Today is a big day in Hawaii. It is the King's birthday and I am not talking about Elvis. nhope...Today is King Kamehameha I Day and the people drape leis from this very tall statue in honor of this great man. These leis are amazing and seven years ago I took my friend Mary Lankford to Oahu for her 50th birthday. We were there on the big day and it was amazing. If you have never been to Hawaii you must add it to your bucket list. It is a place like no other.....heaven on earth....at least that is what Mary and I thought about the place. I don't want to live there....gas right now is 4.15 a gallon and we are only paying 3:13....but to visit....it is a must. King Kamehameha was a big deal in Hawaii. As his story goes Kamehameha was born in 1758, the year Halley’s Comet made an appearance over Hawaiian skies. Kamehameha was born in Paiea on the Big Island of Hawaii. His father was said to be Keoua, a grandson of Keaweikekahialiiokamoku, who once ruled a large portion of the island. Translated, Kamehameha means “the lonely one.” There are a number of legends about him and another legend tells of a kahuna who prophesized that the man who moved the 7,000-pound Naha Stone would become the greatest king of Hawaii. When Kamehameha was 14, the story goes, he moved the massive rock, and then lifted it and turned it completely over. It kind of reminds you of the King Arthur tale of the sword in the stone. I guess every country has one. Anyways, Kamehameha grew up in the court of his uncle, Kalaniopuu. When Kalaniopuu died in 1782, his power was divided between Kamehameha and Kalaniopuu’s natural son, Kiwalao, who inherited his father’s throne. Civil war broke out, however, and Kamehameha emerged as the Big Island’s ruler. Many more battles ensued. During one raid in Puna, Kamehameha slipped and caught his foot in a crevice of lava. Seeing this, one of his fleeing opponents returned and beat him on the head with a canoe paddle until it broke. As a result, Kamehameha proclaimed Mamalahoe Kanawai, or “Law of the Splintered Paddle,” providing protection to unarmed noncombatants in war. “Let the aged, men and women, and little children, lie down safely in the road,” his law decreed. Having gained control of his home island, Kamehameha turned to the other Hawaiian islands. Using weaponry purchased from American and European traders, the king conquered Maui and Molokai, then turned his attention to Oahu. In 1795, Kamehameha invaded the shores of Waikiki beach and led his army to Nuuanu, where a bloody battle with Oahu chief Kalanikupule ensued. Hundreds of Oahu’s warriors were killed, driven over the valley’s Pali Cliffs. In 1810, Kaumualii, the king of Kauai, peacefully surrendered his island to Kamehameha to avoid further bloodshed. With that, Kamehameha fulfilled his destiny of uniting all the Hawaiian islands under one rule.
The Hawaiian kingdom enjoyed a period of peace during Kamehameha’s reign. The king unified the legal system and used taxes to promote trade with the Americans and Europeans. Kamehameha died in 1819, and his son, Liholiho, took the throne. Kamehameha’s bones were hidden by his kahuna. Today, his final resting place remains a mystery. You have to admit when you are riding on a tour bus taking a trip around this island this was some pretty cool material. I wrote the whole time the tour guide spoke. He was from Samoa and a giant of a man. Mary had a wonderful 50th birthday, her husband Bill paid for us to go to the big island and see Mt. Killaua, the Volcano House, Mona Loa Macademia nut plantation (we toured the Dole Plantation on Oahu), and see Rainbow Falls. I was glad to spend this time with my dear friend and experiencing the Kings birthday was a treat too.
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.