Lahainaluna High School's 175th Anniversary
A rainbow arcs above the Lahainaluna "L," a landmark carved into a hill above the school in West Maui.
Considering that most of the staff of "The Time Machine" attended Lahainaluna High School for four glorious years, it seemed natural to share our school spirit by including some of the news coverage of our 175th anniversary and David Malo Day Celebration that continues a tradition that is rare in high schools in Hawaii and unique from any school in America's educational system.
Before we begin here a few historical facts concerning the oldest school west of the Rockies:
Lahainaluna began as a seminary boarding school for men taught by missionaries.
It was built by the Rev. Lorrin Andrews and opened on Sept. 5, 1831.
In 1849, Lahainaluna shifted from the care of the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions to the Hawaiian government.
In 1916, the school came under the management of the Lahainaluna School Commission.
In the fall of 1923, it became a public technical high school, admitting both girls and boys.
And, in September 1961, the school was designated as a comprehensive high school serving both boarders and day students. Baby boomers, The MTV Generation and Gen X have all passed thru this educational institution with a view of West Maui, Kaho'olawe, Lanai and Molokai that inspired generations.
Retired Lahainaluna High School teacher Andrew Kutsunai (left) and 1951 Lahainaluna graduate Stanley Takeuchi volunteered as guides Wednesday at the archival display in the campus library. The display of photos, documents and artifacts is one of several features marking this week’s celebration of Lahainaluna’s 175th anniversary.
The following two stories were written by Claudine San Nicolas of The Maui News:
Looking back @ Lahainaluna
An archival display celebrating 175 years of Lahainaluna High School opened years of memories for alumni visiting the campus this week.
“It gives me shivers seeing this,” said 1951 graduate Stanley Takeuchi.
“My mind is just blown away,” 1979 alumna Victoria Street said.
“This is so nice,” commented 1963 Lahainaluna boarder Jesse Dudoit. “It lets us reminisce.”
High school sweethearts James Higuchi, a 1944 graduate, and wife, Futaba Murayama Higuchi, Class of 1945, paused at each item on display in the Lahainaluna library, taking time to point out photos of people they knew in the past.
“We haven’t come here for years,” James Higuchi said. “It’s fun,” Futaba Higuchi added.
The archival display is one of this week’s features of the 175th anniversary celebration. The display, which opened free to the public Monday, is on view from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. today and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
The archive committee researched items and set up the display. Committee members are graduates Alberta Nobu, Bob Kawaguchi and Lynn Kaho’ohalahala, plus three people with longtime Lahainaluna ties – panel Chairman Andrew Kutsunai, dormitory matron Susan Yap and school librarian Sharyl Seino.
Among Kutsunai’s favorite items is a 1920 Remington typewriter found covered with dust in the school’s storeroom.
“You know in this age of technology, to see something like this, it just fascinates me,” he said.
To verify the typewriter’s vintage, committee members painstakingly scoured 1920s yearbooks until they found the exact machine pictured in a typewriting class at Lahainaluna.
Many displayed items were donated, while others were found on the campus and researched for authenticity and explanations.
Photos, documents and artifacts are displayed in four time frames – 1831-1931, 1932-56, 1957-81 and 1982-2006 – each period with its own table and display boards built by Lahainaluna carpentry students.
School T-shirts from almost every year since 1982 are hung on the Lahainaluna library windows, and extra yearbook photos from years past lie in boxes for the viewing public to take if desired.
The 175th anniversary display includes:
A 1940s office leather mailbag. “They must have used this over and over again to get the mail from one place to another . . . yet somehow it was preserved,” Kutsunai said.
Empty “Lahainaluna” egg cartons and an egg-weighing scale from the school’s former poultry farm operated by boarders. Eggs were sized as small, medium or large.
“Imagine they took each egg by hand and sorted it one by one,” Kutsunai said.
The farm and dairy operated from the 1940s until sometime in the 1960s.
“They couldn’t keep up with the private industry,” Kutsunai said. “The kids were working the old ways, and technology was hard to keep up with.”
The oldest-known diploma dated June 1920 and belonging to the late Nobuyuki Watanabe. His daughter donated the diploma to the archive committee, which verified the diploma’s authenticity by finding Watanabe’s senior photo in the 1920 Lahainaluna yearbook.
“There could be others who have one at their home that are older than this,” Kutsunai said.
A rusty 1920s milk stool, measuring about 1 foot high by about 2 feet in diameter.
A framed photo of the 1908 Lahainaluna boys basketball team, with players dressed in shorts, long-sleeved shirts and kerchief ties around their necks.
“We have to do more research on this,” Kutsunai said. “I don’t think they played basketball in these clothes."
A framed photo of the champion 1926 Lahainaluna girls basketball team.
“I hope they didn’t wear those shoes when they played,” Kutsunai said of strapped, closed-toe shoes with 1-inch heels evident in the picture.
Undated photos of Lahainaluna boarders enjoying an old pastime: playing catch with poi tossed into a koa bowl.
“Every meal they had fish and poi, and I guess this is what they did for fun with the poi,” Kutsunai said.
Yearbook photos taken by Street herself in 1979 when the coolest car was a Volkswagen and popular footwear were Famolare girls shoes that “weighed about 5 pounds each but they were stylin’. You were looking good when you wore them,” Street said.
Senior ball wine glasses from the 1980s and 1990s. The school no longer distributes such glasses.
“The whole liquor thing – although the students didn’t drink, people thought it’s like promoting alcohol,” Kutsunai said.
After this weekend’s celebration, display items will be placed in a special room set aside in the Lahainaluna library. Kutsunai said the school will continue to accept items for its archive.
Freshman Sublina Lejjena, 15, dances under the spotlights during the David Malo Day pageant Saturday night at the Lahainaluna High School athletic field. Sublina was one of many students that lent their talents to the celebration, and she said it was a privilege to participate. "I’m so glad to be here, to be a part of it," she said.
LAHAINA – A bright three-quarter moon rose high above the steep slopes of Mount Ball and the Lahainaluna "L" as nearly 3,000 people gathered Saturday evening to celebrate 175 years of history and something even more important – each other.
"We wanted to bring people back to their roots, to Lahainaluna, and we were able to do that. That was the whole idea of this – bring people back and together," said Marion Mueller, chairwoman of the 175th celebration of Lahainaluna High School, founded in 1831 as the oldest high school west of the Rockies.
Lahainaluna pride was in full bloom as long-separated classmates – many of them returning after 10, 20, 50 years and even one, 70 years later – hugged each other and talked excitedly at Lahainaluna High School’s athletic field before feasting on luau food, enjoying Hawaiian entertainment and reminiscing about their high school years.
This past week, activities at Lahainaluna included campus tours, an archival display, a parade down Front Street and Saturday night’s luau and annual David Malo Day pageant.
Every event featured hugs and tears of happiness from school alumni.
Georgette Kahahane, a 1973 alumna, said a classmate of hers cried every few steps in a parade Friday night on Front Street.
"She kept saying ’I can’t get over how we can get together after so long.’ It was real emotional," Kahahane said.
Ralph Murakami, a retired Maui District superintendent and former Lahainaluna principal, said he has long sensed something special at Lahainaluna.
"It really hits you," Murakami said, looking into the crowd primed for Hawaiian luau food and entertainment. "This place was always something special, and you get attached to it."
Retired Principal Henry "Bru-no" Ariyoshi spent the last 17 years of his career at Lahainaluna, retiring in 1995 when current Principal Mike Nakano took over.
"This outshines the 150th," Ariyoshi said, noting that while the 150th celebration drew hundreds, it did not draw the large crowd seen Saturday night.
Ariyoshi said he believes the boarding department – the only one of its kind at a public high school in the nation – has a lot to do with why David Malo Day is so special at Lahainaluna.
The boarders worked to prepare luau food and took an active role in the pageant, learning Hawaiian chants and hula so that they could celebrate Hawaii’s and their school’s rich history.
The other reason that Lahainaluna can hold such grand reunions is the relatively small size of classes that lead to strong personal bonds among students, he said.
"Really for a long time we just had 700 students and now even with a thousand, that’s considered small (for a major public high school on Maui)," he said. Most of the students live on the west side and are neighbors to each other on the same streets.
"This is a one community school," Ariyoshi said, "so everybody knows each other."
And so the 175th celebration became a time to get reacquainted.
Paulina Raposas Quinsaat, a 1956 graduate, sat with classmates to enjoy a plate full of kalua pig, lomi salmon, haupia, pineapple and poi. It was an occasion, she said, to savor life with her fellow classmates.
"We made it," she said beaming with a smile.
"I’m just thankful to be alive and to be here," Quinsaat said. "It’s so wonderful."
Quinsaat, a 67-year-old businesswoman living in Paia, had attended her 10- and 20-year reunions, but she had lost touch with classmates after that. When she was called to participate in the 50th reunion this weekend, she promised nothing would stop her from attending.
"We’ve had a great time," said Class of 1956 reunion Chairman Alexander Ross. "Things were much simpler in our days," he said. "You could go to the beach, and it wasn’t crowded at all. Turtles could come on shore, and you could watch them laying their eggs, no one bothering them."
Ross said this past weekend’s reunion coincided with the school’s 175th year celebration, perhaps the reason the 50th reunion had its largest-ever number of participants. Out of 102 graduates in 1956, 62 showed up for the event. Another 13 are deceased, and the rest were unable to attend because of health reasons or employment, according to Ross.
For eight classmates, it was their first Lahainaluna reunion ever.
"They talked so much," Ross said, "you couldn’t shut them up."
Ben Bedoya, a 72-year-old Honolulu resident, let his fellow 1954 graduates partake in the luau while he sat with friends to talk about their high school days. "In 1954, you looked at the girls," he said laughing. "It was fun."
Bedoya said he still remembered dances and especially his junior prom, when he was voted king.
"I loved to dance. I still love to dance," he said.
Charles Medeiros, a 1953 alumni, recalled being a boarder for four years.
"Imagine no cars, no telephones and in our days, no girls in the boarding department," he said.
Medeiros said that, like Bedoya, he looked forward to dances when a bus load of girls would be brought to the social event.
"You would start to get warm and then they would put them back on the bus," he said. "It was kind of cruel don’t you think?"
Medeiros, a retired school superintendent in California, said the 175th anniversary’s highlight has been the opportunity to gather and talk story.
"Even though it was 50 something years ago, you start talking and all of a sudden it’s like yesterday," he said.
Alumna like Kahahane, her sister, Momi Kahahane Peters, a 1966 graduate; and Momi’s daughter, Francine Peters Moala, a 1987 graduate; all maintain ties with the school. The three, all living in Lahaina, attend their alma mater’s football games.
This past Christmas, one of Kahahane’s sisters, also a Lahainaluna graduate, gave her siblings a visor in red, one of their high school’s colors. A niece, who also attended Lahainaluna, drew the school logo in black on an oval field of white, the other school color, on to the visor.
"We’re all fans of this school," Peters said.
Both Peters and Moala said being part of a close and tightknit community gives them a chance to get to know people on a more intimate basis. While the crowd was large on Saturday night, the faces were familiar and everyone felt comfortable with each other.
"We’re out here on the west side by ourselves, and we have nowhere to go but to be with ourselves," Moala said.
In his remarks Saturday night, Nakano said he noticed that this weekend’s celebration had reunited members of the Lahainaluna community, giving them a chance to get reacquainted and even make new friends.
"Even though I don’t know some of these people, after this weekend, it’s like I’ve know them for a long time," he said.
Jean Miyahira, a 1958 graduate who works as Lahainaluna’s administrative service assistant, said she was enrolled at the school when it celebrated its 125th anniversary. She worked at the school during the 150th anniversary and still works for Lahainaluna during the 175th.
She described the 175th as "grander" than the two previous celebrations.
"I can only imagine what the 200th will be like," she said.
Nearly 3,000 people packed the athletic field for the event, part of the 175th anniversary events.
ABOVE: Kaui Kaniho, 15, of the class of 2008, shares a moment with her grandfather, Harold Kaniho of the class of 1952, while taking in the David Malo pageant. Ha-rold Kaniho said the parade and the weekend festivities meant a lot to him. Kaui Ka-niho said she was happy to be able to share the evening with her grandfather.
BELOW: Musician Pueo Pata (right) leads students in song on Saturday night during the David Malo Day pageant. This year’s day was made even more special as hundreds of Lahainaluna alumni returned to their high school to celebrate its 175th anniversary.
Lunas from The Time Machine all had Lori Gomez as an educator so it was a pleasant suprise to see that she submitted the story below to The Lahaina News.
ABOVE: The pageant concluded Lahainaluna High School’s 175th Anniversary celebration.
LHS Pageant honored the school’s rich legacy
By LORI GOMEZ
LAHAINA – Lahainaluna High School culminated its 175th Anniversary celebration with a poignant pageant on April 8 at the school’s Football Field.
Its theme, “Na Lamaku Pio’ole” (the torches, unextinguished), honored three of Lahainaluna’s scholars: David Malo, Samuel Kamakau, and S.N. Hale’ole.
Pueo Pata, noted award-winning musician, composer and Hawaiian linguist, researched their collective works and wrote of what they bequeathed to the students of Lahainaluna.
He wrote and choreographed the opening chant, “Hanohano Lahainaluna,” which depicts the three scholars as sources of invaluable historical and cultural knowledge of Hawaii.
It was from his research at the Bishop Museum, the State Archives, and the Hawaiian Historical Society upon which the pageant was based.
Together with Kuulei Alcomindras-Palakiko, Hawaiian Culture and Language teacher at Kamehameha Schools-Maui, Pueo co-produced and directed the pageant.
Fluent in the Hawaiian language, Pueo and Kuulei spent countless hours reading and researching the works of students’ composition, dating back to 1834.
Understanding the kaona, the hidden meaning, in the students’ compositions written totally in Hawaiian, both researchers were able to tell the story of Lahainaluna through the eyes, hearts and wisdom of her students.
Respecting that “hula is the language of the heart, therefore the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people,” Pueo and Kuulei instilled in their students, the LHS Hawaiiana Club, a sense of place, tradition and continuity.
The chant ended with “He inoa no na lamaku pio’ole o Lahainaluna," a name song for the torches of learning that cannot be extinguished.
Name songs are composed to extol and to add mana (divine power) to the life of the people and things for which they were composed.
The pageant further earmarked events in Hawaiian history and their impact on Lahainaluna: the missionaries, the monarchy, World Wars, boat days, and Hollywood.
Pueo and Kuulei donate their time, talent and aloha to the Lahainaluna Hawaiiana program, which annually produces the David Malo Day Ho’olaulea.
They have willingly volunteered time from their busy schedules to preserve the Hawaiian language, culture, values. They are the unextinguished torches that light the legacy that is Lahainaluna.
Here's a story that appeared in The Maui News before the weekend began:
Annual pageant pays tribute to 3 Lahainaluna scholars
LAHAINA – Respecting that “hula is the language of the heart, therefore the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people,” coordinators of the 2006 David Malo Day pageant conducted extensive research in creating this year’s show.
Their work will culminate when the pageant opens at 6:30 p.m. Saturday on the Lahainaluna High School athletic field where hundreds of Maui supporters and Lahainaluna alumni from across the country are expected to attend.
Admission is free and open to the public.
The pageant’s theme, “Na Lamaku Pio’ole,” which means “torches unextinguished” in Hawaiian, honors three of Lahainaluna’s scholars – David Malo, Samuel Kamakau and S.N. Hale’ole.
Pueo Pata, an award-winning musician, composer and Hawaiian linguist, researched the scholars’ collective works and wrote of what they bequeathed to the students of Lahainaluna.
Pata wrote and choreographed the David Malo Day pageant’s opening chant, “Hanohano Lahainaluna,” which depicts the three scholars as sources of invaluable historical and cultural knowledge in Hawaii.
With information gathered from the Bishop Museum, the state archives and the Hawaiian Historical Society, Pata and Kuulei Alcomindras-Palakiko, a Hawaiian culture and language teacher at the Kamehameha School Maui campus, co-produced and directed the pageant.
The two volunteered their time to the project.
Fluent in the Hawaiian language, Pata and Alcomindras-Palakiko spent numerous hours reading and researching composition papers of Lahainaluna students dating back to 1834.
The pair of cultural specialists choreographed and then taught members of Lahainaluna’s Hawaiian Club the chant and hula that will be performed at the pageant.
The performances will denote events and people in Hawaiian history and their impact on Lahainaluna. Those events and people include the missionaries, the Hawaiian monarchy, world wars, boat days and Hollywood.
Kuulei Alcomindras-Palakiko (left) and Pueo Pata serve as co-producers and co-directors of the Lahainaluna High School David Malo Day pageant, which this year commemorates the school’s 175th anniversary.
Lahainaluna High School Hawaiiana Club photo
This story was penned by Louise Rockett from The Lahaina News before the festivities began:
ABOVE: Lahainaluna High School has stood above Lahaina Town for 175 years. Cody Pueo Pata, who is helping to stage the school’s 175th Anniversary Luau on Saturday night, noted, “No educational institution in Hawaii has such a lengthy and hallowed history that has endured through today.”
Pageant to tell the story of Lahainaluna
By Louise Rockett
LAHAINA – Alumni from across the state and the nation will gather in Lahaina this weekend as one big ’ohana to honor the 175th Anniversary of their alma mater, the oldest school west of the Rockies, Lahainaluna High School.
A parade, class reunions, campus tours and a luau are planned, but the highlight of the commemorative event is the Saturday night pageant – a guaranteed once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The production is a journey through time as expressed through song and dance by members of the school’s Hawaiiana Club and Boarders’ Chorus.
“Our theme is ’Na Lamaku Pio ’Ole,’ the torches, ever burning,” explained Lori Gomez (Class of 1960).
“The phrase is part of our Alma Mater that talks about the torch of education that cannot be extinguished,” she added.
Gomez is the advisor of the LHS Hawaiiana Club and Boarders’ Chorus – has been since 1969. She works with Cody Pueo Pata, Ku’ulei Alcomindras-Palakiko and Ivy Huerter, all volunteers
Alcomindras-Palakiko and Pata are the “hula choreographers and pageant producers,” Gomez said.
“They have been with me for the past eight years in that capacity,” she continued. “We three have done research at Bishop Museum, State Archives and the Hawaiian Historical Society to tell the story of Lahainaluna. Our research will result in the pageant production, telling the story of Lahainaluna as read through the composition papers of Lahainaluna students, dating back to 1834.”
Alcomindras-Palakiko, a teacher of Modern Hawaiian History at Kamehameha Schools-Maui Campus, described the uniqueness of the experience: “To read of the values they held dear to them, to imagine that I was looking at, holding, reading, the exact same documents they had written,” she said.
Pata is a traditional Hawaiian recording artist, with the Ululoa Productions label, and kumu hula.
Beyond the three trips to Oahu, his research extended to “online resources of Hawaiian language newspapers of the 1800s” and “knowledge from Kupuna and my own personal library of books and other printed material.”
“We hoped to cover the main periods of history that Lahainaluna endured through from its inception in 1831,” Pata explained.
The pageant song and dance recital reflects the changing times.
“The program begins with ancient or kahiko dance,” Huerter (Class of 1977) noted, with a special chant written by Pata for the celebration.
“We then move to the missionary, plantation, monarchy, boat days, war time, Hollywood, and modern (eras) – I guess it’s like a timeline,” Huerter added, as seen through the eyes of the students.
“I think the community will enjoy it, because the songs from each time frame will bring back different memories for each of them,” Huerter continued.
“For example, for me, when the girls were learning ’Lovely Hula Hands’ for the boat days, it brought back memories of when I was learning it in the fourth grade,” she said.
The costumes mirror the era also.
Pata’s participation in this milestone tribute left a profound impression. “During this year’s preparation, in particular, my research allowed me to see just how deeply LHS has impacted Hawaiian history – from its instructors, its graduates, its facilities, its physically present history. All of these things have been great contributors to the identity of modern Hawaiians and our perceptions of the past and present,” he said.
“Lahainaluna High School is the last public boarding school in the United States. It’s the oldest school west of the Rockies,” Pata continued. “Those might sound like cliches; however, they’re true. No educational institution in Hawaii has such a lengthy and hallowed history that has endured through today.”
When asked why the community would want to attend the pageant, Pata remarked with relish, “Why wouldn’t they want to attend such a momentous occasion? It will never happen again.”
The curtain rises at 6 p.m.
Outside of Maui, The Honolulu Advertiser carried these two stories, submitted by Ka Leo Luna reporters Kelsey Fortey and Leanne Bedard:
175 years of pride
A week of festivities are planned to celebrate Lahainaluna's history
By Kelsey Fortey
Lahainaluna High School
Pride for beauty, unity, tradition and history. Despite the age of Lahainaluna High School, it maintains its magnificence. Preparing for another milestone, the school's staff, students, and alumni have reason to be proud.
Anniversary celebrations for the school known as the "Oldest School West of the Rockies," will give participants a chance to start following the celebration theme of "Honoring our Traditions, Celebrating our Culture."
Anniversary events are scheduled to begin today and end Saturday. There will be an archive display in the library open throughout the week from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day, with the exception of Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Campus tours and an open house are happening on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Anniversary merchandise will be available at the hospitality room in the library. From today to Thursday the room will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. An order form is available at www.lahainaluna.com.
One of the largest events will be the parade on Front Street, Friday at 5 p.m. This tradition, which once took place during homecoming week, is making a comeback.
For the anniversary festivities, the parade is broken up into three segments, each representing a group of graduates and starting on different streets. The first segment, representing students from graduating classes between 1930 and 1960, starts at Baker Street. From Kenui Street, representatives will appear on behalf of graduates from 1961 to 1985. Representatives from the graduating classes of 1986 through 2009 will join the others from Ala Moana Street.
At 6 p.m. Friday, opening ceremonies will commence at Kamehameha Iki Park, also known as Armory Park. Russell Yamanoha, 1984 alumnus and KHNL sportscaster, will host the event. The band Lahaina Grown and musicians Keoki Kahumoku and Peter deAquino will provide entertainment.
Alumni also will attend class reunions on Thursday and Friday. The Boarders' Reunion will be at the Lahaina Jodo Mission immediately following the opening ceremonies.
Concluding the celebration will be the 175th Pageant and Luau on Lahainaluna's athletic field. Former boarders Micheal (Pangan) Tabura, Class of 1989, and Kathy Nakagawa, Class of 1988, will host. The two can also be heard on-air at KSSK-FM as Mike "Makani" and "Kathy With a K."
The pageant will present the school's history through song and dance, with a theme based on a line of the alma mater, "Na Lamaku Pio'ole": "The ever-burning torch of wisdom and tradition."
Thanks to the 175th Anniversary Committee and all who volunteered their time, the events and activities will definitely offer more reasons to be proud of this school.
History unites students, staff and LHS alumni
Cherished memories include homecoming parades, big bonfires and David Malo Day
By Leane Bedard
Lahainaluna High School
Lahainaluna High School has endured for 175 years, and the traditions of the school hold a special place in the hearts of the students, staff, and alumni.
Jon Shigaki, a 1986 graduate, is now the school's smaller learning communities grant coordinator. Shigaki recalled that nearly all students participated in events throughout the year.
To start the year off with a bang, homecoming week brought positive energy and excitement. Class competitions leading up to the big game were scheduled. Cheering contests were always held on Fridays during lunch recess. Spirited students participated in boys' cheerleading, class banner contests and other games.
Each class was responsible for making a float for the homecoming parade. Eager people lined up along Front Street to watch the parade and subsequent festivities at Malu'uluolele Park, where the royal court was presented, skits were performed and contest winners were announced. In the end, the Alma Mater Contest showed how much pride students had for their school.
"I can honestly say that the competitions brought us respect for each other, school pride and school unity," Shigaki said.
The boarders had their own traditions as well. Back then, the boarders had to attend football games in a strict dress code. Female boarders wore white mu'umu'u, while male boarders wore black ties, white collared shirts tucked into black pants and shiny black shoes.
Lori Gomez, a 1960 graduate, returned to the LHS ohana when she became the professional development resource teacher for the Lahaina complex. Gomez remembers some traditions that brought the students and teachers together as a family. After the flag pledge but before classes started, patriotic songs were sung.
"Homecoming was always the main event, which culminated with a big bonfire," Gomez said. "The bonfire was symbolic of the torch mentioned in our alma mater ... (a) torch of learning that cannot be extinguished," said Gomez.
The class of 1960 became the first "statehood" class when Hawaii officially became a state in August 1959. Most of the clubs reflected professional careers to prepare the students for the real world.
"We were taught Hawaiian values like respect toward people and the 'aina (land), integrity, and giving back to the community," said Gomez. "I remember that we all were treated as an 'ohana (family) and learned what makes an 'ohana work -- the sense of giving, sense of sharing, and the sense of community."
Jean Miyahira, the school's administrative services assistant, graduated in 1958. Miyahira also remembers the parade that filled Front Street and the remarkable bonfire afterward.
"I remember that our principal was really into football, so whenever our football team won a game, he would schedule a pep rally," Miyahira said. "Most of our pep rallies were held in the staff parking lot."
Everyone celebrated the school's 125th anniversary on Boarders' Field.
"We had a big cake," Miyahira said. "The cheerleaders placed candles on it and for that special occasion, the 'L' was lit." said Miyahira.
The school's accountant clerk, Ivy Huerter, graduated in 1977. She remembers building floats on flatbeds and using chicken wire and tissue paper to design their float.
On David Malo Day, the boarders entertained the audience with their songs. Since there were no female boarders until 1980, girls from the Hawaiiana Club participated with the male boarders.
"After David Malo Day, the girls from the Hawaiiana Club and the boarders went to the 'L,' bringing lei for David Malo's grave and lime for the outlining of the 'L,'" Huerter said.
These traditions and events live in the hearts of the alumni to remind the next generation that the past was what brought them together.
ABOVE: The 2005-06 Lahainaluna High School junior varsity football team won the Maui Interscholastic League title for the fourth consecutive year.
Lahainaluna High School
Sports highlights, 1981-2005
In honor of Lahainaluna High School’s 175th Anniversary, Lahaina News sports writer Walter Chihara compiled this list of Luna sports highlights from the past 24 years.
1981-82 – Varsity football MIL champions; girls volleyball MIL champs; wrestling MIL champs; girls tennis MIL champs; boys tennis MIL champs; girls varsity basketball MIL champs and State “A” tournament champs.
1982-83 – Girls basketball MIL champs; boys volleyball MIL champs; girls tennis MIL champs, and Alele Nava and Yuko Wakatsugi state doubles champs; boys tennis MIL champs, and Kennedy Makekau and Hiram Oyama state doubles champs; Lance Stevens state wrestling champ 167 pounds, and wrestling MIL champs.
1983-84 Boys volleyball MIL champs; boys tennis MIL champs, third place state and Kennedy Makekau and Bruce Sylva state doubles champs; girls tennis MIL champs, second place state, and Kathy Felicilda and Karen Felicilda state doubles champs; wrestling MIL champs; girls basketball MIL champs.
1984-85 – Wrestling MIL champs; girls tennis MIL champs, and Karen Felicilda and Kathy Felicilda girls state doubles champs; boys tennis MIL champs.
1985-86 – Boys basketball MIL champs; wrestling MIL champs; Lisa Whitehead and Kathy Felicilda girls state doubles champs.
1986-87 – Girls tennis MIL champs, state champs, Karen Felicilda state singles champ, Kathy Felicilda and Lisa Whitehead state doubles champs.
1988-’89 – Girls tennis MIL champs, and Diane Okada and Allison Valente state girls doubles champs; boys tennis MIL champs; boys basketball MIL champs.
1989-90 – Ryan Ideta was boys tennis state singles champ.
1990-91 – Boys cross country MIL champs; boys tennis MIL champs.
1991-92 – Boys tennis MIL champs, and Ryan Ideta boys state singles champ and named to Nissan Hawaii Hall of Honor; girls tennis MIL champs and co-state champ, with Jean Okada state singles champ.
1992-93 – Wrestling MIL champs; boys tennis MIL champs.
1993-94 – Wrestling MIL champs, with Stephen Lucas Jr. state wrestling champ at 167 pounds.
1994-95 – Wrestling MIL champs.
1995-96 – Christian Nguyen wrestling state champ at 130 pounds.
1996-97 – Girls basketball MIL champs; girls softball MIL champs; surf team MIL champs; Malino Oda boys tennis state singles champ; Clinton Baybayan wrestling state champ at 130 pounds.
1997-98 – Girls softball MIL champs, state finalist, with Aina Kohler first team All State and Nissan Hawaii Hall of Honor; varsity football MIL champs and Neighbor Island champ; Malino Oda boys tennis singles state champ.
1998-99 – Varsity football MIL champs and Neighbor Island champs; Kawika Casco wrestling state champ at 152 pounds; Samalia Berger first girl state wrestling champ at 140 pounds.
1999-2000 – Jessica Nohara swimming state champ in 100 freestyle; surf team MIL champs; Kawika Casco boys wrestling state champ at 171 pounds and named to Nissan Hawaii Hall of Honor.
2000-01 – Girls swimming MIL champs, with Jessica Nohara state swimming champ in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke; Kainoa Casco state wrestling champ at 152 pounds.
2001-02 – Varsity football MIL champs play Kahuku at Aloha Stadium in state quarterfinals, and Ikaika Neizman first team All State; boys basketball MIL champs; girls swimming MIL champs, with Jessica Nohara state swimming champ in 200 freestyle; girls tennis MIL champs; Jeffrey Larita boys wrestling state champ at 152 pounds, Kainoa Casco boys wrestling state champ at 160 pounds and named to Nissan Hawaii Hall of Honor; canoe paddling MIL champs, state champs, mixed crew – Hoku Gonzales, Kazuo Flores, Kaipo Kekona, Rose Butihi, Vanessa Sanchez Audrey Chihara – state champs (all paddling results unofficial in this inaugural season for the sport).
2002-03 – Wrestling MIL champs; junior varsity football MIL champs.
2003-04 – Girls softball MIL champs; junior varsity football MIL champs; varsity football Division II MIL champs, play in semi-finals at Kamehameha Oahu vs. Aiea; Naihe Akoi boys wrestling state champ at 152 pounds; Laura Pope state swimming champ in 200 freestyle.
2004-05 – Varsity football MIL champs, state semifinalist vs. Kamehameha Oahu at Aloha Stadium, Fine Latu first team All State; junior varsity football MIL champs; girls varsity basketball MIL champs; and girls tennis MIL champs.
An article that appeared in The Lahaina News written by Christine Layous about Phyllis Carr Bruce who taught at Lahainaluna High School back in 1928.
ABOVE: Phyllis Carr Bruce, 100, took a teaching job at Lahainaluna High School in 1928. The Makawao resident plans to attend Lahainaluna’s 175th Anniversary celebration next weekend. Photo by Christine Layous.
Spirited teacher reflects on Lahaina in the 1920s
By Christine Layous
LAHAINA – Phyllis Carr Bruce is still as witty now as she was 80 years ago.
The former Lahainaluna High School teacher is reaching her 101st birthday this August. But her mischievous eyes reveal a much younger, much less innocent girl.
When asked how she felt turning 100, she replied with a smirk, “I felt the same way I had when I was 99.”
Her daughters, Lesley and Phyllis Jean Bruce, laughed along.
Born in 1905, Bruce was raised in McVille, North Dakota.
Her father farmed and her mother was a teacher. She remembers traveling 12 hours by a horse drawn buggy with her parents and four siblings.
“We had a very happy home,” said Bruce. “We toured the country. We went to Yellowstone National Park and went to California.”
By 1915, Bruce already knew she wanted to come to Hawaii.
Her father had taken her to the International Exposition in San Francisco and she was enchanted by Kumalae’s ukulele exhibition.
“You have to make up your mind early,” Bruce joked
In fact, her father bought her a Kumalae ukulele from Sears and Roebuck. Bruce still has it.
She received her Bachelor of Arts in Home Economics from the University of North Dakota by age 21 and then taught for two years in Moose Lake, Minnesota.
Bruce also studied golf and folk dance classes at the University of Chicago.
“I took some very hard courses,” she winked.
In 1928 it was off to Maui.
Armed with her strong character and letters of recommendation that boasted her teaching abilities, she made the trip alone.
“You started out on the train to San Francisco,” she explained. “Then a ship got you to Honolulu. Then you waited for another ship.”
It wasn’t easy, and it took days of traveling.
When Bruce arrived in Lahaina, it was night and she was all alone. She went to the Pioneer Inn.
“No one was in the hotel,” she recalled. “I went into the first room that looked all right.”
Lahainaluna was hiring at that moment and Bruce landed her teaching position.
She taught home economics, general science and biology and coached the basketball team.
H. Alton Rogers was the principal at the time and he ruled the school with a strict hand.
“He ran a good school,” said Bruce. “He was a little high handed.”
Bruce lived on the campus for one year until she moved in with Mary Couch, the principal at King Kamehameha III Elementary School.
They lived in a house on the beach. “My room had great big windows,” she smiled. “I could almost touch the ocean.”
While most teachers earned ten cents to one dollar per day, Bruce was earning $5.
“It was hazard pay,” explained her daughter, “because of the stoves. She was rich compared to every one else!”
One year later, the Great Depression hit the Mainland and Bruce was sending money to help her family.
But even that didn’t tame her spirits. She still went out and enjoyed herself.
She recalled an incident when Principal Rogers “fired” her for a day.
“I had come back from Honolulu,” she said nonchalantly. “I had car trouble – it rained buckets and wouldn’t start. I got to my campus just in time for my class. It was second period. [Rogers] said, ’You’re excused for the day.’ So I said thank you and went down to Lahaina and we gallivanted!” she declared with a proud smile.
She recalled going swimming every day after school at the Cliff House in Kapalua.
“It was wonderful,” she said with a straight face, “because there were lots of sharks.” She winked, “we scared them away.”
Bruce rode a horse up Haleakala and stayed overnight in a small shack that had open doors and windows, so all the air came in, because according to her, “there was nothing else to do,” wink.
“There was nowhere to get out of the wind,” she remembered. “But no matter how bad the experience was, we were ready for the next one! We had to create our own entertainment.”
Her easygoing attitude is still prevalent. She takes everything in stride and makes a joke out of it.
“One of the things you can expect in life is change,” she stated. “Some is good and some is bad. There are things you can’t change. If you can’t change them, enjoy them.”
From an article by Claudine San Nicolas that appeared in The Maui News:
BELOW: Principal Mike Nakano, who lives on campus, stands at the entrance to Lahainaluna High School. He said the school gets visitors every weekend. Many of them stop to take pictures of the school sign or sing the alma mater.
Photograph by Amanda Cowan of The Maui News
Events set for oldest school west of Rockies
LAHAINA – When Lahainaluna High School first opened 175 years ago, Lahaina was the capital of the kingdom of Hawaii, and it was a bustling seaport for the Pacific whaling fleet.
On the North American continent in 1831, Andrew Jackson was serving as the seventh president of the United States when there were only 24 states in the Union, and, until that time, not a single high school had been established west of the Rockies.
“It shows you how far back this school goes,” retired social studies teacher Andrew Kutsunai said of Lahainaluna High School. “The kids hear this and then they get it. They’re a part of history, and it’s really special.”
Kutsunai, a 34-year educator who did not graduate from Lahainaluna but taught there for all of his career, feels a special bond to the school.
“It’s a very unique school, rich with traditions and so much history,” he said. “That’s why this 175th is so special for everybody.”
So it’s not surprising that Lahainaluna’s landmark anniversary celebration would be chosen for more than 40 alumni reunions this week. Also, public tours of the Lahainaluna campus are being conducted and a special archive display was created to mark the special occasion.
Among the highlights of festivities are a parade at 5 p.m. Friday in Lahaina town, a luau on the school’s athletic field at 5 p.m. Saturday, followed by the annual David Malo Day pageant at 6:30 p.m.
“It’s going to be fun,” said Marion Mueller, a former counselor and administrator at Lahainaluna and the chairwoman of the 175th festivities.
Mueller and dozens of others have spent the last year planning activities and working out every detail from bus shuttles to portable bathroom facilities to wooden planks for wheelchairs to traverse the Lahainaluna athletic field where the pageant will be held.
As many as 2,000 people are expected to attend this week’s festivities, including alumni who graduated from the school dating back to the 1940s. Many of them are coming from around the state, the Mainland and elsewhere.
Lahainaluna Principal Michael Nakano, who resides on the campus, said he gets visitors every weekend. Many of them take pictures of the school sign, the trees on campus and the students’ unobstructed view of Lahaina town and Lanai.
“One time, there was a whole bus load of people that came,” Nakano recalled. “I remember they got down and held hands and then sang the Lahainaluna alma mater. It’s really, really different from anything I’ve experienced.”
Many of the alumni visitors have spoken to Nakano, questioning the changes in some of the school’s traditions.
“It makes us stress,” Nakano said. “I’ve been at Maui High and Baldwin and no one has ever questioned us about why we do this and why we don’t do that. It only happens at Lahainaluna.”
The 1989 David Malo Day pageant queen, Pam Hamakua, retired a couple of years ago from dancing hula, an activity she had enjoyed in her childhood and even in her high school days.
“I figured it’s my kids’ turn,” she said, referring to her youngsters, ages 9 and 7.
But then Lori Gomez, a longtime Lahainaluna teacher who has served as adviser with the David Malo Day pageant since its inception in 1969, called Hamakua to return for the 175th celebration. Hamakua, her classmate Janeen Arakawa and other graduates will perform as part of the entertainment for the night.
“It’s like giving back to the school,” said 1988 graduate Michele Harmon. “Not necessarily that we owe, but we’re proud of this school.”
Fea-B-Lei Alcomindras has also been with the David Malo Day pageant since it was founded by the late Jimmy Greig, a musician who started the Hawaiiana Club and the Boarders Chorus at Lahainaluna.
“I think it’s wonderful, and I’m not even a graduate,” said Alcomindras, a Kamehameha Schools graduate, about the David Malo Day celebration.
Lahainaluna’s traditions were greatly appreciated by Alcomindras whose mother, aunties and uncles all attended the school and spent many a family reunion reminiscing about Lahainaluna.
Her relatives even sang the alma mater during family gatherings and recently at a loved one’s funeral.
“It’s really neat,” Alcomindras said.
“David Malo Day was probably the best time of the year,” Hamakua recalled about its significance at Lahainaluna. “You stay up late making your lei and ti leaf skirt and then the Hawaiiana Club is feeling closest at that time.”
Knowing that this year’s pageant was going to be markedly different from others, Gomez and other pageant organizers traveled to the Bishop Museum three times on Oahu to read up on the history of Lahainaluna.
“We had to wear white gloves, and we read through composition papers dating back to 1834,” Gomez recalled. Some of the writings featured student papers that told of campus life in general, including students’ distaste for school lunches.
“It was fascinating to hear the history through a student. And the journey continues. This legacy continues even today,” Gomez said.
Lahainaluna senior Karmen McGhee lives as a boarder at school. The boarders open up their dormitories for tours during David Malo Day and many of them perform in the pageant.
“It’s a time to celebrate not only for the old classmates but for us who attend the school today,” McGhee said. “It’s the best cultural thing on Maui, and it’s way bigger than a lot of things going on.”
Phil Secretario Jr., a 1973 alumnus, never attended a David Malo Day pageant until two years ago, apparently because he had no interest in attending as a student. But now he sees it differently.
“If I knew it was this great, I would have participated. It’s better late than never,” said Secretario, a professional musician who is serving as this year’s instructor for the boarders band called “Sour Poi.”
Secretario said he’s had a lot of fun working with the students.
“They’ve come a long, long way,” he said.
Senior Kaleohone Roback and his sister, Kaanoipua, a sophomore, are Lahainaluna boarders from Niihau, and members of the performing group that will be featured at the David Malo Day pageant.
Kaleohone said he had been anticipating the pageant and was “kind of excited for it to come. There’s choke pride in this school.”
“There’s choke love here,” Kaanoipua added.
Senior Jordan Nanahoe, another member of the boarders band, said he has no regrets regarding his decision two years ago to transfer from a high school on Oahu to Lahainaluna. “It’s way more special here. We’re one ohana, and we stick together,” he said.
Senior Kapena Au, a boarders band member from Kihei, said no other school gives him the opportunity to form a family outside of his own.
“I just want to perform my best and give back,” Au said.
Senior Lanikai Walton said she enjoys the David Malo Day pageant because of the response she gets from outsiders who come and watch the show.
“People’s faces light up,” she said. “It makes us feel better.”
Mueller, the chairwoman of the 175th anniversary celebration, said the goal of this year’s event is like many others: “to bring as many people back to the campus and have people connect. . . . We’ll be making history again.”
An editorial from The Lahaina News on April 6th, 2006:
What does Lahainaluna High School mean to the people of West Maui?
Lahainaluna has been the focal point of this great
community for an incredible 175 years.
It’s a warm place where generations of local residents
– such as the Kawaguchi, Kukahiko and Kadotani ’ohana – have gone to school, forged lifelong friendships and kept ties with their alma mater.
It’s a legendary school with a rich history, which will be celebrated at Saturday night’s luau.
Think about all the people who began their life’s journey
at Lahainaluna, and what has happened in Hawaii and around the world, since 1831.
Lahainaluna has been here watching over Lahaina the whole time.
But history is not what defines LHS. It’s the people who pass through Lahainaluna and keep close ties for the rest of their lives.
You see students come back to teach, graduates return to coach the way they were taught to play at Lahainaluna, and alumni and caring community members step up when the school needs help.
To all the students, staff, parents and alumni coming to Lahaina this week to mark this important milestone, celebrate your school and have a wonderful time!
You make Lahainaluna High School special.