Around Kawaihao Church
Kawaiha’o Church got its name from the chiefess Ha’o who would come to the fresh water spring located on the land. Since 1820 there had been four thatch churches used by the missionaries’. In the late 1830’s the present day church was built. Hiram Bingham was the architect, the ali’i (chiefs) donated the money and labor, and the commoners hauled the timber and cut and moved over 14,000 blocks cut from coral reefs.
Kawaihalo Church has been the “Hawaiian Church” for over 150 years. The royal families came here and it was on these steps, on Restoration Day, that King Kamehameha III spoke the words “Ua mau ke ea o ka ‘aina i ka pono” which became the Kingdoms motto and later the State motto. Its meaning is “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness”. The Kawaihao Church has become a very popular spot for weddings both for locals and foreign visitors. Because of the “Royal” history, the church has become very popular as a site for Japanese couples to wed. On an average day, seven days a week, you will see six or more weddings here.
Lunalilo Tomb. Dedicated in 1879, this is the Royal tomb of King William Charles Lunalilo who, along with King Kamehameha the Great, are the only kings not interred at the Royal Mausoleum. It was the King’s wish to be buried here rather than at the Royal Mausoleum so that he could be closer to “his people”.
Last Words on Kawaihao Church
The Kawaihao Church is not a “must see” spot during your visit to Hawaii; however, Iolani Palace and the King Kamehameha Statue are must see’s. So, you’re already there, why not have a look. You’ll be glad you took the few extra minutes to visit Kawaihao Church. And, if you’re this close, you might as well also have a look at Honolulu Hale and The Mission Houses Museum too!