David Thomas Fleming Nomination for “Citizen of the Century”
Nominee: David Thomas Fleming
Categories: Agriculture, Business, Environment, Social Services
DAVID THOMAS FLEMING Oct. 21 1881 to Mar. 20 1955
An” Agricultural Missionary “and “visionary”, D.T.Fleming is known for his work making Maui a better place to live.
Fleming introduced species of trees and plants to Maui working to improve the economy and island life..It is estimated he was responsible for planting 80,000 trees on Maui.Many still living today are a monument to his life.
Mango and Lychee orchards, Aloe for medicine, pineapple, watermelon, exotic hardwoods from trips around the world were a few of his agricultural experiments .One of his successful introductions, the Hayden Mango, known as the “Fleming Mango”, is very much appreciated today.
Specializing in Water Management, he brought attention to the need to protect the rain forests .He planted the Maunalei Arboretum, reforesting 75 acres of West Maui’s watershed stripped in the 1800s of it’s Koa and Ohia.Ingeniously, he used the Ficus , robust growing but with useless wood.
Witnessing the demise of native species, he planted the D.T.Fleming Arboretum in Ulupalakua .Today some of its species are the last in existance, a seed bank for their survival.
Working tirelessly for his beloved Maui No Ka Oi, Fleming dedicated his time to political, industrial and educational boards. A prominent figure on Maui , he was Chairman and executive officer of County of Maui , president of the Board of Water Supply and a trustee of Maunaolu College.During his service for the County, schools, highways and recreation facilities were built.New water sources were engineered.
Devoted to the welfare of the people.he believed in home ownership.As manager of Baldwin Packers, property was opened up for sale at low prices to workers.As a County Chairman, he made possible the”Fleming Tract”in Sandhills. He createdl lots in Pakakalo for working people to own their own home fee-simple.Still today this legacy is remembered and appreciated.
In appreciation for this great man, Maui Land & Pine Co. dedicated Honokahua Beach at Kapulua to D.T.Fleming Park.Fleming’s work transformed Kapalua into a thriving village and successful pineapple industry.The tunnels and cement flumes Fleming had built to direct water from mountain gulches for water and electricity supply Kapalua today.
His support of the church, his happy family life, his hardy adventurous spirit and above all his personal friendships with people of all persuassions, his warm-heartedness, generosity and complete unselfishness made David Fleming not only one of the most outstanding but also one of our county’s most beloved of citizens.