Hundreds gathered at the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium Sunday to remember an icon: waterman, lifeguard and surfer Clifford Ah Mow.
Ah Mow was one of the 17 original crewmen of the canoe Hokule’a; in 1976, they piloted the double-hulled craft from Hawai’I to Tahiti without modern instruments to demonstrate that Polynesians could indeed have navigated far and wide across the open Pacific long before the arrival of Europeans.
It was a feat intended not only to support an important historical theory about the origins of the Polynesian people, but also to focus pride and revitalize Hawaiian culture.
After remembrances at an onshore ceremony outside the Natatorium Sunday, family members and others accompanied Ah Mow’s ashes out onto the ocean, where his son scattered them about a mile offshore. Star-Bulletin coverage of the memorial can be found here. A photo gallery is here. An obituary published after the 67-year-old Ah Mow’s death on Feb. 22 is here.
The Friends of the Natatorium join Clifford Ah Mow’s many friends and admirers in remembering a legendary son of Hawai’i and in offering consolation and sympathy to his family.