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October 2019 Chamber Connection Newsletter

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President's Message | October 2019 | Saying Goodbye

Saying goodbye has always been difficult for me. Whether it was my favorite stuffed animal I had as a child, the comfy old t-shirt that has become too ratty to wear, or that kitchen gadget (yes, talking about you, electric bread maker) that I think I’ll use again sometime in the future. But these are just material things. When it comes to people the challenge is so much greater.

There are dates that I’ll remember forever. Saturday, September 21, 2019 is one of those dates. That’s the day I received the call about Barry Taniguchi’s passing. Immediately a flood of emotion hit me. I spent the rest of that weekend thinking about Barry and the huge hole he left in the community. I thought about the whole Taniguchi clan and how sad I was for what they are going through. But most of all I thought about Barry the man and how he made a difference in my life and the lives of many.

Then it hit me. I don’t have to say goodbye to Barry. I know that he is off on his next greatest adventure…my faith taught me that. I also realized that I will still see Barry at work here through the success and accomplishments of the many lives he touched. I will see Barry as the Community First initiative helps people adopt a healthier lifestyle. I will see Barry as Hilo Hospital makes improvements and achieves awards for excellence. I will see Barry as people he has mentored rise up and take leadership roles in the community. And I will see Barry every time I’m at the checkout counter at KTA and I let the cashier know which school to give my Kokua I Na Kula points to.

So instead of saying goodbye to Barry I say safe travels and much happiness to my friend.

October 2019 Chamber Connection Newsletter