Editorials for Thursday — August 14, 2003

• Haraguchi Rice Mill

• Gay & Robinson

Haraguchi Rice Mill

The award of a Young Bros. grant to the non-profit Haraguchi Rice Mill organization will help the Hanalei-based historical site reach its long-term goals.

The mill is a reconstruction of one built in the 1920s and is the only one of its kind in all Hawai‘i. The mill recalls the days when rice growers were second only to sugar growers on Kaua‘i, as well as showcasing the unique blend of Japanese, Hawaiian and American industrial age technology that went into the construction of a successful rice mill in the early decades of the 20th century.

The aim of the Haraguchi Rice Mill is to educate school children and others about Hawai‘i agricultural heritage, in particular the life and times of Hanalei’s rice growers.

The Haraguchi family has overcome many obstacles in succeeding in reconstructing the mill, including extensive damage by the high winds of Hurricane ‘Iniki in 1992.

Future plans call for building up the historical collection of the rice mill to help tell the story of rice mills across the Hanalei area and elsewhere on Kaua‘i.

The Haraguchi Rice Mill is an authentic piece of Kaua‘i’s past. Continued community support for this project is encouraged.

Gay & Robinson

New statistics from the State of Hawai‘i show a resurgence in the value and harvest of sugar on Kaua‘i at Gay & Robinson, as well as on Maui.

This growth comes in part from expansion into state-owned fields once tended by AmFac Sugar Kauai’s Kekaha Sugar Co. Gay & Robinson are again cultivating the verdant green fields in and around Kekaha, as well as maintaining their home fields in the Kaumakani-Makaweli area.

Future growth will hopefully come from the refining of sugar at the G&R mill at Kaumakani. This would allow the company to sell sugar to bakers and other wholesale customers in Hawai‘i, creating a fine Kaua‘i-grown and made product, as well as growing the market for Hawai‘i sugar.

Plantation manager Alan Kennett and his workers face many challenges as it continues a tradition started at Koloa Plantation in 1835 into the 21st century.

The success of Gay & Robinson also means a continuation of the long-standing sugar plantation culture of the West Side, and a way of life that is fading away throughout Hawai‘i as the memory of once thriving sugar plantations on the Big Island, O‘ahu and other islands becomes more and more distant.


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