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Meetings to explore plans for a Kalaupapa memorial


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POSTED: Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Plans to establish a memorial at Kalaupapa, Molokai, in recognition of the 8,000 leprosy patients who died there will be discussed at a public meeting Friday in Honolulu.

The first session, at Kaumakapili Church, 766 N. King St., will begin with a 6 p.m. workshop for people whose family members were sent into quarantine. A public session on the memorial will be held from 7 to 9 p.m.

The meetings are sponsored by the National Park Service, which administers the Molokai settlement where Hansen's disease patients were sent between 1866 and 1969, and Ka 'Ohana o Kalaupapa, a nonprofit group supporting the remaining few patients.

The public sessions are required as part of the process of preparing an environmental impact assessment and to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act. Earlier this year, President Barack Obama signed federal legislation authorizing Ka 'Ohana o Kalaupapa to establish a monument in Kalaupapa National Historical Park.

Kaumakapili Church was selected as the Oahu meeting site because it was the home church of Kahauliko, whose name is first in the Admission Register for Kalaupapa. He was sent Jan. 6, 1866, and will be listed first on the memorial, according to planners.

Other public meetings will be:
» 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Hale Kupuna o Lanai.
» 6 p.m. Monday, Hawaiian Homes Community Center, Wailuku
» 6 p.m. next Wednesday, Kalana O'iwi Conference Center, Kaunakakai, Molokai
» 9 a.m. Sept. 26, McVeigh Hall, Kalaupapa