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Hawai`i Calls: An Evening of Aloha

`Ahahui Ka`ahumanu members Kehau Luuwai and Hulu Lindsey. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Maui Now Staff

A nearly 150-year-old Hawaiian women’s society will reprise the popular 1950s Hawai`i Calls radio show at a November fundraiser at the Maui Tropical Plantation.

The `Ahahui Ka`ahumanu will present “Hawai`i Calls: An Evening of Aloha” starting at 6 p.m. Nov. 17. Tickets cost $35 per person, with proceeds benefiting scholarships. The colorful event will offer a dinner buffet and silent auction.

The Hawai`i Calls radio show ran from 1935 to 1975 featuring such entertainment icons as Alfred Apaka, Martin Denny, Hilo Hattie and Arthur Lyman. At its 1950s height, the weekly program was broadcast live from Waikiki on more than 750 stations worldwide. Shows always began with emcee Webley Edwards announcing, “The sound of the waves on the beach at Waikiki,” against the backdrop of pounding surf.

The November fundraiser will showcase `Ahahui members performing hula and music. Members include Na Hoku Hanohano award-finalist `Ahumanu group of Elizabeth Kopa`a Morales and Joni deMello.

The November fundraiser will showcase `Ahahui members performing hula and music. Members include Na Hoku Hanohano award-finalist `Ahumanu group of Elizabeth Kopa`a Morales and Joni deMello.. Photo by Wendy Osher.

For tickets, see an `Ahahui member or call 281-9257 or 264-5522 on Maui.

The host Wailuku Chapter of `Ahahui Ka`ahumanu has a record 107 members who, besides awarding scholarships, feed less-fortunate families; hold annual ceremonies honoring Maui-born Ka`ahumanu at Queen Ka`ahumanu Center; and offer cultural programs involving Hawaiian history, hula, lei making and other topics.

Princess Victoria Kamamalu, granddaughter of King Kamehameha I, founded the `Ahahui Ka`ahumanu nearly a century and a half ago, on August 8, 1864. The society’s original mission was to care for the sick and provide dignified burials, especially for indigent women. This aspect is reflected in the group’s signature regalia of black attire, complemented by gold lei hulu, or feather neck lei, to symbolize royalty.

The `Ahahui Ka`ahumanu Wailuku Chapter IV, established July 26, 1923, will present in July a 90th-anniversary convention open to more than 500 members in nine sister chapters statewide.

Membership is open to Native Hawaiian women 18 and older who are sponsored by a member in good standing. For more information, write: `Ahahui Ka`ahumanu, P.O. Box 6030, Kahului 96732.

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