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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, October 31, 2002

Kaua'i's Dr. Patrick Aiu was Hokule'a voyager

By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Kaua'i Bureau

Dr. Patrick Koon Hung Pi'imauna Charles Aiu, a physician who delivered a generation of Kaua'i children and a leader in the Hawaiian voyaging canoe culture, died Oct. 28, 2002. He was 63.

Dr. Patrick Aiu was considered "the father of modern obstetrics on Kaua'i," said Dr. Bill Evslin, president of the Kaua'i Medical Clinic.

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Aiu, who retired as a colonel from the Hawai'i National Guard, was doctor to countless patients on Kaua'i and Ni'ihau, and was the county's first specialist in obstetrics and gynecology.

"We considered him the father of modern obstetrics on Kaua'i," said Dr. Bill Evslin, president of the Kaua'i Medical Clinic. "He was a wonderfully skillful, calm, compassionate physician."

Aiu received a 1998 Ka'onohi Award for Outstanding Contributions in Hawaiian Health. He served on the state Board of Medical Examiners.

Voyaging became his great love when in 1980 he sailed as ship's doctor on the Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hokule'a's first trip to Tahiti. He later sailed on several other legs during the canoe's Pacific voyages.

He also steered and paddled racing canoes, and built his own paddles. When not paddling, he could pluck out a slack key tune.

He was one of the founders of Na Kalai Wa'a O Kaua'i, which is building a voyaging canoe on Kaua'i. Aiu gave the canoe its name, Na Mahoe.

He also developed the Na Pali Challenge outrigger canoe race, which raises money for the canoe.

His ashes will be returned to Kaua'i from O'ahu aboard the voyaging canoe Hawai'i Loa, weather permitting.

He is survived by his wife, Mavis Dew Aiu of Kaua'i; his children Pua'alaokalani of O'ahu, Pi'imauna of Colorado, Mohala of O'ahu, Imaikalani of Wailua, Makani of California, and Victoria of Kaua'i; brothers Harold Aiu of Kaua'i, Ernest Aiu of California, and Raymond Aiu Sr. of Kaua'i; sisters Cecilia Wood and Alma Wong, both of O'ahu; 3 grandchildren.

Visitation from 9 to 10:45 a.m.; Mass 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Nov. 8 at St. Catherine's Catholic Church, in Kapa'a, Kaua'i. Honor guard ceremony on the church grounds, followed by scattering of ashes at sea from the voyaging canoe Hawai'i Loa. A gathering for family and friends will be held at the Kaua'i Veterans Center after the scattering of ashes.

Family requests leis, instead of wreaths or floral arrangements, to be scattered with the ashes.