Bill Introduced to Create ‘Aunty Dottie Thompson Hale’

January 11, 2018, 2:15 PM HST
* Updated January 11, 3:27 PM
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Merrie Monarch Festival photo.

Hawai‘i County Council member Sue Lee Loy has introduced a bill to name the building the Merrie Monarch Festival leases as its headquarters the “Aunty Dottie Thompson Hale” in recognition of the late executive director’s contributions to the county and the people of Hawai‘i.

The bill is expected to be referred to the County Council’s Public Works and Parks and Recreation Committee, which would take up the matter at when it meets on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, in the Hilo council chamber (time TBD). The public will be able to testify.

Aunty Dottie was an employee of the Department of Parks and Recreation for more than 30 years, but she is best known for taking over a small civic festival in 1968 and for turning it into the world-famous celebration of hula and Hawaiian culture that it is today. She served as executive director until her passing in 2010.

The Merrie Monarch Festival office is located at an unnamed county building, close to the Edith Kanaka‘ole Multi-Purpose Stadium, in Hilo.

Merrie Monarch office

Internal discussions about naming a county facility after Aunty Dottie began in December 2016. If approved, the ordinance would take effect on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, on Aunty Dottie’s birthday.

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