It was a bitter-sweet moment as the PCC bid farewell to their beloved Ohana members who served over a combined one thousand years of PCC service. It was evident as tears were shared both in joy and sadness. It’s understandable that one could argue whether the celebration was needed due to the harsh and unforeseen impacts of COVID19. The reality however is every soul that came through the Polynesian Cultural Center last week Friday truly deserved a celebration and then some. Their sacrifices, sweat, hard work year after year, and aloha will forever be a legacy and footprints will be etched forever on the grounds of PCC.
We watched the remaining PCC staff put together decorations, flags, beautiful gifts, decorated flowers and leis, memorable pictures of each graduate, celebratory music, drumming, dancing, a tremendous amount of love, and lastly tears streaming onto the COVID mask as each person who drove onto the property was met.
I personally sat back and watched each person step out of their vehicles to embrace President Alfred Grace. Never before have I personally witnessed the power of lei giving and the comfort it provides when placed upon the soul who is emotionally torn. I watched the powerful embrace of a President whose heart never planned or desired to farewell a fellow family member but had too. In that moment you witnessed love, understanding, gratitude, and a team of both families from either end celebrating the departure of someone everyone loved, respected, and adored.
In the end, we all witnessed the love, faith, and strength of the PEOPLE and OHANA of the Polynesian Cultural Center. The PCC has withstood several storms and although this was hands down the worst storm of them all thus far the resiliency and strength of the Center will live on. Legacies were etched into the walls, their stories will remain and their footprints will forever be seen. Until we meet again!
Special gratitude to Delsa Moe for providing these beautiful photos for everyone to enjoy.