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Before an audience of more than 250 guests from Hawaii’s consular community, State government and military officials, community leaders and celebrities, Philippine Consul General Gina A. Jamoralin was installed as the new Dean of the Consular Corps of Hawaii at the 46th Annual Consular Corps Inaugural Gala on 11 February 2017 at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu.

The formal black-tie affair for accredited diplomats representing 38 countries, 22 associate Corps members and their guests is considered to be Honolulu’s most prestigious annual gala.

Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald and outgoing Corps Dean Admiral R.J. “Zap” Zlatoper, honorary consul of Slovenia, presided the inauguration ceremony for the Corps’ officers for 2017: Dean Gina A. Jamoralin; Vice Dean M. Jan Rumi, Honorary Consul of Morocco and Bangladesh; Secretary Nina Hamre Fasi, Honorary Consul of Norway; Treasurer Annie Kaneshiro, Honorary Consular Agent of Tonga; Auditor Theres Ryf Desai, Honorary Consul of Switzerland; and Corps Historian Niklaus Schweizer, Dean Emeritus, Switzerland.

Dean Jamoralin and immediate past Dean Zlatoper also offered toasts for the President of the United States of America, and the Heads of State that the members of the Consular Corps represent, respectively.

In her remarks, Consul General Jamoralin, noted that her installation as Dean for 2017 is very timely and fitting, in view of the Philippines’s chairmanship of ASEAN this year. She also expressed hope that during her one-year term, the Consular Corps of Hawaii could further promote people-to-people exchanges and trade relations between Hawaii and the countries represented in the Corps, invigorate trade and economic exchanges through business seminars and trade missions, enhanced cooperation between the Corps and the local business chambers, advocate cultural exchanges and foster deeper relations among its members.

Retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Moon received the 2016 Distinguished Service Medal for his exemplary service to the Corps and the State of Hawaii, as well as his contributions to international diplomacy. Honorary Consul and Vice Dean M. Jan Rumi received the 2016 Distinguished Service Award for his contributions in improving relations between nations.
One of the traditions of the ball is that the incoming dean gets to showcase the food and cultural traditions of his (or her) country. Philippine culture was well represented with crispy pork lechon and kare-kare canapes during cocktails, seafood sinigang and adobo braised short ribs for dinner and leche flan with macapuno and langka for dessert. The Dabawenyos Association of Hawaii performed a Manobo marriage dance with kulintang and gong as musical accompaniment before dinner was served.

Each guest was able to take home as souvenir Philippine coffee mugs and pouches made from inabel woven cloth.

Hawaii’s cultural heritage was represented by bandmaster Clarke Bright and the Royal Hawaiian Band. The Band played the national anthems of the United States, the Philippines and Slovenia, and provided the cocktail hour musical entertainment.

Distinguished guests included Hawaii Governor and Mrs. David Ige; Admiral Scott Swift, Commander of the US Pacific Fleet; General Robert Brown, Commanding General of the US Army Pacific, Lieutenant General David Berger, Commander of the US Marine Forces Corps Pacific, Rear Admiral Vincent Atkins, Commander, US Coast Guard District 16; and former Hawaii Governors George Ariysohi and Ben Cayetano.

The Consular Corps Hawaii traces its history back to 1824 and meetings between American and British consular representatives. France became the third nation to have consular representation in Hawaii in 1837. Since its formal incorporation in 1952, seven (7) Philippine Consuls General have served as Dean, with Consul General Jamoralin becoming the eighth. (END).