Article #1: Introducing Sam Moe
Submitted by: Sister Kristine Saunders, Archives
Have you ever known a person who just quietly gets things done? A person who is always on time and prepared to offer constructive criticism to maintain the quality and professionalism of a premiere stage production? Have you ever wondered how it is possible for the HA: Breath of Life show to run so smoothly? How do the performers know and understand where they need to be and what they need to do? Prepare to meet Sam Moe, our Theater Stage Production Manager. Sam is a master problem solver and fills in as a dancer, Master of Ceremonies, or other performer role seamlessly, at a moment’s notice.
Sam Moe was born at the Kahuku hospital and lived with his parents in TVA while they were attending BYU-Hawaii. His family later moved off campus but still remained in the Laie area. Sam attended Laie Elementary School and graduated from Kahuku High School where his favorite class was any class that had air conditioning. As a youth, Sam’s “playground” was BYU-Hawaii, where he grew up as a campus “cruiser”. He spent time on campus at the game room, which is now the Hub, and went to Seasiders for a $0.85 scoop of ice cream. From grades 7-12, the BYU-Hawaii library was his home away from home. After high school, Sam needed a job while he waited for a mission call. The Polynesian Cultural Center was looking for luau dancers so Sam became a dancer. He worked 10 hours per week as a luau dancer, another 10 hours per week as a night show usher, and another 10 hours per week as a standing greeter at the entrance to the Polynesian Cultural Center. When called to serve, he went to the Philippines Manilla Mission. After his mission, deciding where to attend college was easy. Sam decided to attend BYU-Provo. He already knew all there was to know about the BYU-Hawaii campus and was ready for a new adventure in learning.
Sam’s university major was geography with an emphasis in global studies and a minor in business. To help pay for college, Sam worked at the Provo MTC, teaching Tagalog, a Filipino language, for two years. He then worked at the Harris Fine Arts Center for a year as a custodian. “I loved working at the Harris Fine Arts Center. I was always entertained while cleaning. Students were always practicing their instruments, singing, or acting.”
During his last two years at BYU-Provo, Sam worked with the performing arts group, Living Legends. He started as a performer and then was made a leader in the Polynesian section. He worked with six different cultures training dancers and organizing rehearsals.
Sam came back to Laie on school breaks and worked with the Promotion teams. Then, when he graduated from the University, he moved home and started working part-time with the Promo Teams. He started as a performer, then became lead dancer, then supervisor, and finally manager. Sam learned a lot and the teams traveled a lot. In addition to traveling overseas, the team often went out of town for shows. They would get up early to miss traffic and head to Waikiki. After the Waikiki show, they would load the buses and drive back to the Polynesian Cultural Center where Sam would “fill in wherever they needed me. It might be the canoe show where they were short for the day or the luau or night show.” As team manager, Sam was responsible for payroll and organizing promo team trips on-island and off-island. His favorite off island trip was the all-inclusive trip to Cancun in 2011.
One of the most interesting off-island trips was to Sapporo, Japan in February 2012. The team was excited because they were told they would be performing on a snowy stage and were given thermal socks to wear. Everyone decided to do a quick rehearsal on the snowy stage while wearing thermal socks to see how they worked. They quickly found out that the socks got wet and the dancers’ feet became numb due to the cold. There was a heater in the dressing room that warmed up the cold feet but a solution needed to be found, fast. Sam remembered his days as a student in Provo. He requested plastic bags which the dancers put on their feet then put the thermal socks on over top of the plastic bags. The solution “worked perfectly. Our feet got a little cold, but the plastic bags kept our feet dry. Fortunately, we were just doing hulas. The ice was a little slippery, but we were able to adjust.”
The hottest trip was to Beijing, China in 2013, a year after the coldest trip to Japan. The team was scheduled to perform at a water park where the temperature was in the high 90’s. The dressing rooms provided were white plastic tents with air conditioning that didn’t work very well. “We just hung around outside finding shade wherever we could. It was important to stay hydrated. We had a good crowd and I learned how to work with the water park. We made it work.” Both trips were sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines to promote Hawaii tourism.
After four years with the Promo team and Luau, Sam was transferred to the canoe show to learn another area in the department. Then COVID caused the Polynesian Cultural Center to make some hard decisions. During his time off, Sam started exercising regularly and lost 35 pounds. Then in January 2021, The Center reopened. Sam came back to the center as the Stage Production Manager. He coordinates the night show, watches and prepares a written critique of the performance each night, oversees the stage crew, and leads production meetings. He is very effective with what he does. “COVID made me think outside the box. There may be other things for me to do.”
Sam says, “As a performer, there is a difference between working in the villages and dancing in the night show. In the night show, you perform for people and don’t interact with the audience much. In the villages, you work with people, talk with them, and teach them. I recommend that our theatre dancers go and work in different areas to gain more skills and to explore different jobs. I like to give students opportunities to do some training and give them the mic to talk in front of our cast and other people. Students need opportunities to figure things out and not be afraid to speak up. They can help us improve and they develop good analytical skills.”
“I love this place. It is so unique, so inspired. I love the history behind it and how people thought it would be a failure because it is so far from everything. We have struggled, but we survived. When 9/11 happened, we slowed down and almost closed. Then COVID did cause a shut-down. But we are still here. We are blessed by this place and uplifted by the spirit.”
Article #2: There is No Right Way, You Work with the Situation
Submitted by: Sister Kristine Saunders, Archives
Sister Debbie Proctor entered the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah January 23, 2020 assigned to the Hawaii Honolulu Mission as a seamstress at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC). She worked for seven short weeks when COVID sent all of the senior missionaries’ home with missionary on leave status. While at home waiting to be called back to the PCC, she made face masks for businesses so people could go back to work and face masks for three dentists’ offices so they could again start seeing clients. She also made kids quilts for charity. Then, in December 2020, Sister Proctor was called to serve a full-time mission as an MLS (member leader support) missionary in the Utah Provo Mission where she served for four months before being called back to the PCC and the Hawaii Honolulu Mission. When she returns home on May 27, 2022, Sister Proctor will have served as a missionary for a total of 27 months and was a missionary in Hawaii when the new Hawaii Laie Mission was formed in January 2022.
For Debbie, it was easy to decide to serve a mission. She and her husband Kim had always planned on serving a mission and the PCC was where they wanted to serve. When her husband passed away, Debbie’s mission plans were put on hold until she attended a missionary farewell in her home ward and the person sitting next to her said, “If I were to serve a mission I would go to the Polynesian Cultural Center.” The next day she received a message from a friend serving at the PCC saying the Center really needs seamstresses. “You ought to put your papers in.” As soon as she could get things ready, Sister Proctor was called to serve as a seamstress at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
Serving as a senior missionary in a Young Single Adult Ward has been a “great experience.” She taught temple preparation classes and helped students learn about family history work. One Sunday after church, she was in the computer room with about 10-12 students who were doing indexing. They needed help reading cursive writing. At the end of the day, 169 names had been done. Turns out that “our ward was the only one who had done any indexing.” Another time, Sister Proctor was able to help a counselor in the bishopric who is from American Samoa find some information about his grandfather that he had looked for many times over the years. She said, “many people are afraid of indexing because they are afraid of doing it wrong. Remember, someone checks everything and all we can do is the best we can.”
Working with the stake Addiction Recovery Program is “awesome”. As female missionaries, we only work with women. When they come, it is amazing to watch because the women support each other through the 12-step program. “You can see a difference in their countenance when they work through the program. People need to pay attention every day but it is awesome to see people change their lives.”
Working in seamstress and wardrobe has been a good experience. It can be “mundane” if you consider what we do as just sewing. We aren’t just sewing; we are making cultural costumes using fabrics with patterns that are unique and different for each island. We work with the island managers and students to fit each costume so that their culture is presented in a true and accurate way.”
“In wardrobe, we work with the costumes for the luaus and the evening show. We make accessories representing each island and the ti leaf skirts for the fire walkers. Tonga seems to have the most accessories. It’s fun to recognize each culture by what they wear. I have been able to make dresses for two of the queens at the luau. Sometimes it is necessary to alter costumes and figure out how to do it. You learn to be a good problem solver. There is no right way. You work with the situation”
Sister Proctor sees food as a way to share culture. She has learned to love each culture through food specific to each island. She has truly learned that at the PCC “we are one Ohana sharing Aloha.”
One of the highlights of her mission has been getting to know Fatai, Cathy, and Elizza, the managers of seamstress and wardrobe. She has learned that the spirit of Aloha and the spirit of Christ are the same. She will miss associating with the other missionaries, singles, and couples, and learning their stories. She has been spiritually fed through the family home evenings and devotionals and serving at luaus and the Gateway Buffet restaurant. Getting to know guests from all over the world has been “awesome.” There are always hard things to deal with, but “I can honestly say I will miss the diversity here at the Center. It is important to remember who we represent and who we are working for. I have made lasting friendships.”
Her plans for the future include just being at home and visiting her kids. She will probably serve somewhere at home.
Article #3: Vaifala (pineapple drink): A Samoan Traditional Recipe
Submitted by: Quinney Suaava, Blog Coordinator
Vaifala (Pineapple Drink) is a traditional Samoan treat for those long, hot and humid island summers which you can make in 10 minutes or less. Read the full blog here!
Article #4: Safety Corner
Submitted by: Todd Nicholes, Safety Officer
Church Health, Safety and Environmental Handbook:
4.15.2 Lockout and Tagout Procedures
Managers and supervisors should ensure that employees understand the importance of lockout/tagout safety requirements.
- Use warning tags alone when it is not possible to lock out the equipment.
- Write your name on the tag.
- Place the tag near or attached to the energy-isolation device in a place where it can be easily seen.
The important things to remember when you see these tags are:
- Do not remove the tag. Only the person who placed it can remove it.
- Do not operate the switch, circuit breaker, valve, or other objects to which the tag is attached.
- Do not plug in the electrical cord that it is attached to.
- If you need information about the tag or the equipment, contact the person whose name is on the tag.
Remember this tag is protecting someone’s life, and that life may be yours!