Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Friend of Hawaii Passes

Len McCann - Iolani Palace Restoration Project, 1969

Retired Curator and Museum Director, Len McCann was one member of a group of Canadians who worked on the initial Iolani Palace Restoration Project in 1969 and 1970. This restoration, which led to a book published by Friends of Iolani Palace, was considered the nonpareil of it's time.

Looking back on his life as a curator, Leonard was most honored to have had the opportunity to assist Hawaiians in bringing their Palace to its' former glory. He spoke of smashing and pulling away the plywood boards, then revealing the beautiful Koa woodwork underneath.

We are deeply saddened to let you know that Len died of pneumonia last night at Burnaby Hospital in Canada. He will be deeply missed.

A celebration of life will take place this summer.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Still breathing.

It has been a long while since my last post. While in rest mode the project still lives however. The search for funds to bring Ka'iulani's life to the stage continues.

Last month we were invited to join the Dressed to the Kilt in New York. We would take someone to represent Ka'iulani in the show who would walk in the dress of her time. We would be a sponsor of another organization. This would be another fundraising project for us.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Princess Ka'iulani Birthday Celebration - BY MARK VIETH

Be part of history at the Lahaina Royal Ho‘ike BY MARK VIETH/ Editor, Lahaina News

LAHAINA — Oct. 14/2010 - The “Lahaina Royal Ho‘ike — From the Keiki to Ka‘iulani and the Crown” on Saturday, Oct. 16, will be the first event in history to pay tribute to Queen Keopuolani and Crown Princess Ka‘iulani Cleghorn with full honors, said Paulo Faleafine II of the Royal Hawaiian Guard.

Set for 9 a.m. at Waiola Church, the ho‘ike (meaning that which is shown, to know, as in the sight to see) will celebrate Ka‘iulani’s 135th birthday and the Hawaiian Kingdom’s Bicentennial (1810-2010).

Faleafine, one of the ho‘ike’s many coordinators, explained that the event will feature many “firsts” in a town rich in history.

“I am excited to announce that the Lahaina Royal Ho‘ike will include protocols that will be done for the first time in over a hundred years and many rarely ever see,” he said.

“I believe people will be awed and inspired by the evening events being done for the respect and honor of our ancestors. This is a cultural event that we are sharing with the community.”

The evening protocols will include the presentation of the only existing official portrait of Sacred High Chief Keopuolani for the first time at her royal tomb.

“It is the first time in history that the official portrait of Queen Keopuolani will sit at her royal tomb at Waiola Church. The portrait will be generously on loan from Kamehameha Schools of Oahu for that evening only. It will be carried by the Hawaii Royal Order of Guards from Oahu to Maui and met by official salute at Kahului Airport by the Royal Hawaiian Guard of Maui,” said Jennifer Fahrni of The Ka‘iulani Project, who organized the event with Faleafine and Wilmont Kahaialii of Waiola Church.

“It will also be the first time that the Royal Order of Kamehameha, with two guard units — the Hawaii Royal Order of Guards from Oahu and the Royal Hawaiian Guard of Maui — will come together in Lahaina to perform the Official Hawaiian Protocol and Ho‘okupu Offerings in honor of the ali‘i.”

With free admission from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Lahaina Royal Ho‘ike will feature entertainment all day. Performers will include Uncle Richard Ho‘opi‘i, The Kahaialii ‘Ohana, Na Kamali‘i O Ke Akua, Hiki No, The Krueger ‘Ohana, Tava Nui Drummers, Kahi Kolu from the Big Island, Celtic Hart, Scottish bagpipers (including Hamish Burgess, Hawaii’s “Scot of the Year”) and some surprise guests.

Kama‘aina and visitors can learn about culture and history with Maui Historical Society, Bailey House Museum and guided tours of the sacred grounds of Moku‘ula, which was home to high chiefs from the 16th to 19th centuries and served as a political and spiritual capital for the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Attendees can view some never-before-seen photographs relating to the life of Princess Ka‘iulani from The Ka‘iulani Project, which has been working with archivists, museums and descendants of the princess.

The ho‘ike will also feature food, a silent auction, Hawaiian games and keiki activities.

At 6 p.m., the Luau o Ka‘iulani Feast & Show will begin. Admission is $35.

Ho‘opi‘i will entertain during the Hawaiian feast prepared by the Royal Order of Kamehameha.

Crown Princess Ka‘iulani’s grace and determination will be told through letters, interviews and selected scenes from the original script “Ka‘iulani, The Island Rose” by Fahrni and Carol Harvie-Yamaguchi.

Performers will include Halau ‘O Keaunui ‘O Maui, Ehulani Kane, Fahrni, Kahaialii and the Royal Hawaiian Guard.

Archivists at Bishop Museum recently uncovered important historical letters. One of these moving notes will be read at the luau.

“Also, a life-sized portrait of Her Royal Highness Princess Ka‘iulani — that was recently painted by Maui artist Matt Holton — will be debuted for the first time. The princess’ portrait will be carried in by her descendants, who will be participating officially in protocol for the first time since the late 1800s,” Faleafine noted.

“Further, the Royal Hawaiian Guard will be presenting the ‘Oli Ka Hae’ (Chant to the Hawaiian Flag) originally written in 1862 and not performed by any Royal Guard unit since 1893,” he continued.

“This event includes many firsts that we hope evolves and grows into a mainstay within Lahaina. We look forward to all in Hawaii, including our visitors, participating with us and being part of this history.”

Fahrni commented that Lahaina is home to incredible cultural and historic sites. Events like the ho‘ike keep the history alive and teach children.

“It’s important to know about where you are and where you’re from. It’s grounding,” she said.

“The history is right here in front of our eyes. Few people are so lucky to have these historical and sacred sites in their back yard, like we do in Lahaina. That comes with a responsibility.”

Faleafine explained that exploring Lahaina’s royal past and its role as the former capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom brings history and culture to the forefront and “becomes a source of strength and identity for our community.

“We must restore and perpetuate Lahaina’s history as a royal capital with all entitled honors for the sake of future generations and the community,” he added.

In addition to staging an authentic Hawaiian event, Fahrni is passionate about telling the story of Princess Ka‘iulani, who, in the wake of the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893, led a movement to reinstate the kingdom.

Fahrni has been involved in the Ka‘iulani Project ( for the past eight years.

“Ka‘iulani is a great role model for young folks today. She understood the value of her education, artistic endeavors, her friendships and understanding her roots. She was a modern thinker,” she said.

“The reason I continue to tell Ka‘iulani’s story is to give the young people of today — and us old people for that matter — an example of someone who, by standing strong and telling the truth, changed history.

“She didn’t fail. If she hadn’t spoken up, then maybe you could say she had failed. But in the face of the worst untruths about herself and her family, when all seemed lost, Ka‘iulani, with the greatest dignity, spoke up and simply set the record straight. Her words are still strong today, and people are listening,” she concluded.

Waiola Church is located at 535 Wainee St. For luau tickets or information, call 250-9196 or visit

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lahaina Royal Ho'ike - Princess Ka'iulani Birthday Festival

Celebrate Crown Princess Ka'iulani's 135th Birthday and Children & Youth Month, in this year of the Hawaiian Kingdom Bicentennial, 1810 - 2010.

There will be fun for the entire family with The Royal Hawaiian Guard on parade, cultural and craft vendors, food booths, activities, musical performers, Scottish bagpipes, special guest appearances, silent auction and evening luau.

On October 16, 2010, experience Lahaina's Royal Past and the rich and vibrant culture of Hawai'i by joining us at the House of
Keōpūolani, the wife and mother of Kings, as we honor those who came before. The keiki, our future, pays tribute to our past during Children & Youth Month in Hawaii. The Board of Directors of Waiola Church host the event on their historical and sacred grounds where schools and Hula Halaus are invited to perform hula presentations honoring, High Chiefess Keōpūolani Princess Nāhiʻenaʻena and King Kaumuali'i all of whom are entombed there, as well as Princess Ka'iulani who now lies at the Royal Mausoleum in Oahu. In these days of cutbacks to our keiki, we hope to inspire our young with knowledge of our past. We invite Schools and Youth organizations to take an active part in the Ho’ike, while also having the opportunity to learn other aspect of the Hawaiian culture.

The Royal Hawaiian Guard is a new Maui organization which understands the value of our youth. They have set out to preserve Hawaii's history while also inspiring future community leaders. The culture of The Guard is built on five human truths while incorporating the Aloha & Warrior spirits. The Guard’s several programs include “The Queen’s Own”, which emulates the 1885 Queen's Own that served during the reign of His Majesty King Kalakaua. Their Unit Patron is Sacred High Chiefess Keōpūolani, the wife and mother of Kings. The Queen's Own is the first Honor Unit to stand sentry over a Royal Tomb since the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy.

Waiola Church, which was established in the early 1800's during the reign of King Kamehameha the Great is the site for the Lahaina Royal Ho'ike. It was dedicated in 1823 as 'Waine'e Church' and was instrumental in the introduction and growth of the Christian religion on the island of Maui and in what was soon to be the state of Hawai'i. Chiefess Keōpūolani wife of Kamehameha the Great, was the most powerful ali'i in the islands at the time, and had great influence on the people. She and Kamehameha had twelve kids together, two growing up to become Kamehameha II and III. Keōpūolani was granted her request to be buried in a royal tomb, and still lays in Waiola Cemetary with her daughter, Princess Nahi'ena'ena, as she has for the past century and a half. After Lahaina became the Capital of Hawai'i and the rulers spent time on Maui, Waiola Church was established and remains the perfect spot to celebrate Lahaina's Royal Past.

The Ka'iulani Project Presentation and Luau begins at 6:00 - 8pm in a traditional evening luau setting where we will celebrate Hawaii's Crown Princess Ka'iulani’s 135th birthday. The story of Princess Ka‘iulani Cleghorn will be told with readings of selected scenes from the original upcoming production “Ka’iulani - The Island Rose”, projected historical photographs, music and hula. Princess Ka'iulani of Hawaii is an inspiration for young people of all cultures today to stand up and speak for their beliefs, and to find their truths by fully embracing their heritage. Ka‘iulani's story of grace and determination is a story for our time. We celebrate the friendship between Ka'iulani's Scottish and Hawaiian roots. Ka'iulani discovered that our similarities are far greater than our differences and became one of the first to start 'building the bridges'.

See photos and read further details about The Lahaina Royal Ho'ike.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Kaiulani Honoring Her Mother

Although she had to overcome many personal tragedies, Ka‘iulani in fact led a life of love and music. She was witty, had a wonderful sense of humor, and a great friends. There is also a possibility that Ka'iulani influenced surfing in the English Channel at Brighton. This is the real Ka'iulani that is much more interesting to remember.
There are few accounts of Ka‘iulani's affect on the US – and her fight for her nation. But we owe it to her to remember that story.

Honoring the musical spirit of Likelike, Ka'iulani and Annie often performed at receptions as they did for Mrs. Dewar, wife of the owner and Captain of the yacht, Nyanza in January of 1889. Annie sang a solo, "Constancy", and two duets, "The Gypsy Countess" and "Pua Hei", with their friend Miss Widemann. At the same large reception on the ship Nyanza, H. R. H. Princess Ka'iulani, Miss Cleghorn and Miss Widemann performed an ukulele trio.

Read more about Ka'iulani - Her Life & Times.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Princess Ka'iulani - Her Life & Times

The Ka'iulani Project is expanding our biography on Ka'iulani.

Reports of Ka'iulani's speech quickly reached The White House. President Grover Cleveland and his wife First Lady Frances Cleveland were impressed, and wanted to meet this “Woman of the Hour”. Upon reading the reports of this accomplished, Crown Princess, who was being educated in England in preparation to inherit the throne of Hawaii, Cleveland realized that he had been misinformed about the state of affairs in Hawaii.

"Her beauty, grace and sweetness completely won Mrs. Cleveland's heart, the President was charmed with her—how could it be otherwise? And Mr. Davies’ representations put matters before President Cleveland in a new light. He (President Cleveland) became aware of abuses which he had not suspected; he promised to do all he could in the interests of Princess Kaiulani, and he was as good as his word."

In her darkest moments, Ka'iulani found the inner strength to fight for her nation in its hour of need. In the face of widespread slander and libel against the Hawaiian people and its Monarchy, she simply stood up and spoke the truth. Her frank words and stunning beauty took the American President, people, and press, by storm, changing forever their idea of the Hawaiian people. Her mission to America was a triumph.

Read more about Ka'iulani - Her Life & Times.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Princess Ka'iulani Tribute and Memorial - 2010

The Caledonian Society of Hawaii presented their yearly sunset Tribute to Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Kawekiu i Lunalilo Kalaninuiahilapalapa Cleghorn at Mauna ‘Ala, the Royal Mausoleum of Hawaii, in Honolulu. Mahalo to William (Bill) John Kaihe‘ekai Mai‘oho, curator and kahu of Mauna 'Ala for hosting the gathering. Kamehameha the Great chose Bill's family to take care of the iwi of the royal family. The Royal Mausoleum which was originated by Kamehameha IV and his wife, Queen Emma, is the most sacred burial ground on the island of Oahu. For more than twenty years, the event has honored the Kalakaua's musical dynasty and Ka'iulani's dual cultural heritage. Princess Ka'iulani was half Hawaiian (her mother being Princess, Miriam Likelike) and half Scottish (her father was Scotsman, Archibald Cleghorn, last Royal Governor of O'ahu).
Fine Scottish weather of light rain combined with Hawaiian sunset made for a rainbow over the chapel while Hardy Spoehr, of the Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawai`i, piped the gathering into the small church. The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society of Hawaii performed a special dance composed by Caledonian Society Chieftain, Bruce McEwan, 'The Pikake Lei', in the chapel entrance hall. Then young visiting Highland dancers, from the The Margaret Rose School of Dance of Helensborough, Scotland, performed the Seann Triubhas (pronounced shawn-troos), Gaelic for "unwanted trousers". The dance depicts the 'throwing off of the trousers', and celebrates the repeal of the Proscription Act, the law which forbade the Scots from wearing their traditional kilts, speaking their native language and from playing their bagpipes. The act was mirrored in Hawaii when it was forbidden for the Hawaiians to perform the hula. The dance honored King Kalakaua, who was responsible for bringing back the hula to Hawaii. Bruce McEwan hosted the evening, which, this year, combined with National Tartan Day. After the chief's welcome, Mrs. Bruce recited Robert Louis Stevenson's famous poem, then featured speaker, Jennifer Fahrni of the Princess Ka'iulani Project spoke passionately about the Princess' life and achievements. The evening closed with a presentation of a lei at the crypt where the Hawaiian-Scottish crown princess and her family lie at rest. An excerpt from Jennifer Fahrni's talk - "Just at the time Ka'iulani came into her own, she was faced with the challenge of her life. In her nation's darkest hour, Ka'iulani found the strength to speak for her people. Ka'iulani had become empowered by fully embracing her Scottish and Hawaiian ancestries, and found comfort in understanding her dual heritage. Ka'iulani discovered that our similarities are far greater than our differences and became one of the first to start 'building the bridges'."

Friday, March 12, 2010

Iolani Palace Restoration Project - with Leonard McCann

Retired Curator and Museum Director, Leonard McCann at his home in Vancouver, Canada, going over his notes from the restoration of Iolani Palace. Len was one member of a group who worked on the initial Iolani Palace Restoration in 1969 and 1970. This restoration, which led to a book published by Friends of Iolani Palace, was considered the nonpareil of it's time. Looking back on his life as a curator, Leonard is most honored to have had the opportunity to assist Hawaiians in bringing their Palace to its' former glory.

Lili`uokalani Kawananakoa Morris, grandniece of Queen Kapi`olani, who founded The Friends of `Iolani Palace in 1966, inspired the Project. The book is dedicated to her. Len says, " was almost experimental, in that we were developing new ways of recording things. At the time, restoration was a very slow process and not well documented. We were on the forefront." The book is pictured here. "Iolani Palace Restoration" - A Report: Iolani Palace Restoration Project; Planning, Phase 1 details the preliminary work accomplished, outlines an approach and detailed methodology leading to the refurbishment and public utilization of Iolani Palace as a Living Restoration - by George Moore, Geoffrey W. Fairfax AIA and E. Blaine Cliver, Barbara Furstenberg, Leonard McCann, Glen Miyashiro, John Shklov, Philip R. Ward and Clyde Wong. Published Lei Day, May 1, 1970

Project Director, George R. Moore, had been a Museums Adviser in British Columbia, Canada with his office in Victoria, attached to the Provincial Museum (Royal British Columbia Museum). Previous to the Iolani Palace Restoration, George had been working on an important First Nations project in Canada. At his home in Canada, Leonard McCann has a few letters from George. These irreverent letters between George Moore and Leonard are an amusing read, and show the mutual respect between these two restorers.

Part of Len's job was to write a thesis on the purpose of the Restoration and how the Palace could sustain the improvements: "What we are trying to present is a section of time out of the past...a not too distant past...but a past that has totally vanished. This past was a much more leisured and unhurried age - but it was also a much more intensely personal and dramatic age...Iolani Palace is the culminating point of the monarchial system of government of the Hawaiian Islands. It was the monarchs' personal home, and insofar as the political lives of the only two monarchs who lived in it were concerned, the decisions that determined the fate of the monarchy were made in the Palace..."

When asked what he felt upon arriving at the palace, Len emphasized, "I was completely astonished. I never expected something so grand". As well as wielding a sledgehammer to take down false walls to uncover the splendid woodwork we see today, Len spent much of his energy actively searching out, locating and retrieving items that had been sold or removed from the palace during the prior 50 years when it was used as American government offices.

Leonard has dedicated his life to uncovering the facts, and preserving history not only of his own nation, but nations of the world. At 14 years old, Leonard Guy McCann was taken to Santo Tomas Internment Camp in Manila, The Philippines where he and his mother were interred for four years. Now, seventy years later, Len is in the process of sorting the documents and books from his lifetime of curatorial and conservation work throughout the world.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hawaii Mourns the Death of Their Beloved Ka'iulani - March 6, 1899

March 6th, 1899 marked the end of an era; Hawaii's most beloved Hawaii/Scot, Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Cleghorn passed away. It was an unexpected shock for the Hawaiian nation. Some said she had a weak heart, but Ka'iulani was strong. She loved the outdoors where she surfed, paddled and practiced the ancient Hawaiian art of Lua. Although she became ill after encountering a storm on the Island of Hawaii, no one believed it would lead to her death.

The New York Times read: "Princess Ka’iulani died March 6 of inflammatory rheumatism contracted several weeks ago while of a visit to the Island of Hawaii. The funeral of the Princess will occur on Sunday, March 12, from the old native church, and will be under the direction for the Government. The ceremonies will be on a scale befitting the rank of the young Princess. The body is lying in state at Ainahau, the Princess’s old home. Thousands of persons, both native and white, have gone out to the place, and the whole town is in mourning. Flags on the Government buildings are at half mast, as are those on the residences of the foreign Consuls."

The old native church, the Times refers to is Kawaiaha'o Church.

Colonel MacFarlane, a family friend, noted, "The heart weakness, was the result of shock; the direct consequence of the blow that struck the young girl of scarce 19 when a cablegram announced that her promised kingdom had been wrenched away from her."

Death did not come easily to Ka'iulani. She fought it till the end. Today, Princess Ka'iulani can be remembered as a heroine of Hawaii and a shining light for the young people of the islands.

Read more about Ka'iulani - Her Life & Times.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Help Ka'iulani's Belongings go to a Hawaiian Institution

At the end of February, there will be a sale of some of Princess Ka'iulani's personal belongings in Honolulu. Evaluation of these items is, we imagine, very difficult. It would be our guess that the items are more valuable than people might expect. It would be wonderful if these items could find their way to Bishop Museum or another Hawaiian institution, so that the items receive the care and restoration they my need.

It is too much to ask an individual to donate historical items, however, a wealthy organization (eg. a bank, airline or manufacturer)could purchase the items and donate to the museum in their own name, thus aiding the individual, and the community, while also receiving an income tax receipt. Sorry to sound crass, but this method has been successful for many Museums in acquiring important artifacts. It has also proven successful in increasing the community appreciation for an organization.

For the opening of "Ka'iulani - The Island Rose", which we hope to be next year, we will be organizing several events. We hope to co-ordinate a show with Bishop Museum, of items from Princess Ka'iulani and the Royal Family to be shown at the same time as the opening of "Ka'iulani - The Island Rose".

Friday, February 12, 2010

Documentary about Princess Ka'iulani

The Ka'iulani Project is hoping to see a documentary on the life of Ka'iulani produced in the next few years. We have been in conversation with several paries. It would be helpful to all to have an objective piece that clearly deals with the facts. The possibility of this would increase if we knew of a relation of Ka'iulani's who lived today in Scotland.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Three Telegrams that Changed Ka'iulani's Life as She Knew It

After receiving the telegrams, Ka‘iulani was shattered. It’s hard to imagine how she would have felt; perhaps if you recall your worst moment – your greatest loss, and then times that by 10 or 20 or 30. Ka`iulani was far from home and life as she knew it was being taken away for her, her family and her entire nation. She may have felt that her life’s purpose, all of her plans, all of her work, all of her education was now pointless.
Lies were being printed about the Hawaiian people and who they were. These articles were printed in newspapers across the United States. Hawaiians were being called barbarians… uncivilized... unable to rule themselves... what did that say about the Queen... what did that say about Ka‘iulani, herself? There were awful political cartoons about her. It was clear that the Americans were receiving incorrect information and did not have direct knowledge of the Queen nor the Princess. For the full story.

See more at The Ka'iulani Project website.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Life of Destiny - Changed

Three years later, Ka'iulani would enjoy the last Christmas before her life changed forever. On the last day of January in 1893 she would receive three telegrams that would tun her life upside down. Her life was never really her own, but now there were foreigners who were helping themselves to her future. The telegrams arrived from Hawaii. Princess Ka'iulani was in England at the home of her guardians, Mr. and Mrs. Theophilus Davies. The telegrams read, "Monarchy Abrogated." "Queen Deposed." "Break News to Princess."

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ka'iulani's First Winter in England

After experiencing England for the first time, in the summer of 1889, Ka'iulani felt much more a woman of the world than she had a year earlier. She and her sister, Annie Cleghorn, were witness to the beginning of "La Belle Epoch" in London, which inspired Ka'iulani's inner artist and her paintings of the British countryside. Days were spent visiting art galleries, the Crystal Palace, and Tower of London, attending concerts and meeting celebrities of the day. This was an exciting period for the two girls, and their already strong bond, grew even closer. In September, the two girls were enrolled at Great Harrowden Hall in Northamptonshire, England. At school, it was a challenge for Ka'iulani to get used to the bland English diet. Throughout those years, she longed for her native foods of poi, taro, and the raw fish she loved to eat.

The girls first Christmas in England in 1889, was highlighted with a visit from Ka'iulani's cousin Koa, now a handsome young gentleman of twenty-one. Both Kuhio and Koa, attended school in England, but Kuhio was unable to join them. Ka'iulani, now feeling herself a very mature fourteen years old, was eager to meet Koa on more equal footing. She and Koa referred to each other by their English names while in England, Vike and David.
For more of the story see The Ka'iulani Project - About Ka'iulani.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Gift from A Friend - Kathryn Dragas, Understanding Ka'iulani's Legacy

While looking into the face of my brave and beautiful friend, I am reminded of her urging that the words of Ka'iulani must be heard. Kathryn would be brought to tears, while explaining that she wanted this for her little girl, whom she soon would bring into the world. Our long talks of her plans for the future were so full, so detailed, so bright. Day after day, she made me promise that this would happen, then flash her big smile with a "Yeah, go girl!" She encouraged this project and stressed what it meant to her, as a new mother. Kathryn saw Princess Ka'iulani of Hawaii as a role model and heroine for the little life growing inside of her, and believed that the story of Ka'iulani could empower the lives of many young women. At times, when I felt unequipped to carry this project through, my dear Kathryn was full of encouraging words.

Kathryn Gayle Lawrence Dragas, 40, passed away on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009. A native of Norfolk, Virginia, she was the daughter of the late Gayle Zydron Battaglia. Among others, she is survived by her husband Bill Dragas, her brother and his wife, John and Lynelle Lawrence, and her father, Robert N. Lawrence. Kathryn was an authentic woman of high principals, and spent her life serving the welfare of children, as a dedicated occupational therapist at the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughter for 14 years.

Kathryn was a great friend, with a full heart for all who knew her. Her love and support was given, selflessly. In Hawaii, she cared for the wildlife and watched over the rare monk seals of the islands. We will remember how much love and beauty Kathryn brought to our lives and will keep her in our hearts. I know how helpless and lost we all feel and can only pray that peace and love will find all of us who loved her. Thank you for your friendship Kathryn, it was one of the greatest gifts any of us could have received.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Facebook Connection to Kaiulani Project

Two days ago we set up the Princess Ka'iulani Project Facebook page.
In order to access the page you must be registered on Facebook. To do this, go to

It is another way to communicate with, and contribute information to the The Ka'iulani Project.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Long Term Goals for the Project

Aside from the goal of bringing Ka'iulani's life story to the stage and screen, the goal of the project has been to bring Princess Ka'iulani back into the minds of young people today. In 2002, we started by contacting the Hawaiian organizations in Oahu to aid in our research. These include Daughters of Hawaii, The Hawaiian Historical Society, Hawaii State Archives at Iolani Palace, and The Hawaiian Collection at UH Manoa Library, among others. The Maui Academy of Performing Arts was part of the plans from an early date in 2003.

The reason we shelved three years of work on a film script, was because we felt it was important that Hawaii and Hawaiians be part of bringing this production to fruition. The only way to ensure that, was to write a stage production that would be cast and premiered in Hawaii.
After years of informal dialogues teaching friends the importance of this young Hawaiian, many joined us in the formal presentation of the script to the Island of Maui.

The film project will be resumed after the premiere of the stage production.

We would like to see Ka'iulani's name and inspirational life aid those whom she cared for and was trying to protect. The young people of Hawaii.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ka'iulani Project Experience

When starting on this journey (naively) in 2002, I thought all would go smoothly. Friends would support our efforts to learn about, and make public, the largely undocumented accomplishments of a young girl who lived in the last century. Why not? What could be simpler? What I expected? I was mistaken.

The journey since then, has been sometimes more rewarding, and other times, more disheartening than I could possibly have imagined.

I avoid discussing difficulties on this blog, and continue with the work, but today my friend Kathryn Dragas suggested that I do. Kathryn sees Ka'iulani as an inspiration for her soon to be baby girl. So, quite simply, I find the actions of some parties confusing. Talk of Ka'iulani and her accomplishments is striking such chords with some people - they find it offensive some way, to acknowledge Ka'iulani as a heroine. I hope that those who took offense at the mention of Ka'iulani's heroism, consider how they might feel if we disregarded their achievements after their passing.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kawaiaha'o remains of Hawaiian Ali'i

In response to Ka Wai Ola article by Liza Simon - Decision clears way for Kawaiaha'o lawsuit

"...Kawānanakoa's lawsuit also asks that construction of the church's new hall be stopped..
69 sets of human skeletal remains were unearthed earlier this year during sewer line trenching for the church project...desecrated the graves of her ali'i ancestors during the construction of a new multipurpose center on the church's property in downtown Honolulu...
"We are first and foremost Christians and this building project is essential for our mission in the 21st century...The money we had to even start the project was made possible by Kahu Akaka," he said, referring to the late Rev. Abraham Akaka, who served as pastor of historic Kawaiaha'o Church for three decades. "We are trying to carry on the legacy of being a place of worship in downtown Honolulu."..."

Is There Really Any Question that this is a Burial Ground? And what about a solution - would it be acceptable to construct a mausoleum on site?

Friday, October 16, 2009

What We Did on Her Birthday

After receiving an email and phone call about a recent newspaper article about Ka'iulani - close friends who thought The Ka'iulani Project might have an opinion - This was sent in.
In response to October 15th Maui Time article about Ka'iulani

I thank Maui Time for writing about Princess Ka'iulani. Although the facts in the article are true, I hope in future articles about her life, that we also hear about her drive and commitment to set the record straight in America. Ka'iulani was not the weak withering flower as she has often been thought of. Ka'iulani's childhood was comprised of swimming far out into the breakers of Waikiki, surfing for hours on end, and studying the ancient martial arts of Lua.

Re: "(To be fair, journalists and cartoonists of the day could not have easily anticipated the poise and enchantment of Ka'iulani)", The journalists were describing Hawaiian royals as "barbarians" and "ignorant children unable to rule themselves". Where do you suppose this information came from - it did come from somewhere. I don't believe in being fair to people who print or supply, information that is libel. I believe it's important to speak of Ka'iulani's achievement loudly and proudly. She achieved a great thing. By traveling to America and facing these lies head on, she forever changed the world's view of the Hawaiian people. She wasn't strong enough at the end, however, to take on these arrogant men who helped themselves to her future.
More information about Ka'iulani:
Aloha nui, Jennifer

Happy Birthday Ka'iulani

The Princess Ka'iulani Project
Celebrating the Life of Hawaiian Crown Princess
Victoria Kawekiu I Lunalilo Kalaninuiahilapalapa Ka‘iulani Cleghorn

On her birthday, October 16th 1875, the Hawaiian Nation celebrated. The city of Honolulu was alive with the sound of church bells ringing, to celebrate her royal birth as the highest born alii of her generation.

Our goal is to raise awareness of existing works about Ka'iulani, and encourage more. Please email your website or publication in order to set up links to and from The Ka'iulani Project website. We encourage communication between those who research the life of the princess.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Storybook Theatre of Hawaii & The Princess Ka'iulani Project - In Kauai

The Ka'iulani Project raises funds for Storybook Theatre of Hawaii on Sunday, November 8th.
Mark Jeffers, Executive Director of Storybook Theatre hosts The Ka'iulani Project from Maui, to present an afternoon of Hawaiian and Scottish Music, History and Theatre - A Celebration of Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Cleghorn. About the Ka'iulani Project, Mark says, "I am happy that you have undertaken this mission of communicating the story of PK throughout your travels. She was so well loved and admired in her lifetime and yes, her story has not been told very much. Few children in Hawaii schools know about her."
For the past five years, Mark and Storybook Theatre have honored Princess Ka'iulani by portraying her in their Kauai Keiki Story Festival. Last year, she rode into the event on horseback, and led a children's parade through town. Storybook is now in the process of picking their Ka'iulani for this year's activities.
The girl who is chosen, will take part in the Ka'iulani Project Presentation with Ka'iulani advocate and researcher, Jennifer Fahrni. Anyone interested in being part of the upcoming theatre production, "Ka'iulani, The Island Rose" are encouraged to attend the presentation. If you will be in Kauai and would like to take part in the presentaion, please notify Storybook Theatre of Hawaii. More information to come.
Storybook Theatre of Hawaii
3814 Hanapepe Rd.
PO Box 820
Hanapepe, HI 96716
Phone: (808) 335-0712