The newly renamed Connie Chun Aliamanu Neighborhood Park in Salt Lake was celebrated today with the unveiling of updated signage to commemorate a pioneering Filipina nurse, the City and County of Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation announced.
The Honolulu City Council passed a resolution this year to rename what was previously known as Aliamanu Neighborhood Park to include Connie Chun — a nurse, legal scholar and Hawaii State Representative who in the 1980s supported a bill to establish the Nursing Home Without Walls Program to provide comprehensive at-home nursing for chronically ill or disable patients.
“There was a huge need for representatives in public health to start making decisions in our Hawaii State Legislature, and she was a trailblazer for that,” City Councilwoman Radiant Cordero, who introduced the resolution, said at the unveiling in a video provided by DPR.
Chun, who immigrated from Mindanao, was the first Filipina and nurse elected to the Hawaii House of Representative, and she served from 1980-1984. She was the first Filipina registered nurse at the Public Health program at Loma Linda University in California, and later, in 1978, earned a law degree from the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law.
Chun also wrote a personal essay describing her life in the “barrio” area in the Philippines. She died at age 92 in Honolulu.
Along with Cordero, Ryan Tam, who is Chun’s nephew and the chairman for the Ala Moana-Kakaako Neighborhood Board, and staff from DPR celebrated the name change in a small ceremony.