Colene Wong

Sarah Pacheco
Wednesday - August 26, 2009
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Saint Louis, St. Ann’s, St. Anthony’s and St. Francis just got a little extra oomph for their various school, church and community operations from Colene Wong.

At a private luncheon at Waialae Country Club earlier this month, Wong happily and humbly presented the heads of all four schools with checks for $500,000 each from the Henry H. Wong Fund, managed by the Hawaii Community Foundation.

According to Gordon Mau, attorney for Wong and board member of the Henry and Colene Wong Foundation, Henry Wong had conveyed his 26 percent interest of the Parkway development in Kaneohe to the Community Foundation in 1989. As the leased-fee interests were sold as single-family homes and condominiums, the Community Foundation accumulated and managed the funds for the four beneficiaries.

“We’re in contact with them, all four of them. Like friends, you know,” Wong says of Walter Kirimitsu (Saint Louis), Rev. Herman Gomes (St. Ann’s), Rev. Dennis Koshko (St. Anthony’s) and Sister Joan of Arc Souza (St. Francis).

In fact, she says, it was these very friendships Henry, a local boy born and bred on the Windward side, honored throughout his life and that she has kept up since his passing five years ago.

“Saint Louis always meant everything to the family,” Wong recalls of her late husband, who graduated from the Kaimuki school with honors in 1931. “And then, of course, his family history on his mother’s side has to do with the founding of St. Ann’s Church in Heeia, and that’s where we would always go. Then when we moved closer to Aikahi Park, we said wait now, we’re supposed to go to St. Anthony’s. With St. Francis School for girls, we wanted to do something for the girls as well as having for the boys, and I thought that was a good idea (laughs).

“They each have their own needs, and it’s up to them to decide what to do with this (donation). Not our say. I’m sure they’ll do the best they can.”

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