One of the highlights of the meeting, as always, was the Remembrance Service, which is held on the morning of the second day to remember “the ancestors” – the estimated 8,000 people who died at Kalaupapa. This year’s service was held in Kanaana Hou Church where Taka Harada, brother of the late Paul Harada, opened with a message that focused on the family of Henry Hori, to whom the meeting was dedicated.

‘Ohana participants gather in the Circle of Remembrance. Among those remembered were ‘Ohana leaders Kuulei Bell and Bernard Punikai‘a whose photographs were on display during the meeting (above).
Photo by Wayne Levin

After that, everyone gathered in The Circle of Remembrance and held hands as they spoke aloud the names of Kalaupapa resident they were thinking of who had died. By sending the names to the heavens, the ‘Ohana wants all the ancestors to know they will never be forgotten. Kanaana Hou leader Edwin Lelepali led the group in the doxology followed by a singing of “Hawaii Aloha.” Everyone left the church feeling renewed and closer than ever.

Wayne Levin
Wayne Levin looks for the right angle to capture a photograph of Dayton Kupele and Aulani Shui offering ho`okupu to the ancestors of Kalawao. Both Dayton and Aulani had family at Kalaupapa.
Photo by Timmy Leong

Most of the pictures you see in this newsletter – and in newsletters past – are the work of Wayne Levin, one of Hawaii’s finest photographers who has become the unofficial ‘Ohana photographer.
Wayne has a long history with Kalaupapa. He first came to the settlement in 1984 at the request of Henry Law, first Superintendent of Kalaupapa National Historical Park. Henry felt that Kalaupapa needed to be documented in photographs. At the same time, historian Anwei Skinsnes Law and videographer Gene Balbach were conducting oral histories with Kalaupapa residents. Wayne started by taking photos of landscapes and buildings, but as he got to know the people better and gained their trust, he began taking pictures of them. His photos capture the dignity and strength of so many of the Kalaupapa residents, many of whom have now passed away.
Wayne and Anwei’s work became part of “Kalaupapa: A Portrait,” that was published with the support of the Kalaupapa community in 1988.
In 2003, Wayne returned with his camera to attend the first meeting of Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa and began photographing the family members who have been discovering their Kalaupapa roots. The ‘Ohana is fortunate to have Wayne as part of our effort to preserve the legacies of Kalaupapa residents and now their family members.

Mahalo, Wayne!


Copyright © 2011.. Ka Ohana O Kalaupapa. All rights reserved.