Rev. Sam Cox Hon­ored For Decades Of Ser­vice

MidWeek Islander (Windward Oahu) - - Front Page - By PAIGE TAKEYA

Two months ago, a dozen in­mates from the Women’s Com­mu­nity Cor­rec­tional Cen­ter gath­ered at Bea­con of Hope House in Kailua to sing Christ­mas carols.

For Rev. Sa­muel Eu­gene Cox, it might’ve been the high­light of his hol­i­day. “Some of the ladies — it was the first time they’ve been out of prison, out of the walls, for 12 years,” re­called Cox. “It was very mov­ing to have that en­counter, and maybe to give some of them hope that they too can change their lives around.”

Giv­ing hope to oth­ers is noth­ing new for Cox, who was hon­ored last month with the 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Peace­maker of the Year Award for his decades of ser­vice to the com­mu­nity.

But Cox shrugs off the praise. “I think it was mostly I was proud of my friends be­cause some­thing like this, you never do it by your­self. Look­ing back, it was kind of nos­tal­gic but also reaf­firm­ing, be­cause I think the work for so­cial jus­tice goes on, es­pe­cially with the young peo­ple.”

And the 80-year-old Cox re­mains very much a part of that progress. Last year, he helped es­tab­lish Bea­con of

Hope House, a tran­si­tional home for women re­leased from WCCC. He’s happy to re­port that the in­sti­tu­tion is thriv­ing.

“We’re full, and we may go for a con­di­tional use per­mit to get a lit­tle big­ger.” More homes are a pos­si­bil­ity, es­pe­cially with churches help­ing out, he noted. “It’s very log­i­cal to get all the churches in­volved, and it’s a great com­mu­nity to have them en­ter, es­pe­cially if we’re do­ing good for oth­ers.”

The main goal, he said, is to en­able its clients to “learn to give back to oth­ers.” All of their “Bea­con of Hope ladies” are be­ing trained to vol­un­teer in dif­fer­ent ways. “They’re com­ing out of prison,” Cox ex­plained, “so one of the best things that can hap­pen is help­ing oth­ers help oth­ers — that’s the mir­a­cle of heal­ing, and that’s been true in all of the projects I’ve been in­volved in.”

Cox was ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Moili­ili Com­mu­nity Cen­ter and also Hale Kipa. He cur­rently lives at Po­hai Nani, is on the Kokua Coun­cil for Se­nior Cit­i­zens and is visi­ta­tion pas­tor at Kailua United Methodist Church.

“I’m one who be­lieves that the world is very much get­ting bet­ter,” he said. But some ar­eas need more at­ten­tion. Home­less­ness and the prob­lems of women pris­on­ers, for ex­am­ple. “We need to break that cy­cle. I think if we truly be­come a lov­ing com­mu­nity then we can change that.”

St. John Vian­ney School’s Halau Ka Pa Hula O Ka Lei Hulu Hiwa, di­rected by kumu Jack McKeague, en­ter­tained with other stu­dents Jan. 19 at the Kailua school’s Breakfast with the Bishop in the par­ish hall. For more pho­tos of the an­nual fundraiser, turn to Pages 6 and 7. Photo by Lawrence Tabudlo, ltabudlo@mid­

Rev­erend Sa­muel Cox

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