Richard “Pablo” Caldito, Sr., the first Filipino-American elected to public office in the United States, will be recognized Thursday, Oct. 17 at a dedication ceremony to rename the Waihe’e Ball Park in his honor. Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa and the county Department of Parks & Recreation are inviting the public to join them at a 3:30pm ceremony as they officially change the park’s name to Richard “Pablo” Caldito, Sr. Park. The park is located at the corner of Kahekili Highway and Halewaiu Road in Waihe’e Town.
Caldito made history in 1956 when he won a seat on the Maui Board of Supervisors, which eventually became the Maui County Council. He served on the Council for 15 years and retired in 1972. Caldito also was the first Fil-Am politician to be elected in America as a Democrat. During his public career, he also was an active member of numerous community associations.
“[H]e always was a mentor,” Maui Councilman Mike Victorino said of Caldito at a June 18 County Council committee hearing. “He took me in when I was doing insurance when I first came into the business some 35 years ago, and he would sit down with me and tell me you got to do it by the people, by the people, do it for the people.”
Earlier this year, the Filipino Chamber of Commerce Foundation launched a scholarship in his honor. The Richard Caldito Government Service Scholarship is for a college student majoring in government, political science or a related field.
Caldito, who lived to the age of 98, died in 2011 at his home in Kahului.