Introducing – Heitiare Panee
Submitted by: Sister Kristine Saunders, Archives
Born in Tahiti – French Polynesia, Jeanne Amelie Heitiare Panee (known here as Heitiare) received her name through her grandmother. Hei means a garland and Tiare is the national flower of French Polynesia, the white Tahitian gardenia. Her parents chose Jeanne as her 1st name, but her grandmother called her Heitiare and so did everyone else. A fun fact is how Heitiare met Jeanne (her 1st name)! At school, the list of student names was called out in preparation for a 3-day test. Heitiare heard a Jeanne Tuairau being called and naturally thought she had a cousin at her school. When the school official asked if anyone was missed, she raised her hand. They checked her ID and told her that according to her records her name was, in fact, Jeanne.
Before coming to BYU-Hawaii, Heitiare attended Pomare High School, a private Protestant high school where she also completed two years of college. She was encouraged to major in biology as a pre-requisite to a medical degree. She chose math instead as she had a talent for the subject and more importantly “math is less bloody than medicine.”
As a BYU-Hawaii student, Heitiare worked at the Polynesian Cultural Center in the Tahiti Village. One highlight from that period was being selected to represent the Polynesian Cultural Center’s team at the Aloha Week Parade in Waikiki. She later transferred and became a VIP tour guide where she had the blessing of being the guide for Elder Oaks and his family. Afterward, and with her supervisor’s permission, Elder Oaks asked Heitiare to join them for dinner. He also asked her, “Are you dating anyone or is there someone special”? What an auspicious question!
Heitiare and Terry Panee had just started to date. They both worked as tour guides and often the department employees would go out in a group. One night Terry told Heitiare, “Let’s finish early and go out.” She replied, “I didn’t know we were going out.” Turned out he meant just the two of them. A week later they were engaged.
When Elder Oaks asked if there was someone special, Heitiare invited her fiancé Terry to join them. During dinner, Elder Oaks encouraged them not to wait to get married. Although they both had planned to wait until after the spring semester, they took his advice and married at the end of that semester.
Heitiare chose to be a stay-at-home mother taking care of her two daughters and hanai son. Later, she returned to the Center and worked in the Mission Settlement. After a restructuring lay-off, she was recalled and worked in the Hawaiian Village. Shortly after, Heitiare was asked to transfer to the Tahiti Village and to support Raymond Mariterangi. Upon his retirement, Heitiare was promoted and became the manager of the Tahitian Village.
Heitiare finds her role to be most rewarding as her purpose is to help others develop their talents and skills. Hiring the right people can be challenging but, “I enjoy most connecting with each co-worker and infuse a passion of our culture to share with everyone, a respect of our people to perpetuate the island spirit. There is joy in seeing others who sometimes don’t even know that they have talents in them, lying dormant and waiting to come out.”
The precious Tahitian black pearl is a fitting metaphor. A foreign object is introduced into the oyster very carefully, so the oyster isn’t killed. Then over time, the oyster envelopes the object and it becomes a part of the oyster. After 18 – 36 months, the beautiful Tahitian Black Pearl is ready to harvest.
Heitiare further likens this process to how the Lord constructed a great gift which we can liken to a magnificent Polynesian oyster, which is the Gospel. To continue this analogy, a pearl has been produced to share with the World – a pearl of great price. The Polynesian Cultural Center is the pearl, mounted, and always ready to show its beauty to all who seek it.
As a steward of the Tahitian culture, Heitiare is grateful to have grown up with her grandparents learning about the language, culture, and people. She is also humbled to be working at PCC where she gets to share her rich cultural heritage with our future leaders.
Submitted by: Lau Niumatalolo
Employers are strongly encouraged to develop an injury and illness prevention program. An effective program benefits all workers, including youth, and involves supervisors, management, experienced workers, and new workers.
For Young Workers:
- Understand and comply with the relevant federal and state child labor laws. For example, these laws prohibit youth from working certain hours and from performing dangerous/hazardous work.
- Ensure that young workers receive training to recognize hazards and are competent in safe work practices. Training should be in a language and vocabulary that workers can understand and should include prevention of fires, accidents, and violent situations and what to do if injured.
- Implement a mentoring or buddy system for new young workers. Have an adult or experienced young worker answer questions and help the new young worker learn the ropes of a new job.
- Encourage young workers to ask questions about tasks or procedures that are unclear or not understood. Tell them whom to ask.
- Remember that young workers are not just “little adults.” You must be mindful of the unique aspects of communicating with young workers.
- Ensure that equipment operated by young workers is both legal and safe for them to use. Employers should label equipment that young workers are not allowed to operate.
- Tell young workers what to do if they get hurt on the job.
For All Workers:
- Provide a workplace free from seriously recognized hazards and follow all OSHA safety and health standards.
- Find and correct safety and health hazards.
- Inform employees about hazards in the workplace and train them about applicable OSHA standards in a language they understand.
- Provide safety training on workplace hazards.
- Provide the required personal protective equipment (PPE) and pay for most types of required PPE.