An important anniversary

On June 8, Maui will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the J. Walter Cameron Center.

The facility on Mahalani Street in Wailuku was conceived by the then-publisher of The Maui News – Cameron – and businessman Douglas Sodetani to provide “appropriate program and administrative space to nonprofit organizations that supply health, education and human services to Maui residents.”

Cameron donated $10,000 for a feasibility study. When the result was affirmative, Cameron and Sodetani worked diligently with the public, as well as federal, state and county officials, to raise the $2.2 million needed to build the center.

Today, the Cameron Center has 48,000 square feet and 16 social service agencies residing there. There are public meeting rooms for rent to community organizations and public agencies.

Its mission is “to assist people with special needs by providing a home for Maui’s social service agencies.”

A release from the center says more than 40,000 people “attend meetings, workshops, training sessions and other community events” in its facilities every year.

The theme of the 40th anniversary celebration is “A Time of Renewal.” It will take place at the Yokouchi Estate in Wailuku beginning at 5:30 p.m. on June 8. George Kahumoku Jr. and Friends will entertain.

Honorary chairs of the event are Eddie and Myrna Kamae, Mayor Alan Arakawa and County Council Chairwoman Gladys Baisa.

Individual tickets and sponsorship packages are available. Please call 244-5546 to make reservations, or email the center at

(Our thanks to Tom Blackburn-Rodriguez for providing the background material cited in this editorial.)

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.