Ke Ao Maoli
Published Hawaii State Library System Centralized Processing Center.
PRINCE KUHIO, THE ORGANIZER
Once he plunged into politics, Prince Kuhio realized the need in the Hawaiians to restore pride of race and respect for their past achievements. No one appreciated the value of organization and unity more than Prince Kuhio. His energy in organizing Hawaiian societies and groups was one of the secrets of his success as a political leader.
He preached the doctrine of democracy and self government and urged all Hawaiians to take pride in their new American citizenship, telling them that the path of development meant adjustment to changing conditions. He knew the Hawaiian could make these adjustments if he were able to hold up his head with pride and point to past achievements with a national hero as a symbol.
He called a small group of men to his home on May 13, 1903 and organized the Order of Kamehamheha, a society devoted to the perpetuation of the memory and greatness of Kamehameha the Great.
The first official act of the society was to conduct the 1904 observance of Kamehameha Day.
On the eve of Kamehameha Day, the prince as alii aimoku of the Order and the members gathered at midnight about the statue of the conqueror in front of the judiciary building. The men formed a circle about the statue, each holding a loop of a great unbroken lei of plumeria. The Prince made a short speech telling the purposes of the organization. Then each man took an oath to do all in his power to perpetuate the memory of Kamehameha.
On Kamehameha Day 1904, the Prince officiated at the program held in front of the statue, the first of the modern observances.
The organization of the Order of Kamehameha set the pattern for the revival of many old Hawaiian societies such as the Hale O Alii, the Daughters and Sons of Hawaiian Warriors, the Kaahumanu Society and others.
An interesting society organized by the Prince included haoles and Hawaiians. This society was called the Chiefs of Hawaii. The last member of the Chiefs was Charles A. Rice of Kauai.
These societies and orders came together on Kamehameha Day under the leadership of the Order of Kamehameha to commemorate the memory of their national hero.
Another great organization was founded by the Prince for a distinct purpose in 1918. At the time, the Prince was deep in the battle to set up the Hawaiian Homes Commission. His idea was to unify Hawaiian action behind the rehabilitation bill. On December 6, 1918, the prince met with John Lane. John H Wise, Noah Aluli and Jesse Ulihi to draw up a constitution and bylaws for the Hawaiian Civic Club.
The broad purposes of the Hawaiian Civic Club were: 1) to stop the decline of the Hawaiian race; 2) to provide educational opportunities for young Hawaiians; 3) to assist in the social welfare of the Hawaiians. William H. Heen was elected president of the organization which is today fulfilling the function for which it was created by fighting for the preservation of the Rehabilitation Act.
After the death of Prince Kuhio, many proposals were made to erect a monument to his name. It was the Order of Kamehameha which took the lead in following through. The Order held its first territorial convention in June, 1924, on the island of Kauai. There it was proposed that the Order restore the birthplace of Kuhio as a monument to his memory. The proposal was adopted and Oscar P. Cox was made chairman of the committee to further the project.
The McBryde Sugar Company, through its agents, Alexander and Baldwin, donated the land at Kualu, Koloa for the purpose. Funds for clearing and restoring the site were raised by the Kaumualii Chapter of the Order of Kamehameha. Territorial funds were appropriated by the legislature for the final clearing and the erection of a monument to his memory. The lifelike bust was the work of the sculptor Julius Rosenstein of New York and Boston. The calm, appealing face of the bust looks out to sea from a simple rock pedestal. Engraved on the bronze plaque is the name of the Prince followed by the phrase, " Ke Alii Makaainana", The Citzen Prince.
The unveiling of the statue of Prince Kuhio erected at his birthplace Hoai, Kualu, Koloa, Kauai, on June 17, 1928 was the occasion for a gathering of notables from all the islands. The Kamehameha Order sponsored the event, the Kaumualii Chapter of the Order being the hosts. Governor Wallace R. Farrignton was the principal speaker of the day in English and the Rev. Stephen Desha of Hilo gave the Hawaiian oration. Prince David Kawananakoa, unveiled the monument. John C. Lane of Honolulu, alii aimoku of the Order of Kamehameha, presided the ceremonies. Governor Farrington was attended by his aide, Major Henry Beckley.
The hundreds of members of the Kamehameha Order attended dressed in their full regalia, yellow mahioles and yellow and red capes. An equal number of women, members of the Kaahumanu Order, attended dressed in their black holokus and red and yellow feather leis. Newspaper accounts of the big event estimate that ten thousand attended the luau and ceremonies. The steamer "Mauna Kea" brought 343, including the Royal Hawaiian Band, from other islands. The days' festivities included a song contest, wrestling matches, a colorful pageant, chanting and singing. Raymond Kaluahine, former Kamehameha football star, won the uma contest; the Kauai chorus won the song contest and the Kaumualii Chapter rendered two songs written for the event.