Elders and administrators representing Wai`anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center dressed in red and escorted Aunty Aggie with oli (chants) as she entered the Senate chamber.  Bottom row, L-R: Joseph Hart, James Lewis, Uilani Hew Len, Aunty Agnes Cope, Keonaona Kalua.  Second row, L-R: Rich Bettini, Kalena Hew Len, Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Larry De Rego, Sen. Gil Kahele.  Third row, L-R: Sen. Brickwood Galuteria, Sooriya Kumar, Hokulani De Rego, Kamaki Kanahele, Helen O’Connor, Al and Mrs. Harrington.  Fourth row, L-R: Sen. David Ige, Sen. Mike Gabbard, Sen. Josh Green, Sen. Wil Espero, Sen. Pohai Ryan, Sen. Carol Fukunaga, Sen. Michelle Kidani, Sen. Kalani English, Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland, Sen. Malama Solomon, Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz.  [Photo by Cassandra Harris; click to enlarge]

House Speaker Calvin Say (1st on the right), who is Aunty Aggie’s hanai son, honored her on 4/8/11.  Also participating in the ceremony honoring Aunty Aggie (seated) were, standing from L-R: Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, Rep. Jo Jordan, and Rep. Karen Awana.  [Photo by Cassandra Harris; click to enlarge]

Governor Neil Abercrombie, who is Aunty Aggie’s hanai son, proclaimed 4/8/11 “AGNES KALANIHO`OKAHA COPE” Day in Hawaii.  Clockwise from bottom: Aunty Agnes Cope, Governor Neil Abercrombie, Kamaki Kanahele, Sen. Maile Shimabukuro.  [Photo by Cassandra Harris; click to enlarge].

Elders and administrators from Wai`anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center escorted Aunty Aggie onto the Senate floor with powerful oli (chants).  Click on the image to watch the video.


Mr. President:

For the second time this session, I am privileged to rise and speak of a distinguished woman from my Wai’anae Coast district.  One month ago, it was to pay tribute to the memory of Aunty Frenchy DeSoto.   Today, it is another legendary Auntie—a woman whose lifetime achievements are legendary not only among my constituents, but across the state.

Generations of Wai’anae residents remember Auntie Aggie as their teacher in local public school—and later as their mentor in helping them discover the riches of their Hawaiian cultural roots.  They know her as a woman who cares deeply and personally for their health and well-being.  And they respect her for the well-deserved recognition of her life’s work—most notably the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters bestowed on her in 2009 by her Alma Mater, the University of Hawaii.

The list of her many contributions to our community is far too long to enumerate today.  I must acknowledge, however, her role as a founder of the Wai’anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center.  For those of us who depend on this great facility for our everyday healthcare needs, it is hard to imagine what life was like before Wai’anae Comp!  And it is through Auntie Aggie’s influence that traditional healing practices are an essential component of the services it provides for our people.

Finally, we are honored to have our Governor with us today—crowning our Senate celebration with a proclamation that declares today as “AGNES KALANIHO`OKAHA COPE” Day in Hawaii.  I have heard Governor Abercrombie say on more than one occasion—with great pride—that he is Auntie Aggie’s hanai son.  Who wouldn’t be proud to make such a claim!

Auntie Aggie, on behalf of your friends and neighbors on the Wai’anae Coast—and along with my colleagues in the Senate—I welcome you … and thank you for all you done over so  many years for the people of Hawaii.   Aloha!

One Response

  1. We arefrom Tahiti and we try to be in contact with grandma Mrs Agnes COPE; Please can we get her phone number or one of is son “Danny Boy”; We are staying at the Waikiki Aqua Wave room 1410; We leave on saturday; PLEASE we are looking forward for your prompt reply.

    kinds regards


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