June 11 Kamehameha Day

Kamehameha Day 1997

Kamehameha Day at the Nation’s Capitol     June 8, 1997

In 1997, we participated in the 28th Annual Kamehameha Day Lei Dedication Ceremony at our nation’s capitol. U.S. Senator from Hawaii Daniel Akaka sponsored the ceremony held on June 8 inside Statuary Hall in the Capitol rotunda, Washington, D.C. I chaired the planning committee, designed the printed program, sang with my husband for a hula dancer, and led the Kamehameha Schools alumni chorale in song. We were living in Maryland at the time, and were active in the Hawaii State Society of Washington, D.C. and the Kamehameha Schools East Coast Region Alumni Club.

On December 22, 1871, Kamehameha V first proclaimed June 11th as a day to honor his grandfather. Upon statehood in 1959, Hawaii’s governor and state legislature proclaimed Kamehameha Day on June 11th as one of the first state holidays. Kamehameha the Great had united the islands into one kingdom in 1810.

Now living on Maui, I participate in the Kamehameha Day commemorative march on June 11th as a member of the Ahahui Ka’ahumanu along with the Royal Order of Kamehameha. There is a solemn dignity to the occasion when we remember Kamehameha’s legacy.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

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Mele Fong is a professional singer, song arranger, and master of multiple strumming styles for the 'ukulele. She is an experienced educator with over 50+ years experience playing the 'ukulele and entertaining worldwide. Mele performs with her husband in the duo "The Hawaiian Serenaders" and leads student groups. In 1996, the duo represented the State of Hawai'i in concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Mele and her husband Richard Tom were both born and raised on Oahu and now reside in Maui.