ANAHOLA — Kapaa High School students Leila Nelson and Hannah Collins-Doijode did not know much about Prince Jonah Kuhio on Saturday.
“We don’t study him until next year when we get Hawaiian history,” Collins-Doijode said. “Today, we’re just helping distribute programs.”
But Saturday was a chance for the students to learn early. And included with the programs they handed out were surveys for guests at the celebration of Prince Kuhio, who was born on Kauai and who went on to become Hawaii’s first congressional representative.
La Contrades said this is the seventh year Anahola has hosted the Prince Kuhio Day Celebration. This year, the event also paid tribute to Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Moses Keale.
“I used to emcee for him,” said Kaulana Finn, who was representing Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard in presenting acknowledgements of Keale’s achievements to his family. “I remember his big hat he always used to wear.”
Government dignitaries, including Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., Kauai County Council Chair Mel Rapozo, governor’s liaison Carrice Gardner, Hawaii Rep. Nadine Nakamura, and County Council members joined Finn in paying tribute to Keale. Members of Keale’s family surrounded a lei- bedecked portrait of him.
Tracy Kuhaulua created a special mural that served as backdrop for the day-long presentation of mele and hula honoring both Prince Kuhio and Keale.
Liberta Albao of the Ka‘ahumanu Society reminded people about next Saturday’s formal protocol ceremony, hosted by the Royal Order of Kamehameha. That event will begin with an opening procession at 9:45 a.m. at Poipu’s Prince Kuhio Park — the recognized area where Prince Kuhio was born.
“This is why we do the Anahola celebration today,” Contrades said. “We don’t want to bang-bang with the Royal Order of Kamehameha recognition celebration.”