LAHAINA - For the ninth consecutive year, Lahaina Restoration Foundation shared Lahaina's rich history and culture with new teachers through its "History In Our Back Yard" program.
Sixteen teachers representing the six West Side schools were recently provided this free tour to learn about the important role Lahaina has played in the history of Hawaii.
Reaching more than 200 educators over these years, LRF has offered them a sense of place within the community in which they work.
Sixteen teachers new to West Maui boarded a Discover Hawaii Tours fun bus, Pua Ka ‘Ilima, for the riding portion of Lahaina Restoration Foundation’s “History in Our Back Yard” tour. Standing next to this new bus are (from left) LRF tour guide Karee Carlucci, LRF Office Manager Noelani Rickard, Discover Hawaii Tours Driver Mike Du Pont, and LRF Community Education Chair Andy Kutsunai. PHOTO BY LOUISA SHELTON.
The foundation annually provides Maui seniors a similar tour, "History for our Kupuna," which also explores the rich history of the community in which they live.
Coordinated by LRF's Community Education Committee, Chairman Andy Kutsunai reported, "We have continued to reach out to our schools to provide primarily new teachers this educational tour. It really makes us appreciate the positive impact this makes on them as they take the time from their busy schedule to participate in this program."
The tour touched on more than 30 of Lahaina's historic sites and museums, mostly on foot led by both Kutsunai and committee member Karee Carlucci.
Representatives from Hui O Wa'a Kaulua and the Friends of Moku'ula shared their knowledge of current projects at their sites.
Other stops on the walking tour included the Waiola Churchyard, Lahaina Hongwanji Mission and many Lahaina Harborfront sites, including the new Lahaina Heritage Museum in the Old Lahaina Courthouse.
After viewing the Baldwin Home Museum, the tour transitions to being bussed past various sites with stops at the Pioneer Mill Smokestack and Hale Pa'i Museum at Lahainaluna High School. The last stop was a return to Hale Pa'ahao for a relaxed lunch and refreshments provided by LRF in the shade of the Old Prison yard.
This year, transportation was provided by Discover Hawaii Tours aboard their new Fun Bus, Pua Ka 'Ilima.
Attendees expressed their appreciation of the history shared. One teacher noted, "The history of Lahaina was presented in such a unique and interesting way." Another added that "the best part of the program was the extensive information about the historic sites that was presented."
Many said that they enjoyed being invited and learning so much in the process. The committee thanked everyone who attended, as well as partners and organizations for their assistance in making the tour possible.
For 51 years, Lahaina Restoration Foundation has been preserving Lahaina's historic buildings and sites. LRF is bringing these sites to life with candlelit tours of the Baldwin Home, cultural demonstrations at the Wo Hing Museum, free Hawaiian music concerts and a celebration of Lahaina's Plantation Days.
For more information on the foundation and its mission of preservation of the unique history and cultural heritage of Lahaina, call 661-3262 or go to www.lahainarestoration.org. You can also find LRF on Facebook and Twitter.