Crest of the Fraternal Order of Moai
|Motto||“Fun with a Purpose.”|
|Type||Secular Fraternal Order|
The Fraternal Order of Moai (FOM; also often known as The Moai) is a fraternal order and social club founded in 2005 by Matt “Kuku Ahu” Thatcher, Jim “Chisel Slinger” Robinson and Joel “Cowtown Kahuna” Gunn. The Order uses the Moaistatues of Rapa Nui as a theme. An initial goal of the group was to preserve the history of and artifacts from the closed Kahiki Supper Club in Columbus, Ohio. Since then it has grown into “a serious group of tiki aficionados” with activity all over the United States.
Members are often fans of tiki culture, the Polynesian pop era, mid-century modern style, and kustom kulture and these styles are reflected in the events held by the group. Some members are artists who produce music, carvings, lamps, and ceramics that tie into the theme of the group. The group has been known to provide assistance with preserving artifacts and expertise to local “tiki” businesses.
Even though the group participates in many public events the organization operates like a secret society and many members only identify themselves using aliases. Leaders of the group use obscure titles that combine words from several Polynesian languages.
The group exhibits a bizarre sense of humor and places references to use of time travel technology, combating a zombie outbreak and cloning technology in official information published online. Much of this information refers to a claimed network of scientific research labs in the continental United States called the F.O.M. Test Labs.
The Order uses a crest as a logo and displays it on casual and ceremonial clothing, printed materials, and web sites. The logo is a blue moai which resembles the large fireplace at the now demolished Kahiki Supper Club in Columbus, Ohio. The forehead of the Moai is stamped with MMV to mark the founding of the Order in 2005. The blue moai protects a lit flame which serves as a reminder of lost landmarks like the Kahiki Supper Club. The logo is normally displayed with the full name of the organization stamped on the base of the moai or the initials F.O.M. above it in a stylized script.
The Order’s mission statement describes it as the “premier fraternal organization and social network for all men and women interested in tiki culture and the Polynesian pop era.”
The events and activities of the Order reflect their core values Good Works, Fellowship, Spirit, Presence, Preservation and Celebration.
Members of the group are referred to as Fellow Moai and senior members called The Honui wear a distinctive blue fez at events. There are members throughout the United States and in parts of Canada.
Membership is selective. Interested adults must complete a membership process after requesting membership.
The Order currently has seven active chapters in the United States and claims to be forming additional chapters in other regions.
Kahiki (Central Ohio)
Kon-Tiki (Southwest Ohio)
Red Palms (Illinois)
Gumbo Limbo (South Florida)
Queequeg (New England)
Kokoru (Chesapeake Bay)
Kahanui (Denver, Colorado)
Te Āporo Nui (New York City)
Members who are not affiliated with a chapter are referred to as Moai Tungane.
In addition, individual members and chapters volunteer and raise money for charities:
The Illinois chapter is very active in their community doing service projects like adopting a highway, recycling computers for local schools, and sending care packages to American soldiers serving abroad. They have organized fund raising events for CatNap from the Heart, a nonprofit animal shelter.
The South Florida chapter support various animal related charities, a shared interest among the founding members, including the Broward Humane Society Paw Path.
The New England chapter supports the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and was the top fundraising team in Maine in 2009, raising over $10,000. They have also participated in the annual Conquer Chiari walk.
The Chesapeake Bay chapter engages in efforts to improve the health care and education for the peoples of greater Polynesia and fields a team for the Komen Race for the Cure to support breast cancer research.
The Southwest Ohio chapter has donated a portion of event proceeds from Festiki to the Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enhancement of the world’s waves and beaches.
The group presents many public events, often with sponsorship from other groups and companies including: Dole Foods, Surf Ohio, Trader Vic’s, Kahiki Foods, Royer Corporation, Barritt’s Bermuda Stone Ginger Beer, and Landshark Beer. These events often have a charity fundraising component such as a silent auction or live auction of donated items.
Hot Rod Hula Hop Originally held from 2005-2008 this event combined a car show with a luau dinner party featuring entertainment from live bands from around the United States including Waitiki and The Cocktail Preachers. A silent auction at Hot Rod Hula Hop IV raised $1,252 for the Easter Island Foundation. The Order announced that the event would return in August 9–10, 2013, as a local event run by the Kahiki Chapter. The 2013 event was successful and raised $4,000 for Cure CMD. The sixth event was held August 8-10, 2014.
NorthEast Tiki Tour Started in 2007 the NorthEast Tiki Tour (a.k.a. NETT) is an annual bus tour which stops at a changing list of tiki bars and Polynesian restaurants. The tour often includes the world’s largest Chinese restaurant: Kowloon Restaurant in Saugus, Massachusetts.After a year off in 2009 the tour returned in 2010 and then went on hiatus. The event is returning September 13, 2014.
Surf Ohio Festiki Billed as a family friendly celebration of sun, surf, sand & summer, the first annual Festiki was held on August 15, 2009, at Carillon Park in Dayton, Ohio. A portion of proceeds from the event were donated to the Surfrider Foundation. The second annual event was held August 14, 2010 at Old River Park in Dayton, Ohio, and was one of the dates on the Space Cossacks’ reunion tour that summer.
Ohana: Luau at the Lake  Billed as three spectacular tiki-soaked days of music and fun at the incredible Tiki Motor Inn Resort in Lake George, New York, the first Ohana was held September 18–20, 2009 and $3,000 in proceeds from the event were donated to the Easter Island Foundation to support youth programs and a scholarship. The second annual event was held June 25–27, 2010 and $5,000 in proceeds from the event were donated to the Easter Island Foundation to support scholarships. The third annual event was held June 23–26, 2011. The fourth annual event was held June 21–24, 2012, the fifth annual event was held June 27–30, 2013, the sixth annual event was held June 27-29, 2014. The next event will be held June 25-28, 2015.
National Convention The Order held a national convention in 2010 to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the founding of the group which is called “Poreko.”  The location was not revealed in advance but the event appears to have been held in Lake George, NY, just after Ohana Luau at the Lake 2010.
Chicago Area Tiki Tour The Red Palms Chapter of the Order sponsored a bus tour of tiki bars in the Chicago area September 30-October 2, 2011. The event, called CATT, was similar to the already established NorthEast Tiki Tour (NETT). All proceeds from a charity raffle at the event benefited CatNap from the Heart, a local non-profit animal shelter.
Call of the Tropics The Kon-Tiki Chapter of the Order created “Call of the Tropics,” a celebration of Tiki art, music and mid-century culture July 6–21 at the Color of Energy Gallery in Dayton, Ohio. The event features a large kick-off block party followed by a series of events tied to an art show at the gallery.
Ohana: Luau by the Sea The Order has announced that a second Ohana event will begin in Florida October 1-3, 2015.
Bridge and Tunnel Tiki Tour The Kokoru and Te Āporo Nui chapters of the order have announced the debut of a new event, the Bridge and Tunnel Tiki Tour (a.k.a. BATTT), on October 18, 2014. The event will tour tiki bars in New Jersey and Staten Island.