Memories of Lorin:
In 1974 when Chuck Burrows formed Kamehameha School’s environmental science club, one of his primary goals was to have our students hiking and doing scientific field work with some of Hawaii’s top environmental scientists. Lorin was one of our first mentors, and his influence on our students through the years is immeasurable.
Hui Lama, as the club was eventually called, asked Lorin to come on many of our activities – from hikes on O`ahu to week-long neighbor island field studies. We always appreciated his honesty, his accuracy, and – yes – even his bluntness. Everyone, young and old, listened to him intently. He made the relationship between specific species and Hawaii’s precious ecology abundantly clear and comprehensible.
Lorin’s precise and accurate use of the Hawaiian language was not lost on our students. They were quick to recognize its importance in the early years, before many of them took Hawaiian language. Then, in the later years when many Hui Lama members were advanced Hawaiian language students, they saw that here was a resource person who practiced what their teachers were emphasizing so strongly – that precise and proper pronunciation of our language was very important.
There were some memorable times. We remember the day we came down from the summit of Hualalai with plans to camp that night at Makalawena. We had the key to the gate, but by the time we got out of Kailua it was pitch dark. None of us, including Lorin, had been to Makalawena via the jeep road before, and finding it in the dark became a bit of an exercise in some back and forth driving. Lorin got a little impatient and testy about it and muttered something like, “This is ridiculous!” We countered with the thought that it was a lot more fun than spending the night in a concrete box in Kailua. “Well put,” he admitted quietly, “well put.” And then he reiterated that thought the next morning when we wakened to a perfect day on that perfect beach.
Another good memory is of one of our staff members at Kamehameha telling about her fourth grade son coming home from school, talking enthusiastically about Aldo Leopold! His class had been on one of Lorin’s Moanalua Gardens school hikes, and he ended his account to his mother with, “And Mommy! I got to walk right in front – right next to Mr. Gill!”
Aren’t we all lucky that each of us who knew Lorin had the opportunity to walk right next to him! From now on we must walk in his footsteps, but much of what we know we learned from walking beside him.
Aloha, Lorin. You are missed.
Chuck Burrows and Sigrid Southworth
Dr. Chuck "Doc" Burrows - retired Biology instructor - Kamehameha Schools, Alewa Campus
Sigrid Sourthworth - retired Hawaiian Collections Librarian, - Kamehameha Schools, Alewa Campus
Doc and Sigrid were Co-Advisors of the Hui Lama Club at Kamehameha, a science and hiking club