Sunday | October 23, 2016
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Hulihe‘e event to celebrate Hawaiian king

The Daughters of Hawai‘i and Calabash Cousins will present the next installment in their popular Afternoon at Hulihe‘e series at 4 p.m. Sunday at Hulihe‘e Palace to remember King Kamehameha IV.

Enjoy the voices of the Merrie Monarchs and performing arts by Kumu Hula Etua Lopes and his Halau Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i.

Afternoon at Hulihe‘e is part of the palace’s series of free monthly concerts that honor monarchs and historical figures; donations are appreciated.

“Kindly bring a beach mat or chair, as seating won’t be provided,” said a palace spokeswoman.

King Kamehameha IV (Alexander Liholiho) was 21 when he inherited the throne in 1855. He agonized over the dwindling native population that was reduced from 300,000 in 1778 to 70,000 in 1855.

“Hawaiians had no resistance to the diseases of foreigners, and over 6,000 caught smallpox brought to the islands in 1853,” said Casey Ballao, docent coordinator. “The king and his queen, Emma, pushed for the building of a hospital so Hawaiians could get adequate medical care.”

Brought up by a physician, Emma shared her husband’s values on health. Liholiho married Emma Naea Rooke in 1856. She was the granddaughter of John Young, Kamehameha’s British advisor. As was the custom for children in Hawaii to be given to relatives for upbringing, Emma was the hanai (adopted) daughter of Dr. T. C. Rooke, an English physician practicing in Honolulu, and Emma’s aunt.

“Besides providing funds, the royal couple earnestly solicited donations from others,” explains Ballao. “In 1860, Kamehameha IV laid the cornerstone for the Queen’s Hospital, which he named to honor his wife.” Today, it is the prestigious Queen’s Medical Center in downtown Honolulu. The king died when he was 29, a short time after his four-year-old Prince Albert became fatally ill.

“Queen Emma became a candidate to the throne, but lost a heavily contested election to Prince David Kalakaua,” said Ballao. “Queen Emma died at the age of 49.”

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for docent-guided and self-guided tours. Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; with the exception of the palace being open from 1 to 4 p.m. the Monday following the monthly Kokua Kailua Village stroll. Palace admission for a self-guided tour is $8 for adults, $6 for kamaaina, military and seniors, and $1 for keiki 18 years and under. Docent-guided tours are available upon request.

For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit The gift shop, open 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, can be reached by phoning 329-6558. Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i.

The organization was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawaii prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins, in which membership is available to all.


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