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Western Region a Hive of Activity
By Marilyn Walton
NAPS Western Region Vice President
Honolulu Branch 214 President Laurie Lum and Pacific Area Vice President Chuck Lum invited us to spend a busy NAPS weekend of hosted events. As we arrived in Honolulu, we were joined by NAPS Secretary/Treasurer Jimmy Warden and his wife Ivonne.
On our first day, we took a brief tour of the island to visit popular lookout points so we could take lots of pictures. There were spectacular views and scenery everywhere as we drove along the Waikiki shores.
On our first night, we were invited to the Lum family’s luau in honor of Chuck’s year-old grandson Legend. In Hawaii, everyone is ohana (family); we were welcomed with so much aloha spirit. We visited with family and friends and enjoyed a traditional Hawaiian luau feast. There were many food choices. Chuck explained each one and how they were prepared; everything was delicious! There was music and lots of activities for the children.
On Saturday, we started our day by visiting the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, informally known as Punchbowl Cemetery, established at the end of World War II. The cemetery is a beautiful resting place for the armed forces members buried there. Medal of Honor hero Danial Inouye, former Hawaii senator, is buried there.
There is a tribute to all the wars since World War II on the monument’s walls. The cemetery lies in an extinct volcano and offers a breathtaking view of Honolulu from Pouwaina Lookout. As we remembered the fallen, we looked out at a panoramic view of Honolulu. It reminded me of the saying, “Some gave some; some gave all.”
Next, we took the boat tour to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, site of the USS Arizona Memorial. This tour was another opportunity to remember the island’s solemn history and reflect on what so many sacrificed on Dec. 7, 1941—a day that FDR said “will live in infamy.” The memorial is the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors and Marines killed on the USS Arizona that terrible day.
The day ended with a Branch 214 board dinner. Laurie shared with us that her local branch team is proactive when dealing with members. If they are made aware of issues and concerns, they attempt to address the issues before they become corrective or adverse actions. Their goal is to ensure members get the help they need.
On Sunday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Branch 214 hosted its post-holiday dinner, the first opportunity in two years for the branch to have an in-person membership event since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted on the island. Over 60 branch members and guests attended the dinner. As specially invited guests, we were presented with beautiful flower leis and warm hugs.
Jimmy brought greetings from his fellow resident officers. He also provided an update on the NAPS lawsuit and discussed the upcoming SWCs changes that will help offices justify increased staffing. Jimmy answered questions from the members. He also discussed the Postal Service’s Sorting and Delivery Centers initiative.
I shared with the members the importance of contributing to SPAC and encouraged members to keep in touch with their legislators and thank them for their support on postal legislation. I also shared with members upcoming legislation that will be NAPS’ focus this year.
Chuck thanked his local branch for all their support and encouraged each member attending to reach out to a nonmember to join NAPS. Branch 214 currently has fewer than 30 nonmembers. We enjoyed a fabulous dinner, so much warm aloha spirit. Our weekend came to an end too soon. Mahalo to Honolulu Branch 214.
Fortunately, Branch 214 will be welcoming us back to Oahu for the Western Region Training Seminar, Aug. 9-12. This might be a good time to make plans to attend. Hawaii is a great place to network, learn, sightsee, relax and not feel guilty about mixing business with pleasure!