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Anabelle Paet wins May’s Malama Lahaina Employee Award

By Staff | Jun 11, 2009

LAHAINA — Anabelle Paet of Friends of Moku‘ula won May’s Malama Lahaina Employee Award for correctly answering questions about the Wo Hing Museum.

Lahaina Restoration Foundation’s award program seeks to educate Lahaina’s employees about the historical and cultural legacy of Lahaina, so they can share this information with their customers and visitors.

Around the turn of the 20th century, Lahaina’s Chinese community formed the Wo Hing Society, a social, cultural and religious organization.

In its early years, the society provided members with a sense of community and a support system in a foreign place.

In the early 1900s, they constructed a two-story building and cookhouse in downtown Lahaina. Upstairs was the temple area, reserved for religious rituals. The ground floor of the society hall served as the social gathering place. Meetings, weddings, birthdays, funerals and other events were held there. The single-level cookhouse out back served as the community kitchen, where members would cook in large woks over a wood fire to prepare dishes for these special celebrations.
Today, the Wo Hing Society still conducts its meetings on the premises. Chinese New Year and other cultural festivals are celebrated there during the year.

The cookhouse displays the old cooking woks, steamers and other utensils used by society families. Inside, visitors can also view films of life in the Hawaiian Islands taken by Thomas Alva Edison between 1898 and 1906 and segments of the film “Finding Sandalwood Mountain” featuring Wo Hing Society members.

Located at 858 Front St., the Wo Hing Museum is open Saturdays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features late night hours and cultural activities on Fridays from 1 to 8 p.m.

For her resourcefulness, Paet received a $20 gift certificate from Penne Pasta. Questions for the monthly program sponsored by Penne Pasta and Mala Ocean Tavern will be faxed the beginning of each month and can also be viewed at www.lahainarestoration.org.  

For more information, contact the Lahaina Restoration Foundation office at 661-3262 or e-mail info@lahainarestoration.org.