Helen Robinson dies at 91

MAKAWELI (AP) – Helen Matthew Robinson, owner of the private Ni’ihau Island and Niihau Ranch, has died. She was 91.

Robinson died Wednesday and was buried Thursday at the family cemetery in Makaweli on Kaua’i, her son Keith Robinson said Friday.

His mother was the last of her generation of the Robinson family, which founded Gay & Robinson Sugar Co., said Keith Robinson.

Robinson grew up in Berkeley, Calif., and married Lester Robinson in 1937. Her husband died in 1969.

The Robinson family has owned Ni’ihau, home to the last all-Hawaiian community, since 1864, when Eliza Sinclair bought the island from the Hawaiian monarchy and moved to the island with her family who had sailed to Hawai’i from New Zealand.

Keith Robinson and his brother, Bruce, now own the island.

“There has long been speculation there would be changes regarding Ni’ihau when my mother died but that isn’t so,” Keith Robinson said. “Her death will not in any way change the status of Ni’ihau or the direction of Ni’ihau Ranch. Actually my brother Bruce has been in charge for many years.”

Robinson is survived by her two sons and seven grandchildren.


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