On a recent sunny morning, Maui senior citizens were treated to a free, four-hour tour of Lahaina’s rich history and Hawaiian culture through the Lahaina Restoration Foundation (LRF) program known as “History With Our Kupuna.”
In partnership with Kaunoa Senior Services, LRF’s Community Education Committee coordinated this program for the third consecutive year. Seniors traveled through 15 of Lahaina’s historic sites and museums, mostly on foot led by committee chair, Andy Kutsunai, and committee member, Karee Carlucci, and escorted by Kaunoa Senior Services Program Assistant Leslie Hiraga.
At Kamehameha Iki Park and the Moku‘ula restoration site on Front Street, Capt. Timmy Gilliom from Hui O Wa‘a Kaulua/ Mo‘okiha O Pi‘ilani and Wainani Kealoha from Friends of Moku‘ula/ Maui Nei Native Expeditions shared their knowledge and discussed current projects. Other stops included the Waiola Church & Cemetery, Lahaina Hongwanji Mission, Hale Pa‘ahao (Old Prison), the Banyan Tree, various Lahaina harbor front sites, and Baldwin Home Museum. A refreshment stop was organized by committee members, Bobby Kawaguchi, Richard Endsley and Louisa Shelton; the tour ended with a plantation lunch served at the Senior Center in Lahaina.
The attendees expressed appreciation about the amount and depth of information shared. One senior noted, “I’ve lived on Maui my entire life and this is the first time I have ever been to these historical sites. I’m just overwhelmed by the vast resources in my backyard.” Many in the group said that they looked forward to sharing this information with their family and friends.
On May 24, the LRF Community Education Committee will present another history tour, this time for a group of local business people who work on Front Street. The tour is customized for walking to sites in the heart of Lahaina Town that are popular landmarks and places that visitors ask restaurant and retail employees about; this one is called “History In Our FRONTyard.” Refreshments and reference materials are provided by Lahaina Restoration Foundation.