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Daughters of Hawaii celebrate Queen Emma’s 182nd birthday


The Daughters of Hawai‘i was one of the first organizations in Hawai‘i to recognize the importance of historical preservation.

The Daughters of Hawaii hosted Queen Emma’s 182nd Birthday Celebration with an open house at Hānaiakamalama or Queen Emma Summer Palace on January 2. The palace served as a retreat for Queen Emma of Hawaii from 1857 to 1885, as well as for her husband King Kamehameha IV, and their son, Prince Albert Edward. The Daughters provided a lavish spread of refreshments, cake, sandwiches, salads, and sweets free of charge to all guests who came to share in the celebration.

There were three main venues where The Daughters celebrated The Queen’s memory; first, 8:30 am religious services at Mauna ʻAla Royal Mausoleum of Hawaii, followed by an 11 am ceremony at Queen’s Hospital, then the magnificent open house at the Summer Palace.

Kanoelehua Renaud, operations manager for the society, said “The Daughters of Hawai‘i was founded in 1903 by seven women who were daughters of American Protestant missionaries. Born in Hawai‘i, they were citizens of the Hawaiian Kingdom before annexation, and foresaw the inevitable loss of much of the Hawaiian culture. They founded the society to perpetuate the memory and spirit of old Hawai‘i and of historic facts, and to preserve the nomenclature and correct pronunciation of the Hawaiian language. The Daughters of Hawai‘i was one of the first organizations in Hawai‘i to recognize the importance of historical preservation. Since the early 1900s it has been distinguished for preserving Hānaiakamalama in Nu‘uanu, commonly known as the Queen Emma Summer Palace, and Hulihe‘e Palace in Kailua-Kona, restoring them with original royal furnishings. The Daughters continue to operate and maintain these Palaces as their principal activity, and owns the birth site of Kamehameha III at Keauhou Bay, Kailua-Kona.”

Renaud said “We also celebrate the king’s birthday on February 9, the prince’s birthday in May, and an annual fundraiser in September. At the fundraiser, we have food, entertainment, craft vendors, and open house at The Palace. Once a month, we bring in a guest lecturer to speak on topics of cultural importance. Our next lecture will be about the history of the Hawaiian Flag.”

Renaud added, “As a young child, Emma would come to this home and visit her uncle, who owned the property. He knew how much she loved the place, so he left it to her.”

Queen Emma Summer Palace

D. Ululani Zuttermeister-Black, 2nd Vice Regent of the organization, is in charge of fund raising. She said, “This year’s goal was to raise $50,000 specifically for renovations to the Edinburgh Room to supplement a $400,000 Grant-in-Aid that we will receive from the State of Hawaiʻi. The house was built in the 1880’s so there is always something that requires maintenance.”

Pattye Kealohalani Wright is a Calabash Cousin (non-lineage, friend of the society) and also a Kumu Hula of Nāpuakea o Koʻolaupoko. She said “The morning service at the Royal Mausoleum was beautiful. The Royal Hawaiian Band was there, a dancer, so many beautiful tributes to honor The Queen. Last Sunday, we had the Royal Family in attendance at the Founder’s Day Celebration for Kamehameha School.”

Anyone wishing to join the organization as a non-lineage friend of the society can download the Calabash Cousin application on the Daughters of Hawaii website .

Follow the author, Anton Anderssen, here.

All photos © 2018 Marco Airaghi