Learning the roots

LIHUE — The book is a bridge to history of Kauai families.

“This is the tale of where they came from, the struggles they endured to get to where we are today,” said Kauai Complex Area Superintendent William Arakaki. “It’s about our roots. It’s our identity.”

On behalf of the Department of Education, Arakaki last week thanked representatives of The Grove Farm Company who presented 30 copies, two for each school library, of the historical book, “Grove Farm Kauai — 150 Years of Stewardship and Innovation.”

It details the saga of the company’s role in Hawaiian sugar plantations and its people.

Written by Jan TenBruggencate, the book is being distributed as part of Grove Farm’s 150-year anniversary and shares personal employee memories and perspectives as well as those whose lives were influenced by plantation life.

Reiko Matsuyama, representing Grove Farm, said 230 books are being distributed to schools throughout the state as part of the company’s anniversary celebration.

“The anniversary book also chronicles the pivotal role agriculture played in Hawaii’s history and also documents the innovation and challenges facing a longtime company over decades of tumultuous change,” said Warren Haruki, Grove Farm’s president and CEO, in a letter which accompanied the books. “It is our hope that students will be able to utilize the book as a resource and to inspire them to achieve their dreams.”

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