small logoPublic Meeting: Tony Gomes
Save Honolua Coalition

Last Public Meeting Summary - Public speaker for March 12, 2008 meeting
- Honolua Ranch Camp native Tony Gomes. Tony grew up in the Honolua
area when it was still a ranch town, to this day he still has a love
for cattle and horses and even leased land from Maui Land and Pineapple
in the late 90's for raising cattle, as a hobby. Tony has fond
memories of playing outside all day long, plenty of open spaces, close
family ties--everybody was very giving. Plantation life was a lot more
diversified back then, he remembers they grew watermelon, mango,
lychee, yams, etc. On the weekends he remembers catching o'opu if the
streams were flowing, it was a self sufficient lifestyle, they only had
to buy rice, everything else was fresh--then came progress. Now he
does excavation work for high end development in Wailea and has
observed golf courses spring up followed by luxury homes and now
realizes that the camps are prime lands for development. We can't stop
development but Tony believes we can try to slow it down. Tony's
maternal family lived in Honokohau and one of his relatives was the
Kahu for Kapalua to Kahakuloa and he would help with the ho'ike for the
churches. While preparing food, his family would tell stories about
the sacred burial grounds and paths of the night marchers. Now the
family ties are missing, the construction of Honolua Ridge is the
physical evidence of a changed time. He has seen the evolution of
Baldwin Packers to Maui Land and Pineapple and finally Kapalua Land
Company. He remembers when Punalau (Windmills) actually had a windmill
and when Honolua Mokule'ia (Slaughterhouse) actually had a
slaughterhouse, when DT Flemings was called Stables and he roamed the
whole area. He is so familiar with Honolua that when the Sky line
tours were being constructed, they asked him to do the excavation
because of his intimate knowledge of Honolua. When asked what we
should do now, Tony felt the most important thing is to keep the
streams flowing. If they are not flowing, flow needs to be restored
because the ocean areas where rivers are flowing are more healthy. He
feels companies should stop taking water from our streams because the
life provided by the stream takes precedence.