Hedy Harrison Anduha: A lovely hula girl turns 80

Maggie’s Pub and Grill in Santa Fe Springs was the place where 300 family, friends and guests gathered to celebrate the 80th birthday of Hedy Harrison Anduha on Sunday, December 15, 2019. Starting about a few minutes after 12 noon, Bubbah Edayan welcomed everyone and offering a Pule (prayer). Bubba and Hedy then sang the doxology in Hawaiian and English. Bubbah and Kamaka Brown later became the Masters of Ceremony who introduced all the entertainers and dancers who performed, sang songs or danced hulas.

There was a wonderful buffet lunch that was prepared by Maggie’s Pub that included chicken, beef and breaded fish, along with salads, assorted vegetables, rolls, and rice. Guests could help themselves to coffee, iced tea, water, and lemonade. The lunch buffet was open from 12:30 to 2:15 p.m.

Prior to the start of the entertainment, Hedy was honored by Jim Edwards, a Councilmember of the City of Cerritos. On the behalf of the City of Cerritos, Councilman Edwards presented Hedy with a Certificate of Recognition and extended congratulations to her for her 80th birthday on December 6, 2019 and the celebration of December 15, at Maggie’s Pub and Grill. Hedy was recognized as an active member of the community with years of service as a librarian at the Cerritos Library, and her years teaching hula to seniors at the Cerritos Senior Center. Councilman Edwards thanked Hedy for her service to the people and city of Cerritos.

Hedy said later that receiving the certificate from Councilman Edwards was extra special because Jim Edwards is a personal friend and Bible study partner of Hedy and Larry.

Since Hedy taught hula classes for many years, her students came to dance hulas in her honor and showed how much they had learned from her. Some of her students, called the Almost Perfect 10’s (ATP), surprised Hedy and everyone in the audience by coming on to the dance floor area pushing walkers! They even created a new hip hop dance for Senior Ladies. At the end of their dance, they put Hedy in a walker with a seat, and proceeded to dance around her singing “Happy Birthday” to her.

Hedy was smiling and laughing throughout their performance!

Hulas were performed by groups that Hedy danced with or taught in hula class, and groups that simply came to entertain people. The groups included Advanced Beginning Hula, Na Ipo Hula, United in Worship Hula, Na Kupunawahine O’Cerritos, Monday Practice Group Surprise, The Original Line 7. The audience enjoyed all the hulas performed by the different groups.

In addition to these hula groups, there were professional entertainers who performed at Hedy’s party. The first entertainers were Kamaki Keawe and hula dancer Consuelo Ty Ancong. Kamaki sang several songs, including his original song, “Kalihi,” about the city where Hedy lived on Oahu.

Other entertaniners included, Aolani Preuss and Bobby Naluai, with Bobby on bass guitar. Aolani sang several mele (songs), including the mele “Oahu” which she wrote and her haumana (students) danced. Aolani also sang and played the Pua Olena, and her kumu (teacher), Lehua Hawkins, was asked to dance to it.

Mel Ogata played ukulele mele which featured “A Part of Me, a Part of You” and the Japanese song, “Koko Ni Sachi Ari,” which are songs that Larry and Hedy love to sing.,

Auntie Geri Kuhia sang a variety of songs including “In This Life I Was Loved by You, and “I Kona. The singing of “I Kona” was so beautiful that people got up spontaneously to dance the hula. It was like being in a nightclub listening to all the entertainers’ music and watching hulas that were danced!

In the middle of the performances, there was a special time when Larry Anduha gave a champagne toast to Hedy, and everyone joined in singing “Happy Birthday” to Hedy. There were three cakes with two chocolate dobash, and one white, three-tier coconut and berry cake decorated for the occasion. Hedy was happy that everyone enjoyed the cakes so that there were no leftovers of cake! You could almost feel the love, the “Aloha Spirit” that everyone had for Hedy.

The Grand Finale occurred when Hedy’s husband, Larry Anduha, sang a solo, “Lovely Hula Girl,” and sounded like Elvis Presley. Larry romantically kissed Hedy in the middle of the song! Everyone applauded and cheered Larry for singing this song for his own lovely hula girl, Hedy!

At a few minutes before 5:00 p.m., the birthday celebration ended with the everyone forming a circle, holding hands, and singing “Aloha Hawaii” and Aloha O’e.” It was hard to believe that nearly five hours had passed from the start of the lunch at 12, because there were so many wonderful performances!

Hedy now has many memorable moments to remember of her family and friends who came to entertain and celebrate with her!

Featured photo

Larry Anduha sings “Lovely Hula Girl” to his wife, Hedy Harrison Anduja. Photo by Edna Ethington.