Hawaiian Blessing opens UGC Peace & Heroes Rose Garden in Pearl City

Apr 22, 2014 | PC Community


The University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) Urban Garden Center (UGC) in Pearl City held a Hawaiian Blessing and Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 12 for the newly completed Honolulu Rose Society, Peace & Heroes Rose Garden.

Kahu Kanani Hanohano Okuda performed the blessing upon the Peace & Heroes’ Rose Gardens as well as throughout the UGC Rose Garden grounds.

The event organizers also recognized six students from Oahu schools who won the Honolulu Rose Society's "What Peace Means to Me" and "What Heroes Mean to Me" writing contest. Student’s submitted entries from three different grade level categories; K-2, 3-4, and 5-6.

CTAHR administrators and UGC coordinators and volunteers also recognized several individuals and groups who have volunteered their time to make the UGC Rose Garden the success it is today. Their hard work and creativity will be instrumental in growing the rose garden into a world class destination for all visitors to enjoy and admire.

The rose garden blessing and awards ceremony brought the community together in celebration of the beauty and success of the rose garden, and the words from our keiki that will forever live in honor of the gift of peace and spirit of our heroes that walk amongst us today and to those who have given their lives to protect us.

"It was the students way of telling everyone what the meaning of peace is, and the meaning of what heroes mean to them," said Myrna Cariaga, President, Honolulu Rose Society."

"I'm really proud of the students and what they accomplished," said Ray Uchida, University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. "Hopefully it will help promote the rose garden and have more people come out and take a look at their work."

It takes a lot of work, planning, as well as volunteer hours to be able to experience the glow and smells of the many varieties of roses that bloom in the UGC rose garden. CTAHR's Urban Garden Center, under the leadership of Ray Uchida, has provided the aina and facilities. The Honolulu Rose Society led by President Myrna Cariaga and rose garden coordinator, visionary, and creative energy specialists, Bob Speer delivers the expertise and manpower that allows the rose garden to flourish in Pearl City.

"We want the thank the Urban Garden Center for allowing us to have this rose garden, but we also want to thank the members of the Honolulu Rose Society who actually maintain and helped develop this garden," Cariaga said. “We also want to thank the Ohana Group as well the Pearlridge Rotary Club who over a four year span of this garden, has helped us every year."

"I just had an idea that we just really wanted to have something like this, and the idea just grew up and we got a lot of volunteers that backed it up and put it together," Uchida said.

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Kahu Kanani Hanohano Okuda blesses the path leading into the Peace & Heroes Rose Gardens.

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Bob Speer welcomes attendees and honorees with a song on a beautiful UGC Rose Garden day.

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Honolulu Rose Society President Mryna Cariaga (far left) is pictured recognizes Mr. Speer

for his hard work and dedication to the UGC Rose Garden as he presented with lei.

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

President Cariaga recognizes Mr. Ron Matsuzaki for his dedication in playing an integral role in the creating

and maintaining the UGC Rose Garden and newly completed Peace & Heroes’ Rose Gardens.

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Ray Uchida from the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources,

congratulated and recognized those individuals and groups who continue to contribute and improve

the UGC Rose Garden. Mr. Uchida also congratulated the "What Peace Means to Me" and

"What Heroes Mean to Me" essay contest winners and their families.


Honolulu Rose Society

"What Peace Means to Me" and "What Heroes Mean to Me"

Writing Contest Awards Ceremony

The Honolulu Rose Society also held a special awards ceremony to present certificates to the winners of the "What Peace Means to Me" and "What Heroes Mean to Me" writing contest that involved Oahu students from grades K-2, 2-4, and 5-6. The winners also were given plaques that were placed in the newly blessed Peace and Heroes Rose Gardens.

Congratulations to all the winners and to all the students who participated in the writing contest. Great job!



"What Peace Means to Me"


Grades K – 2

Ms. Zoie Senensi-Bocoboc
Manana Elementary School
Peace means to be kind.
To be responsible and respectful.
Say good words.
Peace makes me feel happy.
And loving and kind.


Grades 3 – 4

Ms. Miriam Raquel Bowman
Gustav H. Webling Elementary School
Peace is easy to say, but difficult to live.
The main ingredient of peace is humility.
Humility helps you understand another's
point of view to end hatred and spread peace.


Grades 5 – 6

Mr. Makai Langford
Princess Victoria Kaiulani Elementary School
Peace to me is …love, caring, friendship
and understanding someone else.
Peace can change the way we look at each other
and view the world and everyone in it.


Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]



"What Heroes Mean to Me"


Grades K – 2

Ms. Mikayla Hashimoto
Momilani Elementary School
Heroes fight for our country and protect it.
They don't care about their own safety
and try to help other people.
Heroes try to save people too.


Grades 3 – 4

Ms. Emily Blakeney
Gustav H. Webling Elementary School


A hero means caring and will risk their lives for others.
They have the courage to serve.
They put others before themselves.
That's a brave hero.


Grades 5 – 6

Mr. Ethan Won
Kaneohe Elementary School


A hero is a person who is willing to sacrifice his or her life
to protect friends, family, and country
from anything that could harm them.


Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]



Mr. Ikaika Kaahanui

Senior Patrol Leader, Boy Scout Troop 147


Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Bob Speer presents a Special – Recognition Award Certificate to the parents of Ikaika Kaahanui,

Senior Patrol Leader, Boy Scout Troop 147 for his volunteer efforts at the UGC Rose Garden.  Ikaika was

working on his Eagle Scout project on April 12 and was not able to attend the awards certificate ceremony.



Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]


Urban Garden Center Rose Garden

The public is welcome to visit and browse around the dozens of varieties of hybrid rose plants.

Garden hours are from 9am – 2pm, Monday through Friday.  Second Saturday in the Garden Events: 9am – 12noon.

Address: 955 Kamehameha Highway, Pearl City, Hawaii 96782

UGC web site: www.ctahr.hawaii.edu
Honolulu Rose Society web site: http://www.honolulurosesociety.org


More UGC Rose Garden Photos: