Hokulea celebrates 40th anniversary with events, festivities

Hokulea 1976 at Kualoa Beach_81426

Sunday, March 8, will mark the 40th anniversary of the launch of the voyaging canoe Hokulea from Kaneohe Bay.

In honor of the momentous anniversary, the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage will hold a series of celebratory events and festivities throughout 2015, starting Tuesday, March 10.

“Hokulea is more than a voyaging canoe,” said master navigator and PVS president Nainoa Thompson. “She awakened us to the importance of bringing people together from all walks of life to perpetuate the values we care about in Hawaii. We have a kuleana to build a future worthy of our children. As we celebrate 40 years of sailing, we look forward to sharing Hokulea’s story, and hope that she inspires many more people to navigate their own voyages of kindness and compassion.”

In celebration of the canoe’s 40th anniversary, PVS will ask community members here, the 26 Polynesian islands visited this year, and future ports of the worldwide voyage to share a birthday message and submit inspiring stories of hope about young people taking leadership roles in caring for their natural environment and culture.

This “Birthday to Earth Day” campaign will run from March 8 through April 22 on hokulea.com.

Anniversary festivities throughout 2015 include a fundraising campaign with musicians Jack Johnson, Chucky Boy Chock and Paula Fuga; a talk story series and birthday paina hosted by ‘Ulu’ulu at the University of Hawaii at West Oahu on Tuesday, March 17; an Earth Day cleanup at Kailua Beach Park on April 25, summer film screenings, and events in conjunction with the Friends of Hawaii State Libraries. Events will be posted on hokulea.com.

Since her first voyage to Tahiti in 1976, Hokulea, which means “Star of Gladness,” has brought together hundreds of thousands of people throughout the Pacific Ocean. As she continues on her current Malama Honua worldwide voyage, Hokulea will seek to inspire and establish a lasting network of people and cultures around the globe to work collectively to care for our “Island Earth.”

The worldwide voyage is taking Hokulea and her sister canoe Hikianalia across Earth’s oceans to grow a global movement toward a more sustainable world. The voyage will cover 47,000 nautical miles, 85 ports, 26 nations, including 12 of UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage sites, through June 2017.

The canoes are currently in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

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