Kalaupap Peninsula and Kalawao County news, articles, and stories.

Kalaupapa Conserves Pieces of History

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Kalaupapa Conserves Pieces of History

Community Contributed

By Carrie Mardorf, Chief of Cultural Resources, Kalaupapa National Historical Park

From March 9 to 20, Kalaupapa National Historical Park hosted two conservators, Curtis Sullivan and Theresa Voellinger, to conserve a number of significant objects within the park’s curatorial facility.  Sullivan and Voellinger are employed at Harpers Ferry Center, a specialized National Park Service (NPS) conservation and interpretive center in West Virginia.

Curtis Sullivan of Harpers Ferry Center cleans the surface of the Bishop Home crib.

During the course of two weeks, nine objects associated with Kalaupapa were conserved, including a crib from Bishop Home, an end table owned by Kenso Seki, large poi board, three ledger books from the American Japanese Association Hall, an Ed Kato sketch, and birth certificate and passport of Kenso Seki.…

Season’s First Pup

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Season’s First Pup

Photo by Sly Lee, Marine Bio.Tech, National Parks Service, Kalaupapa

This black-coated baby is the first Hawaiian monk seal of the season born on Papaloa Beach, Kalaupapa last week.  Researchers don’t yet know whether it’s a boy or a girl. The mother, named RV06 by scientists, was also born in Kalaupapa in 2005, said Diane Pike, Molokai response coordinator for the Monk Seal Foundation.

Last year, RV06’s pup died after three days, but so far this year, mother and pup seem to be doing fine, Pike said.

Hawaiian monk seals are highly endangered, with only about 1,100 individuals alive today. Scientists believe the Hawaiian monk seal, along with the Hoary Bat, are the only two species of mammals indigenous to the Hawaiian Islands.…

Kalaupapa Exhibit One-Day Free Showing

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Ka `Ohana O Kalaupapa News Release

Molokai residents will be offered free admission to the Kalaupapa Photo Exhibit showing at the Molokai Museum and Cultural Center on Sunday, March 15, from 1 to 4 p.m.

The exhibit, titled “A Reflection of Kalaupapa: Past, Present and Future,” was developed by Ka `Ohana O Kalaupapa. It features 100 framed photographs of the people of Kalaupapa and their family members from as early as 1884 through current times.

The museum is normally closed on Sundays, but Noelani Keliikipi, Executive Director of the museum, the Board of Directors and museum volunteers all wanted to make sure Molokai residents had the opportunity to visit.…

Return to Youth in Kalaupapa

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa

They were waiting for me in the clearing at the foot of the Kalaupapa trail when I drove up in my Paddy Wagon. It had taken these young people and their adult adviser a casual hour and a half to hike from topside Molokai to Kalaupapa. It was obvious that this quintet of teens and their adviser, Mr. Edgar Alvarez, from St. Damien Parish in Kaunakakai were excited about their visit to our unique settlement, the land of Saints Damien and Marianne.

Shortly thereafter back at the parish house, I learned that a couple of the girls were members of the Farmers’ Basketball team who represented Molokai High School so honorably on the court in recent weeks.…

‘All Day, All Night, Marianne’

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa

“All day, all night, Marianne

Down by the seaside siftin’ sand.

Even little children love Marianne

Down by the seaside siftin’ sand.

When she walks along the shore, people pause to greet

White birds fly around her; little fish come to her feet.”

So go some of the lines from one of my favorite popular songs from the 50s, sung by the great Harry Belafonte, among others. Now you may say that this is an unusual way to introduce the celebration of a saint. Yet that is precisely what I am doing as I think of Mother Marianne Cope, now St.…

Christmas in Kalaupapa

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis, Kalaupapa

It was some minutes after 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve. We had just celebrated our first Christmas Mass in company with our sisters and brothers from our neighboring Congregational Church. Led by members of the St. John Vianney Choir visiting from Kailua, we sang the Hawaiian Doxology after the Blessing, then ended our Mass with a rousing chorus of “Go Tell It on the Mountain That Jesus Christ is Born.” Now it was time to gather in our parish hall, which is said to be part of St. Damien’s original Kalaupapa town church.…

Up A Tree in Kalaupapa

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa

We had enjoyed a simple lunch of chicken, potato, and mixed vegetables topped off by a strawberry in chocolate pudding dessert created by my brother priest, Father Pankras Kareng SS.CC. from Indonesia. Sometime later, I noticed that that he had disappeared. Concerned that he might have wandered off and gotten into some kind of mischief, I went outside and looked around but he was nowhere in sight.

Then I walked to the rear of the house and called out, “Are you up there?” Immediately a voice came from the direction of the avocado tree which called back, “Yes I am!” Sure enough, when I approached the tree, I sensed some movement at the very top of the tree and there he was like a mountain lion snatching some large avocados.…

Kalaupapa, Window of Opportunity

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Community Contributed

By Father Pat Killilea, St Francis Church, Kalaupapa

I had never previously broken into a house in my 70 years of living, though it is not unheard of in my own family. Several years ago, my mother related in her comical fashion how she had awakened in the middle of the night thinking that a burglar was coming in through the kitchen window. It was my younger brother who had arrived home late after the door was locked.

Now here I was at 7:30 a.m. trying to get in through a jalousie window at the rear of Dolly’s house.…

DOH Director Vows Continued Support for Kalaupapa

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

State Department of Health (DOH) Director Dr. Linda Rosen has a soft spot for Kaluapapa, but her term is nearing its end, and she visited the settlement last week to speak with residents there personally.

“I just want to let you know what a privilege it has been to be the director of the Department of Health and to have the privilege to be involved with Kalaupapa,” Rosen said.

Rosen, a political appointee, was appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie in February to fill a vacancy created by the death of former director Loretta Fuddy. With a new governor being elected in November, there will be a change in all of the appointed directors.…

A Look Into Kalaupapa Life

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

A Look Into Kalaupapa Life

The exhibit’s opening blessing was held gathered around the gravesite of Sarah Miala Meyer Benjamin. Photo by Catherine Cluett.

When many people think of Kalaupapa, images of exile, suffering and disfigurement come to mind – stories from history books that tell a horrific tale from outside eyes. A photo exhibit that opened at the Molokai Museum and Cultural Center in Kalae last Saturday seeks to depict the people of Kalaupapa in a new light.

“So much of [Kalaupapa’s] history is based on other people’s accounts and often sensationalized and just not true,” said Valerie Monson, coordinator for Ka `Ohana O Kalaupapa, the organization sponsoring the exhibit.…