Kamehameha grad grew isle ties | starbulletin.com | News | /2008/08/22/

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Robert Worthington / 1936-2008

Kamehameha grad grew isle ties

Star-Bulletin staff

Robert Eugene Worthington, who served as the Cook Islands' honorary consul to the United States and retired as Kamehameha Schools' financial aid director, died Aug. 14. He was 72.

'Bob was such an unusual visionary,' said Gerard Finin, a longtime friend, colleague and deputy director of the Pacific Islands Program at the East-West Center. 'He said to people, 'Let's travel to the independent islands and talk to the prime ministers and presidents about nationhood.'

'He was an incredible influence behind the scenes. Even before the Hawaiian renaissance in the 1970s, he already envisioned how Hawaii and Hawaiians could reconnect with the South Pacific.'

Worthington, who had married a Cook Islander, moved to the Cook Islands for several years and returned to Hawaii in 1974.

'Every time you see someone wearing a Cook Island maile lei in Hawaii, it's because of the work Bob did with local business people to import maile from the Cook Islands,' Finin said.

Cook Islands Prime Minister Geoffrey Henry, who will attend his memorial services, said, 'Bob was always there, incessantly helpful, with iconic efficiency, grace and enthusiasm. He helped secure the support of the governor of Hawaii, allowing ..."

Kamehameha grad grew isle ties | starbulletin.com | News | /2008/08/22/

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