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Lahaina Restoration Foundation shares town’s rich history with new teachers

By Staff | Oct 9, 2014

From left, Andy Kutsunai, Karee Carlucci and Richard Endsley (far right) from Lahaina Restoration Foundation stand at the entrance to Hale Pa‘ahao (Old Prison) with West Side school teachers on a recent Saturday morning. Not pictured are Community Education Committee members Bob Kawaguchi, Louisa Shelton and bus driver Kent Nishijima. PHOTO BY LOUISA SHELTON

LAHAINA – For the tenth consecutive year, Lahaina Restoration Foundation (LRF) shared Lahaina’s rich history and culture with new teachers through its program called “History In Our Back Yard.”

Twelve teachers representing the six West Maui schools were recently provided this free tour to view over 30 historical sites while learning about the important role Lahaina has played in the history of Hawaii.

Reaching more than 200 educators in the past decade, LRF has offered them a sense of place by means of this educational experience.

LRF Community Education Committee Chair Andy Kutsunai reported,

“We continue to reach out to our schools to provide new teachers this educational tour. It makes us appreciate the positive impact this makes on them as they take the time from their busy schedules to participate in this program.”

Primarily a walking experience, the tour is led by both Kutsunai and committee member Karee Carlucci.

The group started near Kamehameha Iki Park with Palani Wright from Hui O Wa’a Kaulua, followed by Wainani Kealoha with Friends of Moku’ula at the Moku’ula Restoration Site. Both provided information and shared their passion for their current projects.

Other stops on the walking portion included the Waiola (Waine’e) Churchyard, Lahaina Hongwanji Mission and many Lahaina Harborfront sites, including the Lahaina Heritage Museum in the Old Lahaina Courthouse.

After viewing the Baldwin Home Museum, participants hopped on a school bus to ride by various sites with stops at the Pioneer Mill Smokestack and Locomotives Exhibit and Hale Pa’i Museum at Lahainaluna High School.

The last stop was at Hale Pa’ahao for a relaxed lunch and refreshments provided by LRF in the shade of Lahaina’s Old Prison yard.

Kutsunai thanked all who partnered in putting this together, including donated beverages and food from MauiGrown Coffee and Aloha Mixed Plate, and use of a bus from Lahainaluna High School.

Attendees expressed their appreciation of the history shared. One teacher noted, “I saw so many historical spots I did not know about.” Another added, “I cannot wait to share everything I learned


Carlucci remarked, “It’s rewarding to see the enthusiasm of new members of our community for digging deeper into Lahaina’s rich history and culture. And it’s encouraging to know that they’ll pass on this new knowledge to our youth.”

For 52 years, the foundation has been preserving Lahaina’s historic buildings and sites and is bringing them to life with weekly candlelight tours of the Baldwin Home Museum, periodic cultural demonstrations at Wo Hing Museum, free Hawaiian music concerts monthly and a celebration of Lahaina’s Plantation Days, scheduled for Oct. 24 and 25 this year.

For more information about LRF and its mission of preserving the unique history and cultural heritage of Lahaina, call 661-3262 or go to www.lahainarestoration.org. Find LRF on Facebook (Facebook.com/LahainaRestoration) and Twitter (@LahainaRestFnd).