The West Maui community will remember Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole and his love for Hawaii citizens with an event in Banyan Tree Park on March 26.
According to Aunty Patty Nishiyama of Na Kupuna O Maui, the community group staging the event, Prince Kuhio frequented Lahaina.
"Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole, born on Kauai on March 26, 1871, was a prince of all citizens in Hawaii at the most turbulent time," Nishiyama explained.
"Prince Kuhio, also known as the 'Merrie Monarch,' was known to be an excellent sportsman, and he loved all sports and enjoyed life," she continued.
"Lahaina was a most frequented area of our prince. We can only imagine what life was really like to be cared for by our 'Citizen Prince (Ke Ali'i Maka'ainana).' "
Well-educated and humble, Prince Kuhio is remembered for serving ten consecutive terms in Congress and, out of deep concern for his people, spearheading the passage of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act in 1921.
Through this legislation, the U.S. set aside 200,000 acres of land to provide homesteads for Native Hawaiians for an indefinite term at a nominal rental and for government loans to the settlers.
The program's success, and Prince Kuhio's legacy, can be seen today at the Department of Hawaiian Homelands' Villages of Leiali'i project in Lahaina.
Hosted by Wilmont Kahaialii, Wednesday's celebration will feature entertainment, food booths, silent auction and arts and crafts. Proceeds will benefit the Pacific Pride Fastpitch Organization that helps build character in keiki and teach them the value of a goof education.
"Please join us in remembering of a great man," Nishiyama concluded. For information, call her at (808) 281-5470.