History

Stories about Molokai’s rich cultural history.

Molokai’s Oldest Banyans

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Molokai’s Oldest Banyans

1946 Real Photo postcard featuring the Kaunakakai banyan tree at the Seaside Inn. Photo courtesy of Arleone Dibben-Young

Community Contributed

By Arleone Dibben-Young

Molokai’s first banyan tree was given as a gift from Rev. William C. Love to Mrs. Sophie B. Cooke in 1908 and planted at the Molokai Ranch assistant manager’s house at Kualapu`u where the family had moved when her husband George P. Cooke began employment as bookkeeper and assistant manager of the American Sugar Company and its subsidiary the Molokai Ranch.  Later that year a young tree propagated from this banyan was planted at the shoreline of the Kaunakakai assistant manager’s house.…

Hospital Celebrates 50 Years

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Hospital Celebrates 50 Years

Dr. Paul Stevens was congratulated at the Molokai General Hospital 50th Anniversary after the surprise announcement that the outpatient clinic is renamed in his honor. Beside him is his wife, Marion. Photo by Catherine Cluett

A lot has changed in medical services on Molokai since the mid-1900s — a time when it wasn’t unusual to go into the hospital to get your tonsils out and your doctor would have just come from delivering a baby. Hours before that, he would have removed your neighbor’s appendix.

“People used to think, ‘He’s a doctor, he’s supposed to do it all,’” Dr. Paul Stevens, the island’s oldest physician, said in a 2010 interview.…

Stones with Stories

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Stones with Stories

Archeologist tells Molokai’s history through rocks

On the windy, rocky coastline of northwestern Molokai, Dr. Marshall Weisler picked up a stone. But it wasn’t just any rock; this stone, like many in the Molokai Land Trust’s Mokio Preserve, has a story.

Weisler is an archeologist and professor at Australia’s University of Queensland. He’s no stranger to Molokai — he’s been coming here at least once a year for the past 35 years to study the island’s many historic sites and piece together a picture of how ancient Hawaiians lived.

Dr. Marshall Weisler led a group tour of the archeological sites of Mokio Preserve.…

“The Legend of Ko`olau”

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

“The Legend of Ko`olau”

Performance brings history to life

Photo by Jessica Ahles

The stage was set and the lights dimmed at Kulana `Oiwi Halau as a piece of Hawaiian history came to life last Tuesday night. Brought to Molokai by the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, the performance, called “The Legend of Ko`olau” written by Gary Kubota, is based on the true story of Ko`olau, a man who evaded being exiled to Kalawao after he and his son caught Hansen’s Disease.

“It’s a compelling story and I think it needed to be told,” said Kubota, who is also a reporter for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.…

Veterans Day

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Veterans Day

Photo by Catherine Cluett

Molokai veterans held their heads and flags high as their marched through town on Veterans Day last Monday. Concluding their steps at the Veterans Memorial, the group honored each other and all those who have served and sacrificed for their country.

Originally called Armistice Day, President Wilson declared Nov. 11, 1919 — one year after the cessation of hostilities of World War I — as a day to commemorate the “war to end all wars” and honor its veterans, according to Molokai Veterans Caring for Veterans Commander David Hafermann. Now, Veterans Day is the day the county recognizes all living veterans who have served in all wars.…

Planting Seeds for the Future

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Before Western contact, Native Hawaiians were able to feed a population of one million while following a sustainable way of life, according to the documentary, “Na Kupu Mana`olana — Seeds of Hope.” But in the last 50 years alone, half of Hawaiian farmland has been developed and today, 85 percent of the state’s food is imported.

“We are currently in a crisis,” said Robert Harris, director of Sierra Club Hawaii, in the documentary.

The film, produced by The Hawaii Rural Development Council (HRDC), premiered on Molokai at Kalaniana`ole Hall Saturday night. It highlighted the state’s agricultural evolution and the unsustainable challenges we’re currently facing as a community.…

Ropin’ in the Rain

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Ropin’ in the Rain

Eighty-five teams were narrowed down to eight in the third and final round of #11 roping at the first day of events of the Molokai Stampede 2013. Photo by Jessica Ahles

Competition got a little dirty during the first day of the eighth annual Molokai Stampede at Kapualei Ranch. Squinting through pouring rain, gripping slippery ropes as their horses sent mud flying across the arena, cowboys toughed it out through stormy conditions last Saturday. Eighty-five teams were narrowed down to eight by the final round of stiff competition in the # 11 team roping events, while the afternoon’s keiki and barrel events were postponed from the downpour.…

Diving to the Depths of Safety

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Diving to the Depths of Safety

Molokai Divers participated in safety training offered by Freediving instructors Internationals. Photo by Catherine Cluett

Martin Stepanek can dive more than 400 feet on a single breath of air. He’s set 13 freediving world records and knows more than anyone how dangerous the sport can be. But with the proper safety education, he said freediving has minimal risks — and with the goal of sharing that knowledge, he’s become a pioneer in modern freediving education. Last month, Stepanek visited Molokai to offer a series of safety courses free of charge to local divers.

Having been raised in Czech Republic, a country without ocean access, didn’t dampen Stepanek’s passion for diving, and when he was 20 years old, he relocated to the U.S.…

“Na Kupu Mana`olana — Seeds of Hope” Premier on Molokai

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

By Jamie Ronzello, MOM Hui

It has been estimated that Hawaii currently imports 85 percent of their food.  However, if we were to look at the history of the Hawaiian Islands, it was not that long ago that the Hawaiian people produced enough food to support a population of one million. Yet today, with the rising costs of shipping foods and the resurgence in the community to return to land, is there hope that Hawaii can feed itself once again?

Come see the acclaimed documentary “Na Kupu Mana`olana — Seeds of Hope” that chronicles the history and current challenges of agriculture in Hawaii today.…

Legend of Ko`olau Free Performance

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

MACC News Release

Molokai residents will get a unique view into a facet of Hawaii history on Monday, Nov. 11with a free performance of “The Legend of Ko`olau.” The play by local author Gary T. Kubota is being offered on island by the Maui Arts & Cultural Center (MACC).

“The Legend Of Ko`olau”  is a one-man play, acted by Ed Ka`ahea and directed by Keo Woolford, telling the story of a Hawaiian man who became an “outlaw” while  trying to protect his family’s right to live on the land in Kauai after the loss of Hawaiian sovereignty in 1893.  The enforcement of leprosy laws at that time would have consigned  Kaluaiko`olau and his son to the “Living Grave” settlement at Kalaupapa, but Ko`olau’s wife  Pi`ilani was resolved  to keep the family together.…