Edith Van Gieson Honored by the Hawaii State Legislature and Legislative Hawaiian Caucus

Floor Remarks
By Senator Maile Shimabukuro
Honoring Edith Van Gieson
March 30, 2012

Mr. President,

Today it is my privilege to rise in honor of a woman from my Wai’anae Coast district whose achievements over the past half-century are legendary among my constituents, and across the state.

Edith Van Gieson

In 1947, Edith Van Gieson—along with her late husband, Henry—founded the Nanakuli-based Leeward Kai Canoe Club.  The club has always been a strong family enterprise. Her children—Ryan, Rena, Myron and their families—now play leadership roles in the club and throughout the paddling community.

Edith, her family, and club members are committed to perpetuating the traditions of cultural pride and good sportsmanship established over many years.  In June, at Nanakuli Beach, the Leeward Kai Club will host the 45th Annual Father’s Day Regatta for the Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association.  Under the direction of Head Coach Ryan Van Gieson, the club currently serves dozens of children and their families.  These and other accomplishments of Edith and her family have earned the respect of paddlers everywhere!

Edith, 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 have done for the people of Hawaii.

It is also an honor for us to welcome to our chamber your family who have come today to support you in receiving this well-deserved recognition.

The Legislature honored Edith Van Gieson of Leeward Kai Canoe Club on Hawaiian Caucus Day, 3/30/12. L-R: Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, Rep. Karen Awana, Alfred Van Gieson, Edith Van Gieson, Ryan Van Gieson, Rena Rzonca, John Rzonca (holding grandson, Rustin), Shannon Van Gieson, and Rep. Jo Jordan. [Photo by Francine Murray of OHA; Click photos to enlarge.]

Rustin Rzonca enjoyed watching his great-grandmother, Edith Van Gieson, being honored by the Legislature.  Leeward Kai won the “Na Opio” childrens’ division for O`ahu in 2012.  Congratulations to the club’s 88 keiki!

The Van Gieson ‘ohana watched Edith from the gallery.  L-R: Edith’s son-in-law and daughter, John and Rena Rzonca (holding their grandson, Rustin), son and daughter-in-law Ryan and Shannon Van Gieson, and grandson Alfred Van Gieson.

John Rzonca, Edith Van Gieson’s son-in-law, holding grandson Rustin.

The Leeward Kai Canoe Club accepts donations, which are tax-deductible. Mail to : POB 2172, Waianae, HI 96792. Email: LeewardKaicc@hawaii.rr.com

Update 4/19/2012: Additional photos.

Senator Shimabukuro (left) and Edith Van Gieson.

Edith Van Gieson with members of the Senate and fellow honoree, artist Doug Po`okela Tolentino, from the Hawaiian Caucus Day.

Edith Van Gieson with the Senate Hawaiian Caucus members and fellow honoree, artist Doug Po`okela Tolentino.

2 Responses

  1. Beautifully done. Great Job.
    Mrs. Van Geison Really Deserve this Recognition. It helped lots of children throughout the years. It kept them Busy and away from Drugs, Gangs and Built their Confidence in Life.
    God Bless You Mrs. Van Geison.



  2. Eddie, good job. I remember you with love from navy clinic radiology dept at. Malaklapa


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