January is Kalaupapa Month

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“E Ho‘ohanohano a E Ho‘omau. . .

. . . To Honor and To Perpetuate”

JANUARY IS Kalaupapa Month “To me, Kalaupapa Month will be a time to think about all our people who were sent here, all that we went through and who we are.” — John Arruda, 97, sent to Kalaupapa in 1945. Mr. Arruda is standing at the grave of his father, John Arruda Sr., who was taken from the family when the younger John was a boy. The elder Arruda died in 1943. Photo: Wayne Levin


a ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa proposed designating January as Kalaupapa Month annually in Hawaii as a time to remember and honor the people of Kalaupapa and to spotlight their important history. This proposal became a bill that was passed unanimously by the Hawai‘i State Legislature and signed into law by Governor David Ige. To commemorate Kalaupapa Month, Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa — in echoing the words of John Arruda— hopes that family members will remember their ancestors in various ways, that teachers will include Kalaupapa in their classrooms, that church leaders will pay tribute to the people of Kalaupapa in

Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa is a 501-c-3 nonprofit organization dedicated to remembering and honoring each of the nearly 8,000 men, women and children who were taken from their families and sent to the Kalaupapa peninsula because they had been diagnosed with leprosy (now also called Hansen’s disease). Ka ‘Ohana also remembers the kama’aina of the peninsula, the kokua who accompanied their loved ones to

their services and that the general public thinks about the sacrifices made by those sent to Kalaupapa and their families who were left behind. We hope this is a time to not only remember and reflect about Kalaupapa, but to learn more about the history. Read a book about Kalaupapa based on the words of the people, pay attention when Kalaupapa is in the news and learn more on the website of Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa: www.kalaupapaohana.org. Whether its January or any month of the year, always remember the people of Kalaupapa and the lessons they have taught us.

Kalaupapa and the children born there, many of whom were separated from their parents. Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa was founded by Kalaupapa leader Bernard K. Punikai’a and established in 2003 by Kalaupapa residents, family members/descendants and friends of the community.

Why January is Signi

Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa gathers in their traditional Circle of Remembrance at the future site of the Kalaupapa Memorial. Photo: Henry G. Law

The reason the ‘Ohana selected January was because ‘Ohana leaders realized that a number of important dates took place in January throughout th January 3, 1840

Jozef De Veuster was born in Tremelo, Belgium. He later became a priest known as Father Damien who arrived at Kalaupapa in 1873, when life was still very difficult. He spent the next 16 years of his life as a religious leader, human rights advocate and friend, working with the people of Kalaupapa to make life better for everyone. He was canonized as Saint Damien in 2009.

January 6

Kalaupapa Remembrance Day

Father Damien, in the last photo taken of him shortly before his death in 1889, surrounded by the boys and young men of Kalawao. Photo: W.T. Brigham, Damien Collection Leuven.

January, 1895

The sign that ordered all remaining kama‘aina to leave the Kalaupapa peninsula. Photo: Hawai‘i State Archives

The final kama‘aina (original residents of Kalaupapa) were forced to leave the peninsula during this month. The kama‘aina played a key role in helping the early residents of Kalaupapa who were provided with little support or supplies by the government when they arrived on the first ships in 1866. When the settlement became overcrowded, the government told the kama‘aina they would have to leave the land where they had lived for generations. Some left; others did not. The last of the kama‘aina were evicted in January of 1895, two years after the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

January 6, 1866  The first 12 citizens of Hawai’i — nine men and three women — arrived at the Kalaupapa peninsula because of government policies regarding leprosy. They were the first of an estimated 8,000 people who were taken from their families and forcibly isolated at the original settlement of Kalawao, most of them never seeing their loved ones again. There were a few family members with those first 12 people, showing how kokua were important to Kalaupapa from the beginning. Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa has designated January 6 as Kalaupapa Remembrance Day. January 5, 1879

Ambrose Hutchison arrived at Kalaupapa, sent there because he had been diagnosed with leprosy. He lived at Kalaupapa for the next 53 years and served as Resident Superintendent for a total of 10 years, longer than any other person who was also facing the challenges of leprosy. He worked alongside Father Damien and Mother Marianne and helped with visits of the ali‘i to Kalaupapa. Ambrose left his unpublished memoirs which will soon be available to the public in a book by Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa.

ificant in Kalaupapa

he history. These dates bring in the contributions made by so many people over the years. Some of these dates: January 23, 1838

January 26, 1978

Barbara Koob was born in Germany and soon immigrated to America with her family. She joined the Sisters of St. Francis where she was a respected health administrator, becoming known as Mother Marianne Cope. In 1883, she answered the call initiated by King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani through the Catholic Church to help people affected by leprosy in Hawai‘i. She spent 30 years at Kalaupapa, supervising The Bishop Home for Single Women and Girls and serving as a leader for the community. She was canonized as Saint Marianne in 2012.

Eight residents of Hale Mohalu in Pearl City — an alternative to Kalaupapa established in 1949 — were relocated to Leahi Hospital by the State of Hawai’i against their wishes. Twelve others refused to leave and remained behind, including Bernard Punikai‘a, Clarence Naia, and Frank and Mary Duarte. It was the beginning of more than five years of Kalaupapa residents occupying Hale Mohalu and, together with their many supporters, protesting government-imposed policies opposed by the people. The Hale Mohalu ‘Ohana held weekly rallies in front of the State Capitol. Punikai’a, Naia and several of their supporters were arrested on September 21, 1983, when the buildings of Hale Mohalu were razed. (Left) Bernard K. Punikai‘a, leader of the Save Hale Mohalu movement and founder of Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa. Photo: Hale Mohalu ‘Ohana

January 24, 1931

The banner of Mother Marianne Cope hanging from The Vatican during her canonization in 2012. Photo: Henry G. Law

This marked the wedding day of Jack and Mary Sing, two important and much-loved leaders of the Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Kalaupapa and respected leaders of the community. The Sings went on to celebrate their 50th anniversary in 1981 — they were one of just three couples in the history of Kalaupapa to observe their Golden Anniversaries along with the first couple, David and Annie Kupele and, the most recent, Paul and Winnie Harada.

Kalaupapa Sunday —  Fourth Sunday of January

Beginning in 2014, the Hawai’i Conference for the United Church of Christ began observing Kalaupapa Sunday where the HUCC churches across Hawai’i would remember the people of Kalaupapa — particularly the 35 men and women who founded Siloama Church less than six months after the first people had been sent to Kalaupapa in 1866. In 2022, Kalaupapa Sunday will fall on January 23.

How You Can Be Part of This Month of Remembrance and Respect for Kalaupapa For Descendants, Friends of Kalaupapa and others with an interest in this important history . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . For descendants of Kalaupapa: Gather with your families to remember your ancestor(s) who were sent to Kalaupapa. This is an ideal way to observe January 6 — Kalaupapa Remembrance Day. For those with friends at Kalaupapa — or those inspired by the people of Kalaupapa: Gather with others to talk about those Kalaupapa residents you remember or have read about. How have they made your life better? Walk in their Memory: If you can, walk three miles on January 6— the approximate distance the first 12 people walked to Kalawao after arriving on shore at Kalaupapa. Imagine them facing an uncertain future, being away from family and facing a disease not curable at that time. Organize a Kalaupapa book club with your families and/or friends: We recommend “Kalaupapa: A Collective Memory” by Anwei Law or any of the books suggested on the website of Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa. Listen to “The Music of Kalaupapa,” the virtual concert available on the ‘Ohana website.

For Teachers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Ask your students if any of them had family at Kalaupapa:  If they don’t know, ask them to go home and talk to their parents or grandparents. Ask students to write about their feelings about what it means to have had an ancestor at Kalaupapa. Go to the website of Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa to download booklets about the history of Kalaupapa, access a recommended reading list or watch videos: www.kalaupapaohana.org

Read “Kalaupapa: A Collective Memory” or look through the book for specific chapters of the history you want to focus on. Share this with your students. Encourage students interested in the history of Kalaupapa do more research for special projects. Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa can provide helpful resources.

For Church Leaders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Observe Kalaupapa Sunday: Observe Kalaupapa Sunday, designated by the Hawai‘i Conference of the United Church of Christ. We hope all churches will pay tribute on January 23, 2022, showing how people sent to Kalaupapa came from many religions — and how the Kalaupapa churches often worked together. In advance of Kalaupapa Sunday, ask members of your congregation who had family at Kalaupapa if they would share some thoughts during the service. Include Kalaupapa in the sermon for Kalaupapa Sunday, using respectful language and stories about how the people found hope through their faith in God and fellow worshippers.

Special Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . “The Restoration of Family Ties” a webinar by Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa hosted by the DamienMarianne Catholic Conference, Saturday, January 22, 10-11:30 am. Pre-register for this free event at www.dmcchawaii.org “A Source of Light, Constant and Never Fading,” a historical exhibit by Ka ‘Ohana on display at the Nanakuli Public Library, 89-070 Farrington Highway, January 27- 29. Hours: Thursday, 1-8 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.3 p.m. In partnership with Ahupua‘a O Nanakuli Hawaiian Homestead Association and the Nanaikapono Hawaiian Civic Club. Phone: (808) 668-5844. Free.

Ongoing Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . “A Source of Light, Constant and Never Fading,” a historical exhibit by Ka ‘Ohana at ‘Iolani Palace. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m-4 p.m. Last ticket sold at 4 p.m.; galleries open until 5 p.m. Check iolanipalace.org for current visitation information. “A Reflection of Kalaupapa: Past, Present and Future,” a photo exhibit by Ka ‘Ohana at the Molokai Museum & Cultural Center in Kalae on Molokai. Open Mondays-Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; admission: $5 adults; $1 under 18. For more information, send a text to 808-349-2236.

For Other Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Check our website as more events and details become available.

How Are You Observing Kalaupapa Month? Please let us know! Send your ways of commemorating Kalaupapa and photos to info.kalaupapa@gmail.com

This flyer was made possible by support from The Noa Webster Aluli Foundation.

For more information: www.kalaupapaohana.org Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa PO Box 1111 Kalaupapa, Hawai‘i 96742

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