I first met Martin Luna (The Maui News, Jan. 23) in 1955 at a leadership camp at Camp Erdman. Kauai-born Martin was a leader then, not a shrinking Neighbor Islander performing in the shadow of the big city kids from Honolulu.
When I remet him at his wedding a decade later, the betrothed of my longtime childhood friend Kay Tateishi, I remembered how he stood out at the camp at Mokuleia. I was happy to learn that they would venture to my hometown to live.
Fifteen years later, when I started my real estate practice, Martin had already become the attorney of choice for anyone desiring expertise in delivering a development from plans to fruition. We survived the passing of the plantation era largely through the efforts of individuals that Martin shepherded through the process.
His plantation roots allowed him the advantage of developing humility as well as expectation of the results of effort.
Given the opportunity of a higher education on the Mainland even before passenger intercontinental jets flew afforded him privileged insights and experiences. His model begs us to tell our grandchildren to study hard, become great at what you do, spend some time in another locale learning the ways of the world, and use the discovered wisdom along with your local perspective to make our life better. That is what Martin Luna did and that is why he is my hero. Thank you for your good work, Martin, rest in peace.