israeli national, and his co-conspirators exploited about 400 Thai workers in forced-labor conditions from May 2004 to September 2005. It named only one property where the workers were allegedly confined and forced to work, the valley isle’s now-defunct Maui Pineapple Farm.
What would Hawaii be without pineapple?
Recently I picked up a copy of Hawai’i Magazine while I had some time to kill. It had an article about the Hali’imaile Pineapple Company, Ltd. saving pineapple production on the island of Maui. For most people, this would be of passing interest. For me, it was like Christmas all over again.
I’ve worked the pineapple fields of Maui Land and Pine. I still remember where I was when I learned that the company was ceasing its pineapple operation. It was a very sad day. Hawaii and pineapple are forever associated with a really special time in my life. As I get older, I recognize that while some things may not be 100% perfect for the bottom line, they are worth preserving to maintain our connection to our roots. Hawaii pineapple is one of those worthy endeavors.
We always check 3-6 in our luggage. When I tell the ag inspectors that I have pineapples in my luggage and ask if they want to see them, they always say don’t bother. The pineapples have always made the trip back fine.
Easy to buy the Maui Golds at Costco – usually around $3 each. Just remember the extra weight in your luggage – one of our suitcases with the pineapples weighed in at 55 pounds. When I told the agent the pineapples put us over, she just laughed and put an overweight sticker on the bag. No extra fees.
May be a pain – but I don’t know anyone who doesn’t appreciate a pineapple brought back from Hawaii!
Sakada Corner, Fil-Am Observer December 2010 Issue
Sakada Feature, Page 8
VICTORIO Palaslas Layaoen came all the way from Batac, moved to Oahu, then to Kauai, then to the Big Island, and then finally to Maui, and never left until he passed on to the next life.
It is a story of courage. It is also a story of a life lived to the fullest.
Born on August 28, 1908 in then a very rural Batac, a town south of Laoag City, in the Philippines, at 19 and restless for something bigger and grander than what Ilocos in those days could offer, he took the plunge to go to Hawaii.
That was in 1928. From Port Salomague in Cabugao, he took the S. S. President Lincoln, and in the rough seas, thought of a peaceful, productive life somewhere in the islands yonder where sugarcane plants and pineapples grew in abundance.
He landed in Oahu, worked there some time; he moved on to Kauai, worked there for some time; he moved to the Big Island, worked there for some time; and then finally, moved to Maui where he worked forever until he retired in 1974 at 65.
Maui was his kadagaan—that Ilokano mindset that talks about the land that is yours for the keeping, at least metaphorically, if not literally. He worked for the HC&S and lived at McGerrow Camp. Later on, he transferred to Maui Pineapple Company at Haliimaile.
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Overview of the Company
MAUI LAND & Pineapple Company, Inc. is a Hawaii corporation and the successor to a business organized in 1909. We are a landholding company. Our principal subsidiary is Kapalua Land Company, Ltd., the operator and developer of Kapalua Resort, a master-planned community in West Maui. Our reportable operating segments are Resort and Community Development. In December 2009, all of our Agriculture segment operations were ceased and the segment is reported as discontinued operations.
LAHAINA — Visit Lahaina Gateway for its “Pineapples and Pumpkins” celebration during Halloween weekend.
On Saturday, Oct. 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., join Hali‘imaile Pineapple Company for free Maui Gold pineapple samples, demonstrations, pineapple recipes, pumpkin treats, special sales at participating stores and entertainment.
Michael Kollwitz, with his Solo 12-string Chapman Stick, will perform jazz and blues with a Hawaiian flair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Enter to win fresh pineapples and prizes during the event at the seating area by Foodland Farms.
From 4 to 7 p.m., keiki 12 and under can go trick-or-treating at stores and restaurants throughout the center.
Also for children 12 and under, the Keiki Costume Contest begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Hula Girl Fountain. There will be ten total prizes for the best pineapple and best pumpkin-themed costume, plus most frightening, most original and best Halloween baby costume (under two years old).
King Kamehameha III Elementary School’s keiki fall decoration winning entries will be on display again this year. Instead of donating pumpkins this year, Lahaina Gateway brought them cases of freshly harvested Maui Gold pineapples from Hali‘imaile Pineapple Company.
These creatively decorated Halloween pineapples will be on display at the stores for everyone to enjoy beginning Oct. 30.
Bring the family and enjoy great shopping and dining at Lahaina Gateway. For information, call Patti Link at 661-3311.
A CELEBRATION OF PINE AND PUMPKINES IN LAHAINA
Lahaina Gateway is presenting its “Pineapples and Pumpkins,” a celebration of Halloween, Haliimaile Pineapple Co. and more on Saturday. Free pineapple samples, demos, recipes, treats and store sales will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., along with entertainment provided by Chapman Stick musician Michael Kollwitz from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Then, stores and restaurants will participate in keiki trick-or-treating from 4 to 7 p.m., with a keiki costume contest at 5:30 p.m. that will award best pineapple theme, best pumpkin theme, most frightening, most original and best Halloween baby costume. Trick-or-treating is for ages 12 and younger. For details, call 661-3311
BY RON YOUNGBLOOD
Doug Schenk met the visitors with the kind of smile that radiates from a father showing off his newborn. In the background, Hali’imaile Pineapple Co. employees ate lunch after polishing off the morning’s work two hours ahead of schedule.
At the door of the old parts warehouse, two men who look younger than their years stood in dirty boots and T-shirts.
“These are the guys who run the operation,” Schenk said with affection. The company president is Darren Strand. Rudy Balala is the vice president. They are also partners in the farm, along with Schenk and Doug MacCluer. All are Maui Land & Pineapple Co. veterans. The other partners are Pardee Erdman and Ed Chenchin.
The aroma of plate lunches wafted out of the tin-sided warehouse. In the back of the picnic tables there’s a conference table.
“We meet every Monday to decide that week’s goals,” Strand said.
“All of our employees asked to come to work for Hali’imaile,” Schenk said. All were part of the work force when Maui Pine closed down Dec. 31, 2009. “We were still working out the details (of leasing ML&P equipment and fields) on the last day of the year. We took New Year’s Day off and were on the job the next day.”
“We’ve got the greatest people in the world,” Schenk said. “There’s no division of labor. Everyone does everything.”