On Friday and Saturday, March 9-10, 1957, Waimea High and Elementary School celebrated its 75th Diamond Jubilee Anniversary at Waimea, Kauai.
Honored at the celebration were a handful of old-timers who were students during the 1800s at Waimea English School, the predecessor of Waimea High and Elementary School.
The oldest former Waimea English School student attending the celebration was Eleao Malama, age 80, who was enrolled there in 1888.
Her teachers were Mrs. Gibson, the wife of T. H. Gibson, the school’s principal, and Miss Kate Lindsay, who was related to the Faye family.
Eleao was one of nine girls and 31 boys of Hawaiian ancestry in her class. There also were 12 part-Hawaiians, four Germans, two Portuguese, one Norwegian and one Japanese student.
Student ages ranged from 6-19 and tuition cost between 50 cents and $5.
In 1894, school enrollment rose to 150 and the school year ran from January to July, with August being vacation month. It then continued from September through December. In that same year, students were divided into grades and classes for the first time.
Another old-time former student was John Kaikiala Aana. He was enrolled in 1887, when the school observed Easter vacation for two weeks for the first time. Queen Victoria’s Jubilee, May 24, was another school holiday and Good Friday became a holiday in 1894.
A fellow student of Aana’s was Kahalau Leoike, who retired in 1944, as a tug boat operator at Ahukini Terminal Ltd.
Still another, Axel Blackstad, a Kokee resident for most of the year, had retired from the County Public Works department.
Mrs. Lillian (Akina) Hardy not only attended Waimea School in 1893, but she also taught there from 1907 to about 1916, when she transferred to Kapaa School, where she taught until she retired.