By Glenn Crane, DignityUSA Treasurer
At one of the DignityUSA national board meetings, Marianne Duddy-Burke indicated that Dignity/Honolulu was having their 40th Anniversary and had invited a DignityUSA board member to attend their celebration. I hesitated, but then volunteered to do the “Lord’s” work and travel to Honolulu for their joyous celebration.
As a DignityUSA board member for the last six years, I have had the pleasure of meeting many people from across the country. DignityUSA board meetings are held in different cities where there is a Dignity chapter. It is always a pleasure to see how so many people around the country celebrate and share the Mission and Vision of DignityUSA. The time that we are able to spend with each chapter is very limited. The DignityUSA board has three in-person meetings a year, so there is much work to be done in these short and intense weekends.
Honolulu’s celebration afforded me the opportunity to spend quality time with a chapter and its members. From the time I arrived in Honolulu to my flight home, the Honolulu Chapter members made me feel welcomed. I was able to speak at their Anniversary Dinner and present the homily at their service on Sunday. Each event was filled with love for DignityUSA, the Dignity/Honolulu community and mission for the work that continues. The Anniversary was filled with great food, heartfelt speeches and lively conversations. It was an outstanding celebration.
Prior to arriving in Honolulu, I asked Peggy Burns and Marianne Duddy-Burke for some facts about the membership. Some of the statistics include: 16 members, 10 of these members have been members for 23+ years. Two couples of these 10 members have been with Dignity for 39 years and one for 38. One of the original founding members of Dignity/Honolulu is still an active member of the Chapter. This is a busy chapter that has organized rallies, been quoted in the Honolulu Star Advertiser newspaper and is a strong voice of the LGBTQ community.
I was overwhelmed by the hospitality of Dignity/Honolulu. Honolulu is truly paradise and knowing that there is a vibrant and active Dignity community brings a renewed spirit to the work that is done at DignityUSA and all Dignity chapters across the country.
Thank you Dignity/Honolulu for the work that continues in your community. You are a strong LGBTQ voice that resonates throughout DignityUSA.
Happy 40th Anniversary and continue the exceptional work!!!