Aloha and welcome to the 58th Annual Hawaii Convention,

My name's Kawika, and I'm an Alcoholic and Mahalo for your trust and allowance of carrying the message through the Annual Hawiai Convention.

The theme for this year's convention comes from the publication Alcoholics Anonymous (Big Book); I'm so grateful that my fear of the disease was far greater than my disdain of your God.

I came into our fellowship as an atheist; this after a childhood of sexual abuse and unfortunate experiences through adulthood all "in the name of God."  I had not taken into account that those using that title were simply justifying their conduct to fulfill their warped needs.  I simply attributed their actions to the named entity they called God.

I entered treatment in August of 1997 and was directed to attend AA meetings.  At the beginning of my first meeting, a gentleman read from "We Agnostics" from the Big Book which contains the portion being used for this year's theme.  I heard nothing else that night and only seethed in my anger and spite, yet I recognize today that I was more fearful of where I'd found myself due to the actions in this disease then I was of the name God.  I cringed at every meeting and discussion where the word God was used and was sure there would be great suffrage as I continued your suggested path to sober attainment.  Of course, this was my disease holding me hostage and not wanting me to get better.

Gratefully, through sponsorship and being 'willing', I came to believe in a Higher Power.  It is not one you'll find in any text, script, or presentation.  It is a conception of my development and is continuously transforming and growing.  I do use the name God as a simplification for me since it's easier to say and spell.

The translation of the Hawai'ian portion of the theme, "A 'ole i piliwai 'ia" is "I can't believe."  This was how I felt when I came to our fellowship and how I feel today.  I couldn't believe in your God upon my arrival, and today I can't believe the grace and blessings I've received by just following the prescribed Steps and simple suggestions.

This year's logo is what I feel is representative of our fellowship:
It is the speaker, who embodies the message and carries the ihe (spear) with 3 prongs to reflect Experience, Strength & Hope that he is sharing in defense against the disease.  He is sharing from the hei'au podium, which is a symbol of our fellowships recognized triangular emblem of Unity, Service, and Recovery.  The kukui nuts surrounding the hei'au podium and speaker are a direct reflection of us (the AA members), receiving the message of hope and carrying it forward in the light of our Higher Power.  There is 36 kukui in recognition of the 12 Steps, 12 Traditions, and 12 Concepts. 

The pattern at the front lower right of the shirt is made up of 36 triangles. Each triangle represents the make-up of our fellowships level of leadership; the homegroup on top and the community of service positions that we have in place to support and continue our healing abilities, all the way to GSO. The inner triangles all pointing upward to the HP There are 3 rows of triangles to directly exemplify our 12 Steps, 12 Traditions, and 12 Concepts, and have been placed under the arm so that we be reminded to remain their guardians and keep them safe.

I hope that you will all come as we help each other experience the celebration of the spirit that I have received from our program and fellowship.

In loving service,

Kawika