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A outrigger canoe commemorates canoeist Charles Pene who died of cancer in 2004. Charles Pene came to Hamilton Island in 1969 and was well known as a solo paddling figure around the island.

Before racing got underway in the Hamilton Island Cup, a special dedication ceremony took place on Thursday evening in memory of local paddler Charles Pene who died of cancer earlier this year. The memorial featured an outrigger named in his honour which received a traditional Hawaiin blessing.

A much-loved member of the global outrigging community, Charles came to Hamilton Island 25 years ago and was well-known as the solo paddling figure in waters around the island. He's described as the smiling face who greeted arrivals at the airport and shared a special affinity with Team Hawaii.

Close friend of Charles, Kamoa Kamahla hosted the ceremony and explained the significance of the blessings. Spoken in Hawaian, he asked the heavenly father to guide them and help them successfully paddle the canoe and return safely to the shore. The offering is a gift to heaven and hopes that when the boat is out there and being used successfully and it's weather-worn and covered in seaweed, they know that they've shown it a great deal of respect - click on the audio link below to hear more.

Kamoa said while the ceremony was very emotional, he came back with a purpose to bid farewell to a friend.

Charles' love of outrigging has been carried on with the creation of the Charles Pene Spirit of Aloha Award which was awarded to the Mackay-based Sunset Bay Club. The award is to mark the actions of a team or a club that displays the true aloha spirit of the sport. The Sunset Bay team came to the assistance of the Rockhampton team whose outrigger capsized during the 16km marathon.

Meanwhile, Charles will be remembered by Hamilton Island and global outrigging fraternity for the motto by which he lived his life: "There are 3 F words we use in life never fully appreciating their meaning. The words cost nothing but are a country's ransom. If you are lucky to possess one F word you have riches untold. The first is Faith, the second is Friendships and the third is Family...."
ABC Tropical North, 9 June 2004. 


Address:Hamilton Island Outrigger Canoe Club, Hamilton Island, 4803
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -20.35
Long: 148.96
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Technology
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 3rd June, 2004
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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