LAHAINA - King Kamehameha III Elementary School in Lahaina is all a buzz as students and staff celebrate the school's 100-year anniversary.
March 17th marked the birthday of King Kamehameha III, or Kauikeaouli, and the school celebrated his birthday in a new way.
Beautifully framed pictures of the king were given to each classroom to remind students of the school's namesake. A curriculum detailing the history of his life was covered by teachers all week long and included the creation of a short documentary.
Glenn Nagao took this picture of King Kamehameha III Elementary School in 1913.
And, best of all, cake was served to the entire student body.
The school has been working hard to gear up for this year's celebration. Last September, the school presented an Educational Kick-Off Assembly for the 100-year anniversary of the school. Every student received a commemorative anniversary T-shirt.
Pictures detailing the history of the school have been posted around campus - some dating back to 1935.
On May 16, the school will unveil a bust of Kauikeaouli at the front of the school with a commemorative inscription. The bust, made by Christine Turnbull, was funded by generous donations from the community.
The following week, May 23, the school will present a 100-Year Anniversary Tribute as part of the May Day program.
The event will take place at 8:45 a.m. at Lahaina Civic Center and feature the theme "100 Years at King Kamehameha III School."
Students from Lahainaluna High School will help to perform a presentation celebrating Kauikeaouli, followed by a chronological look at King Kamehameha III Elementary School's history told through story, song and dance.
Performers at Old Lahaina Luau are working with music teacher Joe Kent to produce an outstanding show.
Family, friends, alumni and the community are invited to this 100-Year Anniversary May Day.
King Kamehameha III was an extremely important figure in the history of Hawaii. He was born on the Big Island around 1814, making this the 200-year anniversary of his birth.
When he was only ten years old, he ascended to the throne after his brother, King Liholiho, passed away. This means that fifth-graders at King Kamehameha III Elementary School are roughly the same age as Keauikeaouli when he became king.
The exact date King Kauikeaouli was born is not known, but he chose to celebrate his birthday on March 17 in honor of St. Patrick of Ireland.
Kauikeaouli had a troubled childhood. When he was born, many thought he would not survive. However, he was cleansed, laid on a rock and prayed over until he breathed and cried. He survived, and the rock is still preserved to this day at Keauhou Bay on the Big Island.
As a young boy, he was torn between the religious teachings of the missionaries and the desire to honor the old traditions.
During his reign, he enacted the very first Constitution in Hawaii, the Constitution of 1840. This gave the king less power and gave people more power to vote.
King Kamehameha III cared about progress and liberty, about schools and civilization. He gave Hawaii a Constitution and fixed laws. He gave the people title to their lands.
He was also the longest reigning monarch in Hawaii.
"Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono" (The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness) has been a motto of Hawaii for over 160 years.
It is generally claimed that it became the motto of the Kingdom of Hawaii when King Kamehameha III spoke the words on July 31, 1843.
King Kamehameha III Elementary School is excited to celebrate 100 years and thanks the community for its support.