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Lahaina’s history and culture highlighted in free tour for West Maui teachers

By Staff | Oct 12, 2017

LAHAINA – Lahaina Restoration Foundation (LRF) for the past 13 years has provided its free History In Our Back Yard tour to new teachers from West Side schools.

Reaching more than 240 educators over the years, LRF shares Lahaina’s rich history and culture through this program.

Recently, 14 West Maui teachers took advantage of the opportunity to visit 30 historical sites while learning about the prominent role Lahaina has played throughout Hawaii’s history.

LRF’s Community Education Committee continues this annual tradition through the volunteer efforts of Co-chairs Karee Carlucci and Louisa Shelton, committee members Leslie Hiraga, Aileen Trout, Lee Ann Shigezawa, Richard “Noosh” Nishihara and Lori Gomez-Karinen, and the support of LRF staff and board of directors.

“Our volunteer group and tour partners really help to make this tour,” stated Shelton. “We extend mahalos to MauiGrown Coffee for contributing the morning beverage; Take Home Maui for a healthy fruit platter for the mid-morning break; Star Noodle for graciously donating bentos for lunch, and The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas for the air-conditioned comfort of a shuttle for the road portion of the tour.”

LRF provided other refreshments and gave each teacher a reusable tote bag filled with a virtual binder of tour resource materials to use in the classroom, an OfficeMax gift card, a complimentary pass to visit the Baldwin Home and Wo Hing Museum, LRF brochures and information about the supporting business partners.

“As part of LRF’s mission to offer educational activities related to Lahaina’s history, this community-sponsored and focused tour is designed to assist teachers by providing them with a better sense of place as new members of our Lahaina community,” Carlucci noted.

“We certainly appreciate the time they take from their busy schedules to participate.”

The program is primarily a walking tour in the heart of Lahaina led by Carlucci and joined by partners along the way, who share their knowledge and passion for their organization’s programs.

Wainani Kealoha from Maui Nei Native Expeditions welcomed the group at the Moku’ula Restoration Site, and Tama Kaleleiki of Na Kia’i O Waine’e Komite did the same for Waine’e Cemetery and Waiola Church.

The bus ride allowed viewing of more sites, including Hale Pa’i Museum (where LRF Docent Jackie Hala discussed the printed word in Hawaii and demonstrated use of the printing press), and Lahaina Jodo Mission, where Nishihara provided a talk on the Buddhist sects that were introduced to Maui during the Plantation Era.

The last stop was at Hale Pa’ahao for a relaxed lunch in the shade of the Old Prison yard.

Attendees expressed appreciation for their newly acquired information, which will create opportunities for their students.

One teacher commented, “Experiencing Lahaina with knowledgeable guides and fellow new teachers was the best part of this program.” Another added, “I would certainly show students these sites and pass on this knowledge.”

For 55 years, the foundation has been preserving and managing many of Lahaina’s historic landmarks. It currently operates six museums.

LRF is undergoing an expansion of the Plantation Museum at The Wharf Cinema Center and continues to provide oversight and management of the Maui County-funded Lahaina Harbor Front Improvement Project.

The organization also brings historic and cultural sites to life with free programs such as the monthly Hawaiian Music Series concerts at Baldwin Home Museum and Chinese cultural festivals at Wo Hing Museum.

For more information about LRF, or how to get involved, call the Lahaina Restoration Foundation office at (808) 661-3262 or go to LahainaRestoration.org.

Find LRF on Facebook @Lahaina Restoration, Instagram @LahainaRestoration, Twitter @LahainaRestFnd and Pinterest @LahainaRestFnd.