MAUI (KHNL) - On Maui last week, thousands flocked to the island to celebrate and honor their school. But what makes this class reunion so special, is that the school closed its doors 35 years ago!
The costumes still fit and the cheerleaders can still do the splits! The old steps seem to come easy as they perform the bon dance to remember those who have passed on.
"Their school spirit is just as strong as it was when they were students, its amazing," said Barbara Long, President of Friends of Old Maui High School.
Amazing because, they were graduates from as far back as 1930, 1948, 1960 and they all came together, just as they did many years ago, to sing and dance and feast, and to rekindle the stories that have shaped their lives.
Before closing its doors in 1972, this was the home of the old Maui High School.
"They were taught by some of the most incredible teachers who infused these kids with the love of learning, a love of democratic principles, of public service," said Long.
And serve the public they did.
"They turned out thousands of well educated graduates who have gone on to be Mayors of Maui, there've been Judges, and Attorneys,and Doctors," Long said.
And even members of congress. The late congress woman patsy takemoto mink graduated here with the class of1944.
"It was just an excellent, excellent school and I wish it could be a model for schools today," added Long.
"We came from humble backgrounds where people didn't know anything else but living together, living off the land and working together," said Rodney Inciong, Class of 1959.
"Computers, cell phones, we didn't have that growing up, so it was just personal contact, said Janet Higginson, Class of 1962.
Although they've all gone their separate ways, the alumni say it's important to keep these old buildings...retain their school spirit...and to never forget where they came from.
The Friends of Old Maui High will unveil plans this week to restore the school site to its original appearance... And in its completion become "The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Center".