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Pau Hana with Bill Brizee

Photos: Courtesy of Bill Brizee

 

The Rotary team

The school already had walls and a roof when the team arrived, but much work was still needed

Mixing concrete for floors

Plastering walls and painting. That’s Brizee on the left.

In 2009, architect Bill Brizee thought it would be a good time to go on a Rotary service trip to the Philippines. He’d always wanted to go and the next year, he would take on more responsibility as the new CEO of Architects Hawaii.

But after the trip, Brizee decided he wanted to do more missions. “Such hard work is good for everyone once a year,” says the member of the Rotary Club of Honolulu.

After his wife passed away in 2010, he re-evaluated many things. “My passion is being an architect – not a CEO – and (so I) stepped down,” says Brizee, who instead became a partner at the firm. That left more room for community service.

2012’s project was building a school for grades 1 through 6 in Southern Leyte, which had been devastated by landslides in 2006. Six years earlier, every child in that age group had died in the landslides, except for one girl.

Brizee says all work was done by hand and he reminded himself that he was there not as an architect. “We’re down there to learn – what they do and how they do it,” he says.

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Hawaii Business,May