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Looking to the Future through Education,

Cover Image: Masthead of Ka Hoku o Hawaii published on September 6, 1906.

Aloha Nūhou Monday!

Some of the newspaper team had the honor of attending the ʻŌʻō Awards put on by the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce this past Friday. The honorees were Marlene Sai, Dr. Naleen Andrade, and John De Fries, who is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, a supporter of this project. Listening to all of their stories was inspirational.

The dinner also allows the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce to award scholarships to Native Hawaiian students. This brought to mind the following letter published in the Hilo newspaper, Ka Hoku o Hawaii. William Henry Beers writes of his appreciation for the support he receives to attend the University of Michigan, and he expresses his hope that in the future, people will continue to contribute to scholarships for the education of his lāhui.

Image: “He Leta Hoomaikai Nui.” Ka Hoku o Hawaii, September 6, 1906, p. 2.

A Letter Expressing Great Appreciation.

Hilo, Hawaiʻi, Aug. 19, 1906.
A. Fernandez, Esq.,
Hāmākua, Hawaiʻi.

Much aloha between us:—Because of your kindness and open heart in helping me in giving what you can for my travel to the University of Michigan to study law. Therefore allow me to given in return my appreciation and thanks to you, with hopes that we can all send a young Hawaiian, the future of Hawaiʻi, soon after I return.

My great desire is for us all to take up collections so that we can send a Hawaiian youth to school, and not just to pay for travel to the school, but to pay for all of their expenses while at school. There are many young educated Hawaiians, but lack of money is what forces them down, and they are not able to further their knowledge.

I am overjoyed that you give of your right hand to assist us Hawaiians, and to this great effort for the good of the lāhui, and that this is the beginning. The great work is yet to come. You have shown your aloha to our lāhui, and I pray that Almighty God will help us and our beloved lāhui to continue this work for the benefit of the Hawaiian people.

As I head to that unfamiliar land with no parental figure, and leave behind my family, and pursue my education to benefit my family and lāhui in the future, I will work hard in every way as I search for knowledge. I will always place my dear lāhui before me, where they can say to me, “Do not belittle your lāhui, instead, show the whole world that you have a lāhui that is prepared to contend with the well-known peoples of the world, and that I have a lāhui that can manage themselves.”

And as I go in pursuit of my education, my humble request of you, my dear friend, is this, to pray fervently to Almighty God to give me resources and knowledge, and that He guide me on the right paths, and that He takes care of me in that unfamiliar land, until I come back and we meet again.

May Almighty God guard, guide, and watch over us, and our lāhui until we meet again.

With appreciation and much thanks for your kindness.

W. H. Beers.

(Hoku o Hawaii, 9/6/1906, p. 2)

Image: Portrait of William Henry Beers from “Men of Hawaii,” by John William Siddall. Honolulu: Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Ltd. 1917.

This post is part of He Aupuni Palapala: Preserving and Digitizing the Hawaiian Language Newspapers, a partnership between Bishop Museum and Awaiaulu with assistance from Kamehameha Schools. Mahalo nui loa to Hawaii Tourism Authority for their support. Learn more about this project here.

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