The impact of the death of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church, stretches across the ocean to Kodiak.
During his lifetime, Moon touched the lives of people in Kodiak through his work with the Unification Church of Kodiak and International Seafoods of Alaska Inc.
Moon first came to Kodiak in the 1970s to expand the Unification Church, then entered the fishing industry.
The church owns International Seafoods of Alaska Inc. and several fishing boats in Kodiak. ISA will continue operations as normal, ISA fleet manager Tom Parsons said.
“No policy changes have been announced,” Parsons said. “We will continue to go forward and operate as a standalone business.”
Many ISA employees were affected by Moon’s death because he visited the plant and talked with plant workers during his trips to Kodiak, Parsons said.
“Most of the employees are still in shock,” Parsons said.
When Moon wasn’t working on ISA business or with the church, he was out fishing on Kodiak’s rivers. Moon typically visited Kodiak in June to go out to Karluk to catch a king salmon, then returned in August or September for silver salmon fishing on the Buskin River.
“He loved sportfishing,” said Chris Fiala, a Kodiak fisherman.
Fiala worked for ISA for a few years and later served as a fishing guide for Moon during his trips to Kodiak.
“I introduced Moon to the Karluk River in 1991,” Chris Fiala said. “I was his guide for a long time. For Moon, fishing was a very spiritual exercise. He found being on the ocean was a positive spiritual experience for people.”
Fiala purchased two charter fishing boats, the U-Rascal and the Moon Shadow, after being influenced by Moon.
“He felt the charter, tourism and sportfishing industries were important international agents for people to get to know each other in the hobby world,” Fiala said.
Fiala’s wife, Jai Nan Fiala, is the pastor at the Unification Church of Kodiak.
The church is going through a three-day quiet period to pay respects and pray for Moon to have good ascension.
Pastor Fiala said the church will continue to follow the path Moon created.
The church focuses on building a better world by promoting interfaith activities and family values.
“We know our responsibility is to family, and to keep on his vision for a peaceful world,” Jai Nan Fiala said. “He left us eight textbooks to guide our families.”
The Unification Church of Kodiak will hold a public event to remember Moon 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9 at the church.