On the Scene: Consular Corps 2010 Inaugural Ball
Consular Corps honors Schweizer, Stackpole at ball
Photos by John Berger / email@example.com
Hank Stackpole, LTGEN, USMC (Ret.) and his wife, Vivian, shared a table with Dr. Lawrence K.W. Tseu, Stella and Chief Justice Ronald T.Y. Moon, and John Henry Felix, honorary consul of Spain and Portugal.
By John Berger
Two prominent Honolulu residents were honored, for their contributions to international diplomacy and to international relations respectively, as the Consular Corps Hawaii presented Niklaus Schweizer, honorary consul of Switzerland, the Distinguished Service Medal, and Hank Stackpole, LTGEN, USMC (Ret.), the Distinguished Service Medal, at the Corps’ 2010 Inaugural Ball last Saturday at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.
In accepting the honor, Stackpole said he was “thankful for my (wife) Vivian” and recalled a time early in their marriage when he came home from field exercises in a “grungey” uniform — she told him to step outside and “burn it.” He also got an appreciative laugh when he quoted her as saying that being married to a Marine is “a lifetime reclamation project.”
Schweizer, the Corps’ historian for several decades, will celebrate his 70th birthday this year, and was informed by the emcee, William Paupe, honorary consul of Kiribati, that although he must retire as honorary Swiss consul at 70, he will have honorary membership in the organization for life.
The other official business was taken care of before dinner when Paupe was joined by Chief Justice Ronald T.Y. Moon and outgoing Corps dean Yoshihiko Kamo, consul general of Japan, for the official inauguration of the Corps’ officers for 2010: Dean Patricia Lee, honorary consul of France; Vice-Dean Leoncio Cardenas, consul general of the Philippines; secretary Nina Hamre Fasi, honorary consul of Norway; treasurer Annie Kaneshiro, honorary consular agent of Tonga; auditor Kusuma Cooray, honorary consul of Sri Lanka; and Corps historian Niklaus Schweizer.
Cardenas will serve as dean in 2011. Moon, who was given lifetime membership in the Corps last year, got a laugh from the audience when he solemnly pledged that he would never pronounce “corps” as “corpse” (the correct pronunciation is “core”).
Addressing the group and their guests after dinner in her first speech as dean of the Corps, Lee mentioned pending legislation that would restrict or possibly ban the sale of foie gras in Hawaii and described foie gras as a traditional French delicacy. The menu for the event was definitely French in theme and foie gras was prominently featured in both the hors d’oeuvres and dinner choices made by Fred Hellekes, Bailli Provincial of the Chaine des Rotisseures, who supervised the menu and selected the wines to compliment it.
The Consular Corps Hawaii traces its history back to 1824 and meetings between American and British consular representatives. France became the third nation to have consular representation here when Jules Dudoit was appointed consular agent in 1837.
Niklaus Schweizer, honorary consul of Switzerland, third from left, talked informally with Watters O. Martin, left, Guido Carlo Pigliasco and Prince Vittorio Alliata di Montereale before going in for dinner.
Niklaus Schweizer was congratulated by Gladys Vernoy, honorary consul of Chile, after he received the Corps’ Distinguished Service Medal.
Claus Hansen, recently appointed honorary consul of Denmark, attended the ball with his wife, Diane Ako, center, and mother-in-law, Vera Ako.
Barry Zlatoper, third from left, and her husband, R.J. “Zap” Zlatoper, honorary consul of Slovenia, fourth from left, enjoyed pre-dinner cocktail conversation on the lanai with Mark Polivka, left, Karen Tiller and Josette and Carl Marsh.