Kaua‘i-born sisters Chiyo Kamada Oyagi, Sato Kamada Nakao, and Misao Kamada Kawakami attended Lihu‘e School in Pua Loke, Kaua‘i, during the early 1900s and later married, raised children, and became longtime Kaua‘i school teachers.
In 1981, they recalled their school days at Lihu‘e School in Pua Loke.
Herewith are some of their memories:
“If parents received reports that their child had misbehaved in school, and had been spanked by the teacher or principal, he could be sure that without question he received double the punishment from his father.
“Each morning at 8:30 a.m., all the children assembled on the grounds. Four children, each holding a corner of the American flag, walked to the flagpole, while a student recited “The Flag Goes By.” When the flag was raised, the children recited “The Pledge of Allegiance.”
“Every three years a dentist came to school. A long line of weeping children formed on the porch of the main building. The dentist examined the teeth, yanked out the tooth with cavities, threw the tooth into the bucket, and a helper passed out a lollipop.
“We respected our haole teachers, who taught over 40 foreign speaking children without the benefit of Japanese speaking English teachers. The children not only learned a second language, but were also instilled with a love of literature and hunger for knowledge.
“The children looked forward to summer vacation. As soon as they were 10, Grove Farm Plantation hired them at 25-cents-a-day, plus a 10% bonus if they worked 24 days a month.
“We liked to kalai (hoe) weeds in the Grove Farm fields near Halfway Bridge, because by the time the locomotive pulling the cars with us aboard reached the fields, the time would be about 7:00 a.m. Then in only a half-an-hour, at 7:30 a.m., we had a 15-minute breakfast break.
“At 11 a.m., we were given a half-hour lunch break. We ate quickly and with the remaining time, we would hike up the hill near Knudsen Gap, or run down the hill by the highway to look for mountain apples.”
Source: The Garden Island