HONOLULU, Hawai‘i – The public is invited to gather with Royal Orders and societies, cultural practitioners, kānaka, leaders of Ali‘i Trusts and dignitaries at the Queen’s promenade and statue on the grounds of the Hawai‘i State Capitol on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. for Aloha Lili‘u, a centennial observance of the life and legacy of Queen Lili‘uokalani.
Over 100 churches across the state will toll their church bells at 8:30 a.m. in honor of the last reigning monarch in Hawai‘i, replicating the moment of her passing on November 11, 1917. In addition to the bells, there will be 100 conch shell blowers (pū), as well as hula dancers (‘ōlapa), drums (pahu), and chanters (mea oli) from across the islands to pay homage to the Queen.
The program that morning will include pieces written by Queen Lili‘uokalani, performed by Hawaiian musicians Marlene Sai, Manu Boyd, Owana Salazar and the Aloha Lili‘u Choir led by Nola Nahulu.
“A century after her passing, she is still beloved by her people, many of whom have benefitted from her legacy,” said State Senator Kai Kahele, co-organizer of Aloha Lili‘u. “We hope through this observance, we can all be reminded of and emulate her spirit and character of grace, courage, strength and compassion.”
“More than just marking a milestone in history, this event is intended to provide an historical admonition for us today to act with intention which benefits the greater good and encourages the best in all of us,” said Senator Brickwood Galuteria, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs and co-organizer of Aloha Lili‘u. “This also begins a year of discussion and reflection on how the Queen’s legacy continues to impact our lives today and how as a State, we can continue to improve the lives of the people of Hawai‘i.”
For more information on Aloha Lili‘u, please visit www.alohaliliu.org.
Media assets are provided in the links below:
Queen Lili‘uokalani and Iolani Palace b-roll video: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BwiifbDKEtMbV19nbUFleGE2clU?usp=sharing
Queen Lili‘uokalani historical photos:
Story ideas on Queen Lili‘uokalani:
In 1917, just five years after Girl Scouting was founded, Kamehameha School for Girls teacher Florence Lowe organized the first official Girl Scout troop in the Hawaiian Islands based out of Honolulu. The council is the oldest council west of the Mississippi. At that time there was a second group meeting in what is now Kaka`ako. However, according to official records Lowe’s troop was the first to submit paperwork to Girl Scout headquarters. The groups became Troops One and Two, respectively, with Queen Lili`uokalani, the last Hawaiian monarch, as their sponsor. The Queen promised Troop Two her personal silk Hawaiian flag, which is now proudly displayed in the Girls Scouts Honolulu headquarters.
In support of the efforts of the American Red Cross during World War I, Queen Lili‘uokalani became a patron member of the organization, becoming the eight thousandth member. On Sept. 14, 1917, a Red Cross flag that the Queen sewed was presented to the Hawai‘i Chapter of the Red Cross and was raised above Iolani Palace. It is presently at the Diamond Head headquarters.
The Iolani Palace throne room was also opened to the Red Cross volunteers to prepare surgical dressings for the hospitals overseas.
Schofield Barracks Church
In 1913, Queen Lili‘uokalani raised money for the construction of Soldiers Chapel on Schofield Barracks. It was the first church on the post and housed a bell donated by the 5th U.S. Calvary Regiment in 1912. While it is unclear why she chose to give the church to soldiers who were from the country that played a role in her overthrow, some believe it was an example of her generosity and ability to forgive.
In addition to the original chapel entrance and the bell donated by the 5th Calvary, it also houses a rare 1931 pipe organ, one of only two of its kind in Hawai‘i. The Soldiers Chapel is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The trust was founded in 1909 for the benefit of orphan and destitute children with preference given to Native Hawaiian children. The trust serves approximately 10,000 children each year through direct services and collaborates with community partners to serve thousands of other children. In her will, she entrusted her estate to provide for orphan children of Hawaiian blood, amended later to include other destitute children. Her legacy is perpetuated today through the Lili‘uokalani Trust and it’s programs including the Lili‘uokalani Children's Centers.
During 1895, Washington Place was the site of the dramatic events of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. It was there that the queen was arrested by the new governmental forces that were aided by a detachment of United States Marines. The queen was tried before a military tribunal, where she was charged with concealment of treason against the new government, the Republic of Hawaiʻi. She was convicted and was confined for several months at Washington Place after her release from imprisonment at ʻIolani Palace.
Hawai‘i lost its last ruling monarch on Sunday, November 11, 1917, when Lili‘uokalani died of complications from a stroke at the age of 79 at her Washington Place home. At midnight, preceded by the flaming torch (the emblem of the Kalākaua Dynasty) and sacred kahili, her body was taken from Washington Place to Kawaiahaʻo Church where she lay in state for the next seven days. The rain which fell that week was looked upon as a good ho‘ailona or omen. On Saturday the 17th, her casket was taken to Iolani Palace. Her funeral service the following day was conducted in her former Throne Room. Her remains were then taken in a procession along King Street and up Nu‘uanu Avenue and placed in the Royal Mausoleum at Mauna ‘Ala.
Vesak Day (Buddha’s birthday)
The Queen was remembered for her support of Buddhist and Shinto priests in Hawai‘i and became one of the first Native Hawaiians to attend a Vesak Day celebration of May 19, 1901 at the Hongwanji Mission. Her attendance in the celebration helped Buddhism and Shintoism gain acceptance into Hawaiian society and prevented the possible banning of the two religions by the Territorial government. Her presence was also widely reported in Chinese and Japanese newspapers throughout the world, and earned her the respect of many Japanese people both in Hawai‘i and in Japan.
St. Andrews Cathedral
The Queen was baptized at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, whose cornerstone was laid by King Kamehameha V on March 5, 1867, and Davies Hall, whose cornerstone was laid by Queen Liliʻuokalani on May 9, 1906, using a silver trowel now kept in the Archives of the Diocese of Hawaiʻi. On May 30, 1909, Davies Hall was completed and dedicated for use as the Parish Hall of the Cathedral and for service to the community of Honolulu, which it continues to do more than 100 years later.
The priceless quilt was sewn by Lili'uokalani and her companions during her imprisonment in Iolani Palace. The Queen's Quilt demonstrates "all the best features" of the crazy quilt style: a nine-block format with center medallion separated by sashing and bound by a narrow border that "brings order and repose to the business of the kaleidoscopic color and randomly pieced irregular shapes within the individual blocks."
The richly colored plain, printed and brocaded silks and ribbons incorporated into the quilt are believed to be from the queen's wardrobe and that of her retainers. Appliquéd to a muslin backing, every seam is "exquisitely" embroidered in "crazy stitches” with the work done in multi-colored silk threads and further embellished with ink, painting and a profusion of embroidered flora and fauna.
Some of the items stitched on the quilt include a silk brocade figure of the mythical phoenix, a bird said to represent good fortune; an embroidered pocket watch with Roman numerals; a helmet of the Queen's guard uniform; and a pueo, or owl.
Within the quilt's center patches, believed to have been created by Lili'uokalani, are stitched messages documenting the most significant events of her life: "Imprisoned at Iolani Palace ... We began the quilt here"; and "Queen's Garden" and "Oct. 11, 1894," the date the garden was planted in Pauoa Valley by her supporters.
On her 73rd birthday, Lili‘uokalani gave a birthday present to her people. She had her trustees set aside a piece of property near Waikahalulu Stream in Nu‘uanu, which is known today as Lili‘uokalani Garden. The lush and secluded grounds were said to be her favorite picnic spot and in her will bequeathed the land to the City and County of Honolulu to be used for the public’s enjoyment. The 7.5-acre garden is managed by the Honolulu Botanical Gardens of the State Parks and Recreation Department.