President Carmelita Tiongson welcomed members to the Da’ Hawaii Seniors Club’s first meeting of the New Year on Thursday, January 26, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. at the Cerritos Senior Center. After Larry Anduha led the Pledge of Allegiance, members joined in singing Hawaii Pono’I led by Ann Kho and accompanied by Pete Kahele and Frank Yoshii with their ukuleles. Carmelita introduced Ann as her Co-President for 2023.
Hedy Anduha then led members in singing “Happy Birthday” to January birthday celebrant, Annette Clary, in both Hawaiian and in English. Program VP’s Sherrie Dixon and Donna Ray then asked members who were born in the Chinese Lunar Year of the Rabbit in 1939 to receive special red envelopes as gifts from the club, called Hong bao. It means red envelope in Mandarin, or also is called, Lee Si, which means “good luck.” Each red envelope had a monetary gift for people born in the Year of the Rabbit.
Frances McCormick then sang a Happy Chinese New Year’s song in Mandarin, Xin nian hao kuai le, which is pronounced, shin nee-an how kwai le, meaning “New Year Happy or Good.” A short version is Xin nian (New Year) hao, pronounced as “how” and meanin ”good.” Frances was accompanied by ukulele teacher Susan McCormick. According to Frances, people have been saying Kung Hei Fat Choi in Cantonese during the Chinese Lunar New Year, but the words actually are wishing people prosperity in the New Year and not Happy New Year.
Co-President Carmelita then conducted the business for the day by introducing board members.
Ohana Care Co-Chair Georgina Onaga reported that a Sympathy card had been sent to the family of the late Liz Nakamura, and Get Well cards were sent to Meling Agcaoili, who is recuperating at home, and John Fagaragan, who is still in the hospital.
Membership Co-VP Mryna Matsuno reported that there are currently 125 members in Da’ Hawaii Seniors Club. She introduced new members Malovette “Malu” Gascon, Rosaria “Loke” Manetta, and Ping Chen. She also introduced Irina Soleymani, a three-year member who had not been introduced before. Each new member said a few words about themselves.
Entertainment was provided by the club’s Kupunawahine hula dancers who danced a hula to “That’s the Hawaiian in Me in their new Pa’u outfits, by Larry and Hedy Anduha singing a duet to “My Yellow Ginger Lei,” and by Ann Kho singing a solo to the song “Memories” from the musical “Cats.”
Program VP’s Sherrie and Donna the took charge of calling numbers for Bingo games and winners could pick their prizes from White Elephants gifts or new gifts that were donated by club members.
While the Bingo games were going on, the Refreshment Committee members, Remy Convento, Yolanda Andrade, and Bette Kurihara, distributed baggies of snacks to members. The snacks included Chinese fortune cookies, lychee gelatin, almond cookies, tangerines, and candies. Club members enjoyed the treats!
The meeting ended with everyone gathering in a circle and singing Hawaii Aloha and Aloha O’e.
Co-President Carmelita announced that the Cerritos Senior Center will be closed for two months of repairs, so alternate meeting places are still being sought.