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Spirit Awardees - Gerald Mitsuo Hirata

Blanche M. Suga
P. O. Box 298
Eleele, HI  96705

Individual Nominated:
Gerald Mitsuo Hirata
3205 Umi St.
Lihue, HI 96766

Gerald graduated from Eleele Elementary School in 1961.
Gerald is a 1965 graduate of WHS.  He attended Arizona State and received a BS in Math in 1969.  From 1969-1973, Gerald joined the Peace Corp and taught HS Math in Botswana, Africa.  He extended his stay for a year to see his students through math exams.  He attended UCLA and received his Masters Degree in Math on a Community Teaching Fellowship in 1977.


Volunteer Activity:

Gerald was interested in Hawaiian culture, music and language.  He danced with Auntie Clarice Nuhi in Los Angeles and O’Brien Eselu, in Honolulu.  He learned to play the ukulele, took Hawaiian language classes and Hawaiian chant workshops. Today he is a valued resource for Leilani Rivera Bond.

In 2000 Gerald returned to Botswana after 30 years – He wrote an article and submitted it to the paper as a way of letting his students know he would be returning after 30 years.  His students are now in positions of government, teachers, professors, lawyers and successful businessmen.  He received many testimonials as to his influence on them and their careers.

Gerald loves to travel and has been to Japan, England, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Italy, Philippines, India, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico and 42 of the 50 states, with a goal of getting to all 50 states.

Gerald is always active playing volleyball, running, biking, swimming, kayaking, tai chi and a regular at the gym.  He has participated in the Honolulu Marathon, Kauai Marathon, San Francisco Bay to Breakers, Aloha Run and 10K and 5K races.