Save the date for Thursday, June 11 for the next Oral History & Sing-Along Series program on “Hawai‘i’s First King.” The program will be held on the king’s birthday, Kamehameha Day, from 10:00 a.m. – noon at the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku. Admission at the door is $5 for members and $10 for non members of Maui Historical Society.
Kamehameha Day is one of only two state holidays dedicated to Hawai’i’s royalty. Kamehameha united the islands into one kingdom in 1810, and named them the Hawaiian Islands. We’ll learn about King Kamehameha the Great and take a virtual tour of some the places you can visit today related to him.
We’ll also sing some the songs that were popular during the 1800’s and beyond, learn the story behind the songs, and how to pronounce the Hawaiian words. ‘Ukulele and guitar students are welcome to bring their instruments to play along (but I won’t be teaching how to play my arrangements).
The songs are:
- Hawai‘i Pono‘i – Hawai’i’s state anthem.
- Nā Ali‘i – includes two saying from departed chiefs.
- King Kamehameha – hapa haole favorite
- Hawai‘i Aloha – hymn to close events.
“Hawai‘i’s First King” is the third program in my Oral History & Sing-Along Series held at the Bailey House Museum. The idea that I presented to the Executive Director of the museum is to give residents especially an alternative of something to do on state holidays where they can learn something about Hawaiian history and have fun. The fact remains, how many people know the significance of King Kamehameha and Prince Kuhio? Last September 2014, I began the history series at the museum with a program on Hawai‘i’s Last Queen, Lili‘uokalani during her birthday month. I gave the second program about Prince Kuhio on his birthday, Hawai‘i’s state holiday on March 26, 2015. The circle will be completed on September 12, 2015, when I start the history series again with a program on Hawai‘i’s Last Queen.
I enjoy doing research and putting together the PowerPoint presentations to share what I’ve learned about Hawai’i’s royalty. It all started in January 2010, when I began a Hawaiian History Series as part of the Lunch and Learn Program at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. The talks were solely academic for over an hour, followed by optional lunch. Since last year’s success of the new format with sing-along component at the Bailey House Museum, I decided to repeat the same programs at the senior center so I could reach more people.
In January 2015, forty-five people attended my program at the center on Hawai‘i’s Last Queen. In February 2015, sixty people attended my program on Hawai‘i’s First King, with a group traveling over 2 hours by bus to get to the center. In March 2015, thirty two people attended my program on Prince Kuhio. It is interested to see how the numbers fluctuate with snow bird season (in winter time there are more people in Hawai‘i escaping the harsh weather on the mainland). My next program will be in May 2015 on The Four Royals, and that will complete this year’s history series at the center.
What began in 2006 as monthly 5-minute oral history talks to the general membership as historian of the Ahahui Ka’ahumanu Chapter IV Wailuku, Maui, has evolved into hour-plus long PowerPoint presentations and teaching Hawaiian songs to the public in 2015. I enjoy wearing different hats as historian, teacher, and entertainer.
Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele