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Hawaiʻi Island Relief Committee

Aloha e,

When you sit down with family and friends for a traditional Thanksgiving meal, you know that it took hours of preparation to put the food on the table. Imagine if instead of feeding your family and friends, you had to organize food for 75,000, and not just for one day, but for 79 days! That was the task facing the ILWU during the 1946 sugar strike!

Each island had unique challenges. The Hawai`i Island remembrances of sugar workers, Yoshito Takamine and Toshio “Fat” Nagata provide good examples of the level of organization that took place on all islands. A Relief Committee was formed with representatives of each plantation. This committee provided realistic information about the needs of members and their families.

The Relief Committee organized hunting, fishing, gardening activities as well as a “Bumming Committee” to seek donations from stores, farmers, and the general public. In addition to direct aid to workers and their families, the Relief Committee established Soup Kitchens for collective gatherings for meals and entertainment. Yoshito Takamine was chair of the Hawaiʻi Island Relief Committee.

Toshio “Fat” Nagata was in charge of the Bumming Committee

We are thankful for the widespread community support for this project and the preservation of our film and video archive.

Mahalo Nui Loa!

Chris Conybeare

Executive Producer

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