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Kuhio celebration goes virtual

KUKUI‘ULA — Kawaikini New Century Public Charter School students Tiger Lily Kaynor, Pualani Jany and Kekauakoa Durant worked on the school’s lei ho‘okupu Friday in the shade of the pavilion located near the Prince Kuhio bust at Prince Kuhio Park.

Friday was the birthdate of Prince Jonah Kuhio, and also the date set aside for The Royal Order of Kamehameha, Chapter No. 3, Kaumuali‘i, to accept ho‘okupu from the various Hawaiian organizations and community groups in tribute to Prince Kuhio.

This year marks the second consecutive year the Royal Order of Kamehameha will not host the traditional protocol honoring the prince at Prince Kuhio Park, the site close to the prince’s birthplace.

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s tribute will be a brief, private ceremony without guests,” said Kimo Perry, kaka‘olelo for The Royal Order of Kamehameha. “We will have lei-draping and presentation of ho‘okupu on behalf of those organizations who were able to drop off their offerings throughout the day Friday.”

Perry said the group will attempt to show the event online for the first time, Saturday starting at 10 a.m. The link to the webinar is us02web.zoom.us/j/86239611699?pwd=QzdkM01hQ0U0dU5GcWlydEhoOTFyUT09. The passcode is kuhio.

“We also plan to host a livestream of the event available via Facebook Live on the page of our nonprofit, Na Kahu o Hoai,” Perry said. “Mahalo again for your understanding and support of our event through the years. We look forward to being able to do this again, with every one in person, in 2022.”

Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana‘ole was born on March 26, 1871 in the Koloa district of Kaua‘i to High Chief David Kahalepouli Pi‘ikoi and Princess Kinoiki Kekaulike, the youngest daughter of Kaumuali‘i, the last king of Kaua‘i.

He was named a prince by age 13 by a royal proclamation of his uncle King David Kalakaua.

A notable athlete, Kuhio and his brothers were the first to introduce the sport of surfing in America while he was a student at St. Matthew’s Hall Military College in San Mateo, California.

Following the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom government in 1893, Kuhio was urged to become a delegate to Congress, serving as a non-voting delegate from Hawai‘i to the U.S. House of Representatives from 1902 until his death in 1922.

During that period, Kuhio’s accomplishments include a $27-million appropriation for dredging and construction of Pearl Harbor, the establishment of the Makapu‘u Lighthouse, building of the territorial building, the Hilo wharf, the establishing of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Kilauea National Park, and the construction of a hospital at the Kalaupapa Settlement on Moloka‘i for lepers.

He also spearheaded the passage of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act as amended in 1920 which, upon the signing into law by President Warren G. Harding set aside approximately 200,000 acres of land to establish a permanent homeland for Native Hawaiians who were identified as “a landless and ‘dying’ people due to disease, intermarriage and loss of lands.”

Kuhio was responsible for instituting the county system that is still in place today, and he sponsored the first bill for Hawai‘i statehood in 1919.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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