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From Roger Sheakley, I would like to thank all the Hoonah people for coming out on June 14. Sixty-five years ago, on June 14, 1944, the entire town was burning down.
With the efforts of my mother, Anita Lafferty (Sakiyee, Shungukadee), and brother, Herbie Sheakley (Yunduas), and his son, Sam Sheakley, meetings took place with people who moved out of Hoonah and people who still live in Hoonah. We made an agenda and theme was called Haa Too Wu Lat Seeni Yis (Our Inner Strength). Thanks to Myrna Brown, of Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, who printed the agenda for us.
An entire town had came together and worked together: aant keeni' woosh ka nax kei has gux da aati (community coming together) in 1944.
Everything was lost: personal belongings, cultural regalias, homes. This hardship had brought the U.S. Coast Guard, who trasported townspeople down to the cannery a mile out in the outskirts of Hoonah on June 13. And June 14, the Coast Guard prepared a plaque to present to the Hoonah Fire Department, and the Governor had prepared a poclaimation in recognition of this day.
Gunalchesh, gunalchesh, thank you. Thanks to the cook, Wally Marvin; emcee, Ernie Hillman; and all the people who donated for this great event, including Bill Martin, president of CCTHITA.