Aloha to Darrow Aiona (photographs) and an era of modern Hawaiian community activism

About 1980I was very sorry to hear Darrow Aiona died suddenly just a few days before Christmas. Darrow was a very familiar figure in our lives, and his passing sent me digging for old photos. I came up with this batch of pictures which include a couple of Darrow.

That’s Darrow, with his pipe, talking with the late Judy Napoleon of Molokai. The occasion was a party for attorney Robert “Gil” Johnston at the home of the Rev. Charles Hopkins in Kaaawa.

I’m guessing this was around 1980. I know it was well before we moved to Kaaawa, which was in 1988, because I recall thinking that it seemed like a very long way to drive for a party. And it was after Gil left Hawaii in 1975 to teach at John Marshall Law School in Chicago, where he later served as dean. Gil had previously served as head of the Legal Aid Society in Hawaii for a couple of years around 1970, then went into private practice, where he represented Native Hawaiian community groups and activists. Hence the attendees at this small event.

In addition to Darrow, there are a lot of important people from that early period of modern Hawaiian activism who are no longer with us, including Judy Napoleon, Randy Kalahiki, Georgina Padeken, and Alvina Park, plus others I don’t recall or didn’t know.

I wish the scans were better, but I was working from old snapshots.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy the look back.

Aloha, Darrow.

4 responses to “Aloha to Darrow Aiona (photographs) and an era of modern Hawaiian community activism

  1. Mahalo nui for posting these pictures of my father’s home in Kaaawa. He was very much involved in Hawaiian activism during that period. Very sad to see the passing of Darrow as well. We lost our Dad 5 years ago too.

    • Dianne T. Stevens-Poire

      Looking for Georgina Padeken who lived on Pulama Road in Ka’alea. I live on the next street over Kaimalolo Place. Haven’t seen her in ages and was just talking to Mitch Padekin last night. My number is 222-0136. Mahalo, Dianne

  2. Gil was a member of Punahou’s illustrious class of ’49. His dad managed the one-time Aiea sugar reiinery that produced for island consumption.

  3. Sorry to hear of Darrow’s passing. I knew him many years ago when he was assistant priest at St Paul’s Church Auckland NZ.

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