“Niu Kupu ʻohiʻohi o Helumoa”, “The flourishing coconuts of Helumoa” was the theme for the rededication celebration of the new and improved Helumoa area in the heart of Waikīkī at the Royal Hawaiian Center.
“About six years ago, we renovated the entire Royal Hawaiian Center with a vision of bringing back our people, our kanaka maoli, kamaʻāina and malihini as well,” says Dee Jay Mailer, CEO of Kamehameha Schools. “So six years forward, we wanted to add and expand this place because so many people want to be here and there wasn’t enough room! So we’ve expanded it all the way from Kalākaua over to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. “
The new renovations include placards that welcome everyone to the timeline of this historic area, a bridge that crosses over the reconstructed ʻĀpuakehau stream lined with Ke Aliʻi Pauahi’s favorite plants, a beautiful elevated stage and the new customer service office- now called Helumoa Hale.
According to Manu Boyd, who is the Cultural Director at the Cultural Director at Royal Hawaiian Center at Helumoa: “The ʻano noʻonoʻo ma ʻaneʻi, is that this is our house and this is a Hawaiian house.”
A Hawaiian house that stands on the land where our aliʻi once gathered, including the founder of Kamehameha Schools, Ke Aliʻi Pauahi herself.
“And that’s what’s so special about this place,” says Dee Jay, “is knowing that she was here. And her mana is here. And then she can look at all the things happening and see her haumāna on the stage and see her haumāna actually leading this place.”
Leadership. That is what Ke Aliʻi Pauahi envisioned for her people through education and Helumoa continues to give back to that vision.
“All of the revenue that comes from this place, is going back into our endowment, which provides education for all of our keiki, scholarships, community programs, restoration of our lands, conservation ag, that’s Pauahi’s gift,” says Dee Jay.
“The spirit here is of joy, of happiness, of celebration, of relaxation, of aloha,” says Manu. “Whether you’re from Kāneʻohe, or Kansas, or Korea, you come to Helumoa and you’re welcome to be a part of our day or of our evening. No laila, e kipa mai ʻoukou a pau i ka ulu niu kaulana ʻo Helumoa.”