|Malama HPU team and past President Portuguese |
Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i Laura Figueira (floral print blouse)
Individuals with strong connections to the Portuguese community and the Fort Street Padrao Monument came to the Nov. 9 Malama HPU event to meet the HPU service team: John Henry Felix, Ph.D., Honorary Consul of Portugal; Laura Figueira, who was President of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i at the time of the monument’s dedication in 1986; and Marlene DeCosta, Director of Real Estate, Roman Catholic Church in the State of Hawaii, Diocese of Honolulu.
|HPU President John Gotanda, Dr. John Henry Felix, Marlene DeCosta, |
Vice President of University Relations Sam Moku
The Padrao — a special-shaped cross on a column — represents what Portuguese navigators used to identify newly explored lands. Surrounding the monument is a 30-by-35 foot compass mosaic, which includes 18 tons of pink, black, and beige rocks shipped from Portugal. Two stone masons from Portugal worked in Hawai‘i for several months to hand place the rocks into the intricate design.
Figueira explained the significance of the Fort Street location for the Padrao, which honors the economic and social contributions of the Portuguese in Hawai‘i. The first Portuguese immigrants to Hawai‘i — many of whom came to work in the fields — arrived in September of 1878 on the Priscilla. After they landed, the group marched up Fort Street to Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, wanting to give thanks.
Through the Malama HPU project, HPU is making a difference. By extending a helping hand to the university’s neighbors, the HPU ‘ohana is beautifying and improving the community HPU calls home.