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Your Hostess, Shirley Alapa

 

Shirley and Stan Alapa were married on January 9th, 1971. Since Stan's passing in 2001, Shirley continues to live year round in the main cottage at Meherdham. Surprised to find herself the mistress of Meherdham, devoted to Meher Baba, she is determined to carry out Stan's dreams for a Meher Baba Center in Hawaii. Currently, she supervises all aspects of the Meherdham, including guest registration, transportation details and accommodations, and service projects. She is also happy to serve as your guide both to Meherdham and the rest of Molokai.

As the principal broker of Shirley Alapa Real Estate on Molokai, Shirley is intimately familiar with the geography of the island. You are welcome to consult with her about taking advantage of any recreational, cultural and entertainment opportunities that abound.

Shirley learned about Meher Baba in 1969 when Stan shared his own discovery with her. A young divorced mother of two sons, Shirley came to Hawaii in 1962 looking for adventure and never left. Having grown up in southern California, she became involved in the entertainment industry at a young age, developed talents as a dancer and worked as an extra in several movies including one as the Stand In for Elvis Presley's female lead .

In Hawaii, Shirley was working in Waikiki, in a Restaurant/Night Club, when she met Stan at the nightclub in 1963. The two soon joined forces and Shirley became not only his girlfriend but his business Partner. Between them, they created one of the most popular nightclubs in Waikiki, The Lemon Tree, and were instrumental in bringing some of the first big name popular music bands to Hawaii. In 1969, when Stan showed Shirley a picture of Meher Baba and told her he was the Avatar, her instant response was, "Well, of course he is!"

Shirley's marriage to Stan came as a surprise to both of them. In those days, marriage hadn't seemed such as urgent idea. But by then, Stan had met Murshida Ivy O. Duce, and she had other ideas.

As Meher Baba had appointed Murshida Duce his first teacher of Sufism Reoriented in America, Stan had contacted her shortly after his return from India's 1969 Great Darshan to ask for her assistance in what to do with Baba's treasures. Murshida had taken a great interest in Stan, his love for Meher Baba and desire to create a Center for him and at his invitation, she traveled to the Islands several times throughout the 70s.  She served as his personal guide for the remainder of her life.

For Stan and Shirley, one of these early occasions, turned out to be especially memorable.

In January of 1971, by invitation, Murshida, along with some of her students (including Allen Cohen) and members of her family, arrived in Honolulu where Stan had arranged for them to stay at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel situated on the world famous Waikiki beach directly across from Diamond Head. As Shirley recalls, the rooms were beautiful in "lovely soft blues and greens with white lattice trim."

While getting the parties settled in their rooms, Murshida announced to Stan, "Well, I've come for a wedding."  When Stan realized she meant his, he was stunned. "Wait," he said, "Shirley is waiting downstairs in the car. I'll have to go ask her."  So he ran downstairs to ask Shirley to marry him. "I too was surprised," Shirley recalls. "Of course I said yes!"

Two or three days later, Murshida reminded them there were only a few days left in the new moon and if they didn't plan the wedding for now, they would have to wait until the next month. Realizing that Murshida, herself, meant to be a part of their wedding, they began planning in earnest.

At that time,  Stan and Shirley had established a bookstore of Meher Baba Books in the Penthouse of the Hawaiian King Hotel in Waikiki. It seemed that this would be the perfect place for a wedding and small reception.

Stan asked Allen Cohen, from whom he had learned of Meher Baba, to be his best man and Shirley asked Murshida to be her Matron of Honor. On January 9th, 1971, gathered in front of a small group of Sufis and Baba friends, they were married by Judge Sam King  There was a humorous moment when, standing before the Judge with Shirley flanked by Murshida to her left and Allen to her right,  Judge King mistakenly asked Allen if he was the bridegroom. Stan, standing next to Allen piped up, "Yes, he's Stan," at which point he received Murshida's famous "look", and admitted, "No, I'm Stan."  Then, smiling sheepishly, dressed in dark trousers, cummerbund and wearing the traditional Maile lei, he took his place next to Shirley and married his beautiful bride. Shirley, wearing a white "Bette" mu'u mu'u  with pink trim and a three strand Pikaki lei remembers,"It was quite touching and lovely."

Soon after their marriage, Stan and Shirley moved to a beautiful condo apartment, and later to a small house in Kaimuki. Here they were able to bring Stan's three daughters, Ohelo, Luana and Kau'i, to live with them. "It was a special time for both of us", Shirley recalls, "The girls became very familiar with their Daddy's Baba, and now all three of them, and their children too, love Meher Baba."

 

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