“Chapters of Loving Service,” Ensign, Jan. 2000, 68–69
Kalo Mataele Soukop, now of Hawaii, has had a great impact in reaching out to others. Born in Tonga in 1937, she was the 13th of 14 children. Following her father’s counsel to seek higher education, in 1957 she left Tonga by ship to attend the Church College of Hawaii, today BYU—Hawaii. Following her graduation in 1962, Kalo began working as a Polynesian dancer at one of the local hotels. She sent most of her earnings back to Tonga to help her family.
Soon Kalo was called as a labor missionary to help teach dancing at the Tongan village in the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie. After her mission, she returned to professional dancing. Following her entrepreneurial desires, Kalo established a wholesale business that imported goods from South Pacific nations to sell in local department stores and shops. In time her business grew to five separate corporations, each providing work for Tongans and others.
Kalo continued her dancing career and distinguished herself in the professional entertainment field, appearing in a number of television productions. During these years she was instrumental in sponsoring more than 3,000 immigrants to Hawaii as well as assisting a number of Tongans to become legal immigrants to the continental United States.
In 1970 she joined forces with one of the major Polynesian entertainment showrooms in Honolulu. This year she will celebrate her 30th year in the Hawaiian Hut, where she has become a producer and director. She is also the only Polynesian and only woman to serve on the board of directors of the Polynesian Cultural Center.
In 1975 she met Harry Soukop, an airline pilot from Holland, and they were married. Seventeen years later he joined the Church, and the two were sealed in the Laie Hawaii Temple in 1997.
Over the years Kalo has been instrumental in helping many people. After Hurricane Isaac devastated much of Tonga in 1982, she launched a relief effort that gathered money and 70,000 pounds of food and clothing to send to Tonga.
It is said that a Tongan’s wealth is not measured by what he has but by what he gives to others. “For Kalo, there is no fun if a day passes without helping someone,” says her husband, Harry. Now in her 60s, Kalo continues to take joy in seeing her life unfold into chapters of loving service to others.—Thomas E. Daniels, Southgate Ward, Bloomington Utah Stake