OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS PROVIDES SUPPORT FOR COMMEMORATION OF THE LIFE OF ‘O-PU-KAHA‘IA AT HAWAIIAN MISSION HOUSES HISTORIC SITE AND ARCHIVES
News Release from Hawaiian Mission Houses
Honolulu, HI (DECEMBER 4, 2017)—On February 17, 2018, Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives will celebrate the life of Henry ‘O-pu-kaha‘ia marking the day he died two hundred years ago. This important celebration honors the man who inspired the Sandwich Island Mission and is the first event in the bicentennial of the arrival of the American Protestant mission to Hawai‘i in 2020.
From 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 17, 2018, the houses and grounds of Hawaiian Mission Houses will be open to the public free of charge. As with our 2 other open houses, historic house tours will be conducted every half-hour, with the first tour at 11 a.m. and the last tour at 3 p.m. The printing press will be continuously operated and interpreted with either the “Ho‘onani,” (Doxology) or the Hawaiian Primer, the first print struck in Hawai‘i, being printed all day for participants to take home. Activities on site will include some of those used in the HMH school program. For example one will emphasize the distance between Hawai‘i and the Eastern U.S. Another will offer the opportunity to create one’s own work on an individual mini printing press, and another will allow users to experience writing with a quill pen while copying a letter from one of the ali‘i from the HMH archives.
At 10 a.m. historic Kawaiaha‘o Church will conduct a special commemorative service and be joined by Royal Societies, Hawaiian Civic Clubs, and other organizations which developed as a result of the mission. Concurrent church services in Hilo and on the East Coast will also celebrate the life of ‘O-pu-kaha‘ia and those who attend will learn about his role in inspiring the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) to send missionaries to Hawai‘i to bring Christianity. Audience may or may not choose to attend this service.
As the church service ends, attendees are encouraged to walk across the street to enjoy lunch and a program funded in part by a grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Beginning at 11:30, an optional Hawaiian food lunch is available for $15 by pre-order or attendees may bring their own picnic lunch. Special visitors for the day will include a chorale comprised of high school students from throughout the state who will perform at both the Kawaiaha‘o Church service and at the luncheon afterwards on the grounds of Hawaiian Mission Houses.
After lunch, a program begins with an introduction to the historic landscape by Hinano Brumaghim and Christopher Cook, authors of the most recent biographies of ‘O-pu-kaha‘ia. Actor Moses Goods will portray ‘O-pu-kaha‘ia, a historic theatre character, who will tell his own story, and, as with all history theatre productions, a “talk back” with the audience will follow.
The event is free and open to the public. Attend any or all of the events. The optional $15 lunch may be ordered through the website missionhouses.org or by calling 447-3926.
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Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives is located in Honolulu’s Historic Capitol District and is the leading authority on Protestant missionary history in Hawai‘i. It is known worldwide as the place where the Hawaiian written language was developed through the collaborative efforts of the missionaries and the ali‘I (the Hawaiian royalty) and the Hawaiian people. It preserves the two oldest documented houses in Hawai‘i, which were built and used by missionaries in the early nineteenth century, and the largest collection of Hawaiian language books in the world.