The Pacific Tsunami Museum (PTM) celebrated its 15th anniversary on October 4, 2009. The event took place at 'Imiloa Astronomy Center and was well-attended.
On October 4, 1994, the first meeting of PTM's Board of Directors was postponed due to the threat of a tsunami from the Kuril Islands and an ensuing statewide evacuation. This auspicious omen reinforced the seriousness of PTM's mission, and on the occasion of our 15th anniversary, we paused to celebrate and recognize our accomplishments and give recognition to those so instrumental in our inception and growth.
The 15th anniversary program began with a welcome message by MC, Dr. Marlene Hapai, followed by introduction of guests and recognition of the event's "Nalu Benefactor" awards. These contributors included Dr. Marlene Hapai (Science FUNdamentals) Barry Taniguchi (KTA Super Stores) Herbert Watanabe, and Lorene Hough (Oceanic Time Warner Cable).
Kini Laleilani Burke gave the blessing for a buffet luncheon. Supportive messages from Senator Daniel Inouye, Governor Linda Lingle, and Mayor Billy Kenoi were shared.
Dr. Walter Dudley, Chairman of the Museum's Scientific Advisory Council, gave an illustrated presentation entitled "The Beginning... An Idea Takes Shape". Dr. Walter Dudley and Jeanne Johnston were each given a "Founders Award".
PTM's President of the Board, Jim Wilson, continued the historical account with his talk "The Board Steps Up".
"Founding Board Member" awards were presented to Jim Wilson, President; Robert Fujimoto, Vice-President; Ian Birnie, Secretary; Donna Dodd, Treasurer; and Directors Robert Chow, Robert Crudele, Brian Kitagawa, Richard Nakamura, Carl Okuyama, Donna Saiki, Willibroad Tallett, Barry Taniguchi, and Richard West.
Dr. Dudley again took the podium and gave an interesting illustrated account of the Museum's "Fifteen Years of History". Following this, an "Outstanding Scientific Advisor" award was presented to both George Curtis and Dr. Walter Dudley, noted tsunami experts, who have provided invaluable assistance to the museum.
The recipient of the "Outstanding Volunteer" award was Marci Knotts for the building remodeling. The "Outstanding Contributor to Technology" award was given to John Coney for his electronic contributions. Mildred Uchima received the "Founding Docent" award for her volunteer work at PTM since day one. Recipients of "Distinguished Benefactor" awards included KTA Super Stores and the Wiskemann Family Foundation. Jim D. Wilson, Board President, and Donna Saiki, Museum Director, were each given an "Outstanding Leadership Award".
PTM acknowledges our sponsors for this event: Big Island Candies, Hawaii Tribune Herald, 'Imiloa Astronomy Center, KTA Super Stores, Sky Garden Restaurant, and Two Ladies Kitchen.
PTM continually strives to be on the forefront of technology with its interactive video kiosks, exhibits, and displays. From concept to reality one thing has remained consistent: this museum has been built and continues to be built with heart. With an abundance of outreach programs, popular annual community events, and a dedicated group of staff, docents, and community members working hard to uphold the mission, PTM's future looks bright because of its many guardian angels. It was a great pleasure to acknowledge them. With future contributions, the museum plans to reinstate the Laupahoehoe exhibit with holographic technology and to add an exhibit on the recent Samoa tsunami. Please support PTM with a visit or contribution, so that we can continue our mission of educating the public.