The Hawaii County Council on Tuesday presented Wayne “Big Dog” Joseph with a plaque in recognition of his many years of service to Hawaii Island.
Joseph moved to Hawaii Island from Oahu, where he was born and raised, in the 1980s. He taught at Kea’au School—where he met his wife—and then taught and coached at Waiakea High. Big Dog has for the past ten years written a column for the Hawaii Tribune-Herald called “Running with the Big Dog,” highlighting ordinary people on the island who get off the couch and get out there and move. Joseph says when he started his column it was only about running—but that was too limiting. He broadened it to include people involved with any kind of physical activity. The people he writes about—whom he says are the “real stars”—range in age from very young to nearly a century old.
Councilman Fred Blas of Puna says he has worked with Joseph for years, and he wants to help acknowledge a community member for good work in supporting the Hawaii Island community.
Jospeh says it’s hard to believe he was recognized for doing what he loves to do.
He was at the ceremony with his daughter, Jaclynn, who’s a model and has been working overseas. His wife, whom Joseph praises for her steadfast support, is in Florida with her mother and had to miss the event.