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
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
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
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
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."