Putting the “non-aging” in “nonagenarian,” one of our longtime members, Ruth de Mesa, recently celebrated her 90th (!!) birthday, which fell on our regular weekly rehearsal night. A loyal alumna of Roosevelt High School, Ruth didn’t miss a beat when our Birthday Captain, Wally, asked her to sing the Rough Riders’ school song.
Recently featured in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Back in the Day” / Archive section was this photo from October 30, 1969 of the Air Fares of California, participating in the Sweet Adelines 23rd annual International Convention and Quartet Competition in Honolulu.
Do you recognize any of the women in this photo? If so, let us know!
The caption reads” The Air Fares from California are among 41 ladies’ barbershop quartets competing for the championship at the Sweet Adelines 23rd annual International Convention and Quartet Competition at the Honolulu International Center.”
Our very own Rosie Ramiro, longtime Na Leo Lani member and chorus volunteer, was recently recognized by the AARP for her contributions to the chorus and many other causes. In addition to serving as Leads section leader and stints on the NLL Board, Rosie uses her creative talents to make costume accessories that keep us looking festive, floral, and fantastic. When the pandemic began, she turned her sewing skills to making hundreds of face masks for frontline workers. In honor of Rosie’s boundless generosity and energy, fellow chorus member Noel Eto thoughtfully nominated her for the Andrus Award, which recognizes “outstanding individuals age 50 and older who are sharing their experience, talents and skills to enrich the lives of others.”
See excerpts from Noel’s nomination, below. And for the latest on Rosie’s volunteer work, see this Star Advertiser article on the new Acopan Garden at the Manoa Heritage Center — a project close to her heart.
“During the 2020-2021 COVID 19 pandemic lockdown, Rosie has personally sewn and donated over 1,500 face masks to Lanakila Clinic and hundreds of surgical caps, wheelchair bags and lap blankets for Kuakini Hospital. Rosie was nominated and received an award from Hawaii National Bank’s “Hometown Heroes” for her generous mask donations.
“Rosie also became a volunteer assistant to the ukulele instructor at Lanakila Senior Center, after taking the classes herself.
“Rosie has been a member of NaLeo Lani chorus (NLL), the Hawaii chapter of Sweet Adelines International (SAI), a women’s a cappella group for nearly twenty years. During that time she’s served voluntarily on the Board of Directors.
“For NLL, Rosie is the Lead section leader and the lead singer in NLL’s premier quartet, Friends (and sews costumes for them, too). Rosie prints and delivers sheet music to homebound (and not so technical) chorus members. She keeps in touch and visits with members now in care homes. She also donates face masks as prizes for games during NLL’s Zoom rehearsal sessions.
“Rosie participated in SAI’s Diversity, Equality and Inclusion project which included reviewing NLL’s 50 songs of their current repertoire. She researched the history, composer and language of each song to insure that there was no trace of racism, sexism or any inadvertent negative message. This is being done worldwide by Sweet Adelines International.”
With interacting safely again being possible and travel resuming for many people, we are looking forward to welcoming singers from out of town. Recently, we welcomed Brooke Cholka, Team Leader for High Desert Harmony Chorus in Reno, who joined us online for our Halloween rehearsal on Zoom while she was visiting Honolulu.
Brooke and fellow tenor Kieko Matteson also met up at Kieko’s place for coffee and a great Sweet Adeline-to-Sweet Adeline chat. Lovely meeting you, Brooke! We hope to see you in Reno soon — if not in 2022, at least at competition in 2023!