Hawaiʻi:Recovering National Heroes
$8,053 of $7,000 goal
One of the Hawaiian Kingdom's greatest patriots today lies in a grave in Honolulu without even a headstone while monuments to American heroes cover the Hawaiian landscape—like the 40ft bronze statue of William McKinley. Help us right this historical injustice by purchasing an honorific headstone for this nearly forgotten Poʻe Aloha ʻĀina Kanaka ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiian Patriot) and educating the community about his, and other patriotsʻ lives.
Aloha nō e kuʻu mau hoaloha (Aloha friends), My name is Ronald Williams Jr. Ph.D. and I work at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. My doctorate is in history of Hawaiʻi and I have taught and worked in this field for eleven years. I was born in Chicago, Illinois and lived in the south and California until 1997 when I moved to Maui. I have never even forwarded a fundraising campaign to anyone much less launched one. I believe in them, I just don't ask for help very well. Today that changes. Today I am launching a historical project that I have a deep belief in, have worked more than a decade to bring to fruition, and was given the kuleana to fulfill by a loved kupuna who saw 9/10 of the journey, but has recently passed. This is about both righting an injustice and creating beauty from ugliness. It is about us all, collectively, creating something instead of simply critiquing. It is about changing landscapes, stories, and minds. I have worked closely with members of the Kanaka ʻŌiwi family that will be directly involved but I also knew that this should be a national project and give anyone and everyone who wanted to kōkua (help), to build, to be a part of Hawaiian History, that opportunity. This can truly be a kākou (an us) thing.
Following the 17 January 1893 coup de main that overthrew the constitutional monarchy of the Hawaiian Islands, “a flood of textual sources cascaded from the presses, launching a concerted effort to link Hawaiʻi to the United States in people’s minds and concurrently displace identities of Hawaiian nationality.” [Williams Jr. 2011]
“This narrative would later expand to take monumental form as one U.S. president or public icon after another—whether in image or name—began to dot the Hawaiian Islands’ landscape. In 1907, Honolulu High School on Oʻahu was renamed President William McKinley High in memoriam to the former U.S. leader. The next year, a U.S. military base named after Lieutenant General John Schofield was established on nearly 18,000 acres of land in Wahiawā, Oʻahu. The decades that followed saw the erection of Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, and Roosevelt schools on Hawaiian soil. All of these entities, and many more, claimed space, both on the physical landscape and in the minds of a new generation of Hawaiian youth. These young Hawaiian descendants of a nearly two-millennia presence on lands birthed by their ancestor, Papahānaumoku, would now memorize U.S. state capitols and lists of American presidents.” [Williams Jr. 2011]
Amidst this massive reshaping of the Hawaiian historical landscape, generations of Poʻe Aloha ʻĀina Kanaka ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiian Patriots) and the history of their steadfast dedication to their nation was swept aside and nearly lost to future generations—often kept alive only in Hawaiian-language resources that historians were not accessing or families as oral histories.
This project seeks to help reverse the trend by platforming, through a community education day, both public and academic publications, and a physical “monument” to one of the most significant poʻe aloha ʻāina of the late-19th century; Hon. William Pūnohuʻāweoweoʻulaokalani White.
I am raising funds in a project directed by moʻopuna (descendants) of William, we have set aside the day of his birth 6 August, of this year, 2017, to honor this nearly forgotten man who Her Hawaiian Majesty Queen Liliʻuokalani described as having won “profound respect” and who “could never be induced to compromise principles.” For his “true patriotism and love of country” White, along with Iosepa Nāwahī, was decorated by the Queen with the order of Knight Commander of Kalākaua. [Liliuokalani 1898]. White offers one example, of many, that every person in Hawaiʻi should know of.
It is impossible to list here the numerous ways that William served his nation—an update to this campaign will do just that—but here are a few:
Descendant of Kaiakea of Molokai
Elected Hawaiian Kingdom Legislator from Lāhainā
Officer of Hui Kalaiʻāina
Nominated candidate to replace Joseph Nāwahī as President of Hui Aloha ʻĀina
Member of Mōʻī Kalākauaʻs Hale Nauā
Primary author of proposed 1893 Constitution
Awarded Knights Order of Kalākaua by Queen Liliʻuokalani
Elected Maui Sheriff
Editor of first nūpepa of Hui Kalaiʻāina in 1897
and much, much, more
On 6 August 2017, we will hold a free, open to all, education day/celebration of life for William at a public space. The day will have presentations, free educational handouts, sharing from historians and the ʻohana of William. Immediately following the education/celebration portion of the day, we will march in formal procession, led by descendant groups of the organizations William was a member of, to the cemetery where William is buried. There we will unveil a beautiful, honorific headstone that we intend to purchase and set for the occasion. The gathering at the cemetery will include formal protocol, a blessing, and words and other sharing from the White ʻOhana.
At the close of the campaign, I will withdraw the funds and begin the project: reserving the site, paying for the headstone, and designing and printing the educational materials.
EVERY PENNY DONATED WILL BE DOCUMENTED AND EVERY PERSON WHO DONATES WILL RECIEVE A REPORT EXPLAINING EXACTLY HOW THE FUNDS WERE SPENT.
Here is the budget:
Granite Headstone from Stonecrafters Hawaiʻi = $4500
Hall Rental for Education Day = $1650
Printing Free Educational Materials = $850
Any additional funds raised past the $7000 goal will be used to support the education day and create curriculum and other educational materials about William for schools and the community.
This is an opportunity for us all to be a part of history—for us all to help turn the tide. If you are able, please support this project by donating to the Go Fund Me Campaign linked below.
And come join us in a beautiful day, a day long coming, a moment deferred: the honoring of a deserving Poʻe Aloha ʻĀina Kanaka ʻŌiwi.
I am asking for $1, $5, $20, $1,000, or simply your moral support....whatever you desire and can give. And support or not, you all always have my love and pledge to do my best to create a better community.
Me ke aloha, Ronald Williams Jr.
In order to respect the burial in and around that of William's, we will be setting up a "base" in an empty area of grass at the back. We will have a "procession" line, led by the closest living relative, Aunty Thalia, and the White ohana. After the White 'ohana has filed past, the donors are welcome, and then the public. Please take a moment with William and if you've brought a makana, you can leave it with him. mahalo a nui, Ron
We are so excited!!!! This long envisioned dream is so close to becoming a reality! In just a few short weeks we will gather together to learn more about this long-forgotten Hawaiian patriot, share a day of celebration with over 100 of his descendants, and unveil a fitting marker that honors the resting place of this poʻe aloha ʻāina that gave so much to his lāhui. All of this is happening because of YOUR support. Mahalo a nui. The program is completed and is attached to this notice. We hope to see you at the event but know that if you cannot attend, your thoughtful choice to give to this campaign mattered. me ke aloha nō hoi.
A brief update on the campaign to let everyone know that we have ordered the beautiful headstone for William! The family worked with Stonecrafters Hawaiʻi to design a wonderful, honorific marker that includes a photo of William and an image of the Knightʻs Order that he was awarded by Her Majesty Queen Liliʻuokalani. Weʻll save the details for the 6 August reveal! The total cost of the headstone came to $5,704.12 and I made a 50% payment of $2856.02 that iʻve attached a receipt for. We are working on the dayʻs program, the procession to the cemetery, and organizing lunch. I will send a full "funds spent" report this month. mahalo hou!
I wanted to send out an update on the "Hawaii:Recovering National Heroes" project and make sure everyone is saving the date on their calendar for our fantastic community event!
You ALL have made this yet another part of an amazing journey for myself and the White ʻohana and you are all now a part of that journey. You all raised $8,053 of which $7,383 was sent to us [GFM takes their percentage for hosting the fundraiser].
As promised, every cent donated will be accounted for here and I am attaching receipts for our purchases to this point.
Members of the White —incredible devotion from them—and I have been working together for several years on this and now we are in event planning and completion mode! We have secured the site for the education part of the event, designed and purchased some of the educational materials, and are currently working on so much more.
Let me give you some general description of the event and then Iʻll list what we have done.
The celebration of the life of William Pūnohu White will include an education event and the formal unveiling of his beautiful and honorific headstone.
Exact times are still being worked out but make sure to SAVE THE DATE :) 6 AUGUST 2017
We will have a presentation on his life and works, words from his moʻopuna, and a formal procession over to the nearby graveyard for the unveiling. All attendees will receive materials including a WPW bio card and a program. There are White ʻohana coming from far and wide, across oceans and national borders, so there will also be a White moʻokūʻauhau table and plenty of time for catch up and talk story! so beautiful
Hereʻs what has been purchased with your donations so far:
Rental of Atherton Hālau and Bowman Boathouse on grounds of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum for the education part of our celebration. $1727.74
Education: 1000 Bio cards in English $114.21
Education: 1000 Bio cards in Hawaiian $117.99
Total spent to date = $1959.94
Balance = $5423.06
Estimate on the headstone is $4500.00 - $5500.00
We have a videographer reserved at $200
A graphic designer in the family is producing the programs and we will need to print them out.
I have all the tech equipment needed.
I will send out a formal invite when we get one put together, relatively soon. For now, if you have any questions that need to be answered, you can contact me—Ronald Williams Jr.—at email@example.com
I wish I could be there tomorrow - I really thought I could be able to - but things changed.
In times like these we need to look to history for models of great leadership. Well done Ron.