The outpouring of aloha could be felt throughout the Mitchell Pau’ole Center on Saturday as the Molokai community came out to bid farewell and to celebrate the life of Moana Dudoit.
Dudoit passed away March 16 at Molokai General Hospital at the age of 73. The youngest of 19 children of Maurice and Lahela Dudoit, Moana was born and raised on the East End of Molokai where she lived up to the end. It was the strength of the Hawaiian culture within her family that led her to form Molokai’s most famous hula halau.
Thousands of friends, family and community members attended Saturday’s event, including many visitors from off island. The MPC was strewn with hundreds of flowers arrangement for the memorial service.
The all-day celebration began with a gallery view and sharing time in the morning until services began at 11 a.m. Kumu Manuwai Peters and na haumana offered the opening oli. The opening song was Ekolu Mea Nui, sung by the Dudoit ‘ohana.
After an opening prayer by Vandale Dudoit, a special hula dedication was offered by Moana’s Hula Halau.
Moana’s grandniece, Zhan Dudoit, gave a heartfelt eulogy. This was followed by special musical selection from Lulu Maliu and the class of 1959. Lei Castor then spoke about her memories of Moana. The Dudoit ‘ohana then gave a hula dedication performance.
For the sermon, Kahu Paul Brennan offered his thoughts, memories and prayers for Moana. This was followed by lunch served for everyone at the overflowing MPC.
Various Molokai performers then moved the celebration outside for music and dance. Moana’s Hula Halau performed again, along with the Hula Halau o Kilohana, Melveen Leed and various other performers until 6 p.m.
Moana is survived by sister Raquel, hanai sister Jodie Kaeha and many nieces and nephews. The Dudoit ‘ohana expressed its heartfelt gratitude for everyone who helped make the celebration of Aunty Moana an event to remember.