Museum celebrates ‘The German Christmas’

LIHU‘E — People are in for a treat when Arnold Meister tickles the keyboard of the recently-restored Bluthner piano at the Kaua‘i Museum Saturday.

The treat is part of the Kaua‘i Museum ‘Ohana Day celebration, observed on the first Saturday of each month.

“Mr. Meister is a German, and everything is centered around being German,” said Chris Faye, the museum’s curator. “I just got through setting up the poly chrome plaster nativity set, which was brought over by Dora and Hans Isenberg from Germany.”

The theme of this month’s ‘Ohana Day is “The German Christmas.” Lihu‘e was one of the island’s centers for the German population following Paul Isenberg’s efforts in bringing German contract laborers to Kaua‘i to work at the Lihu‘e Plantation.

Visitors who stop by the museum between 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. will have their admission waived if they are kama‘aina. Visitors will receive a discount.

Although contributions are welcomed, everyone is invited to listen to Meister on the historic piano. The Lihu‘e Lutheran Church Polka Band and Kaua‘i Voices will fill the air with holiday sentiment while the public views the German-made Creche from Dora and Hans Isenberg’s collection.

“The hardest part of bringing these poly chrome plaster pieces down is you do it one by one,” said Faye. “It has a camel and a bull, along with the donkey. I don’t think too many people (have) the camel, or the bull.”

Faye said she thinks the nativity set is one of the larger sizes available when acquired by Dora Isenberg in Germany and shipped to Kaua‘i.

“It was on display for many Christmas celebrations around Lihu‘e for many years,” Faye said. “Dora Jane Cole, the Isenberg’s niece, brought it to the museum in 1961 where it has been ever since.”

The Kaua‘i Museum Gift Shop will also launch its White Elephant Sale, coinciding with shoppers’ need to fill holiday shopping lists.

Lyah Drake of the Kaua‘i Museum said the White Elephant Sale will continue through the 34th Annual Kaua‘i Museum Christmas Craft Fair, which will be held Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Joining the German Christmas celebration, the weekly appearances by Hawaiian fish net creator Charlie Perreira will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with Kaua‘i composer and entertainer Larry Rivera filling the air with his unique blend of music from 1 to 2 p.m.

The Kaua‘i Museum, celebrating its 51st anniversary, is located on 4428 Rice St. in Lihu‘e and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visit or call 245-6931 for more information.


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