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A Long Way To Tip A Rarey
I awoke to the sound of vehicles coming and going on the nearby streets. It was early morning and I was still trying to shake the cobwebs from my brain. Then it dawned on me. This was Barge Day and workers were already getting outgoing items in position for eventual loading later in the day. By 7:00 am the Young Brothers barge was slowly being nudged by two tugboats into place at the Kalaupapa Dock. Christmas in July was about to happen as it usually does on an annual basis and some long awaited goods were about to be unloaded. This brings to mind the story about that time many years ago when a very large and very rare animal out of Africa was being unloaded at the docks in London. It was a difficult job and the dock boss was trying to figure out how to make the transfer of this massive animal, known as a Rarey, onto the dock. Then suddenly a couple of Irish dock workers broke into song with, “It’s a long way to tip a Rarey, it’s a long way to go.” (It’s a long way to Tipperary. It’s a long way to go). This worked in WW1 and it worked again. The Rarey was soon on the dock.
The barge comes here once a year, usually in July. It brings in our fuel for the year in several tankers. Also on board are heavy duty machinery for the National Park Services as well as vehicles for the National Park, the State, as well as resident patients and workers. Also unloaded are household appliances such as washers, dryers, and refrigerators, as well as non perishable food and drink. Some of us residents watched as various crews of the barge, State, and National Park went to work with fork lifts of various sizes. Dressed in helmets of varying colors and wearing green or pink protective vests, they worked feverishly until about noon time when they broke for lunch. Shannon had already sprinkled the charcoal grills with some type of lighter fluid ……without setting himself on fire…..and cooked the hot dogs and hamburgers to perfection. The workers were then served by Tim and his kitchen crew.
After lunch it was time for the helmeted hordes to get back into action. While the barge crew concentrated on the orderly loading of the outgoing cargo of empty tankers, junked vehicles and shipping containers full of scrap metal, as well as our year’s recycling material and used household appliances, the settlement crews got busy moving supplies to their respective locations. One such enthusiastic worker whom I will not name caught my attention as he sped around on a small fork lift. As I watched, I was not sure whether he was delivering goods or practicing for an upcoming Nascar race. By 4:00 pm the frantic action had slowed down and by 4:30 pm the Young Brothers barge was now edging away from the pier on its way to port in Honolulu. It’s a long way to tip a Rarey! Aloha.
Fr. Pat Killilea
St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa.

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