The Punahou community gathered on Thursday, Nov. 1, to honor the woman for whom Kuaihelani Learning Center for ʻIke Hawaiʻi was named, remembering her and her legacy on the date of her passing 110 years ago. This event was also part of the ʻIke Hawaiʻi speaker series at Punahou that focuses on influential Hawaiian women.
Co-directors of Hawaiian Studies Malia Ane ’72 and Ke‘alohi Reppun ’99 opened the event with an oli and invited guests to enjoy Hawaiian food provided by chef Mark “Gooch” Noguchi ’93, a Punahou faculty member, and others. Kimo Alama-Keaulana and friends also provided entertainment.
Alice Flanders ’52 Guild, great-granddaughter of Abigail Kuaihelani Maipinepine Campbell, was the event’s speaker. Draped in lei made from flowers grown on campus, Guild shared stories of Campbell, who is acknowledged as a heroine of the Hawaiian people for helping gather thousands of women’s signatures in 1893 in an attempt to restore Queen Lili’uokalani to the throne and protest the 1898 annexation of Hawai‘i.
Guild is a pioneering businesswoman and longtime leader in efforts to restore and preserve ‘Iolani Palace and is past recipient of the Punahou Alumni Association Charles S. Judd Jr. ’38 Humanitarian Award. Guild’s mother, Muriel Macfarlane Flanders (1926), was a noted O‘ahu philanthropist.
During an emotional moment at the event, Guild described the discovery of the documents of signatures gathered by Campbell. “When [Hawaiian author and scholar] Noenoe Silva entered my office at ‘Iolani palace in 1996 and showed me photocopies of petitions with my great-grandmother’s signature on every page, I believed I was the first member of the Campbell family to learn of the existence of the Kūʻē Petitions and of Kuaihelani’s role in attaining the signatures that could have saved the Hawaiian nation, if history had taken a turn,” Guild told attendees.