Review Hawaii’s First King Program

MEMORABLE MOMENTS – CLICK ON A PHOTO for the story behind it

A few days before my talk on Hawaii’s First King, I checked in the office to find out how many people had signed up. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that 60 people had signed up – way more than the 45 who came to my first talk on Hawaii’s Last Queen the month before. There seems to be an interest in learning about Hawaiian history, and my new format is working well.

The program on King Kamehameha the Great lasted 1-hour and 15-minutes to talk through 46 PowerPoint slides, tell the story behind 4 songs related to Kamehameha, teach how to pronounce the Hawaiian lyrics, and lead the sing-along while playing my amplified ukulele and advancing the slides with the song’s words projected on the screen. The four songs were:

  1. Hawaii Ponoi (state anthem)
  2. Na Alii (includes two famous sayings from the departed chiefs)
  3. King Kamehameha (hapa haole favourite)
  4. Hawaii Aloha (traditional hymn to close events)

I also announced my plan to make my oral history talks available for viewing online. The idea was born after receiving a request for my script for January’s program on Hawaii’s Last Queen. Instead of giving out the printed script, it makes more sense to turn the PowerPoint presentation into a video on my website. Stay tuned for coming soon.

During the Hawaiian lunch part of the program, I talked with the 10 who had driven 2-hours from Hana and discovered that two had graduated from my high school alma mater and knew my Uncle. We burst spontaneously into our school fight song, Imua Kamehameha, and had fun getting to know each other.

Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55+ provides such wonderful opportunities to meet people with common interests that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. And to think when I started teaching ukulele classes in January 2009, it was only a one month experiment. The experiment continues.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele


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.