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How sad!



One of our elders recently passed away. His name was Clarence Naia (pronounced "nai-ah.") An excerpt:

"Naia was born Sept. 17, 1928, in the Kalaupapa leprosy settlement on Moloka'i. He was taken from his parents, who had the disease, and was raised by his grandmother on Maui. In 1953, Naia was diagnosed with leprosy while working as an Army truck driver on O'ahu. He later moved to Hale Mohalu, a state-run treatment center in Pearl City.

In 1978, when state officials decided to transfer the remaining 13 patients from the crumbling facility to Le'ahi Hospital, Naia, fellow patient Bernard Punikai'a and others refused to be evicted from their home, even though their water and electricity often were cut off by officials.

After a five-year standoff, when the patients' court appeals were exhausted, officials conducted a pre-dawn raid at the facility in September 1983, with Naia and 17 others arrested for government obstruction. The building was bulldozed, and a senior housing complex was built.

Television and newspaper images of Naia and Punikai'a being carried from Hale Mohalu, their dignity intact, inspired many to support their causes and spurred other protests over land, Native Hawaiian and civil rights."



Read more here: http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060629/OBITS01/606290349/1187/NEWS

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