Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Saturday, October 30, 1999

Kamamalu and
namesake building
rich in history, art

Question: Nov. 1 is Princess Victoria Kamamalu's birthday. A building named after her stands at 1010 Richards St. There is tile artwork adorning the stairwells from the first to third floors. Who was the artist and when did the state first occupy the building? Did the princess have any children and are her heirs still living?

Answer: Award-winning artist Edward Stasack, former chairman of the University of Hawaii Art Department and authority on Hawaiian petroglyphs, did the decorative tilework, state officials say.

We asked Comptroller Raymond Sato for information about the building, since his Department of Accounting and General Services oversees state facilities. In turn, he asked State Archivist Jolyn Tamura for help and she came up with the following:

The state purchased the building, at the corner of King and Richards streets, for $2.5 million in 1968 from Hawaiian Trust Co. (now Pacific Century Trust), which built it in 1957.

It was among the first five buildings named after Hawaiian royalty (ali'i) in 1968.

Princess Victoria Kihe'ahe'alani Kamamalu was the sister of Kamehameha IV and V and lived for a time on the grounds of Iolani Palace, directly across the street from the building which now bears her name.

From other sources, we learned that Princess Kamamalu was the granddaughter of Kamehameha the Great and the daughter of Kinau and Kekuanaoa, the governor of Oahu. She was engaged to Prince William C. Lunalilo, but the marriage reportedly was opposed by Kamehameha IV and never took place. David Kalakaua also was said to have proposed to her, only to be rejected.

She was the founder of the Ahahui Ka'ahumanu, which she named for her aunt, Queen Ka'ahumanu, and served as Kuhina Nui (prime minister) from 1854 to 1863, during the reign of Kamehameha IV.

Kamamalu was 27 and single when she died on May 26, 1866, after a brief illness. She was the last female directly descended from Kamehameha the Great.

The Kamamalu Building houses the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, which is holding its 10th annual musical tribute to her on Monday.

The Royal Birthday Concert begins at noon on the grounds of Iolani Palace.

No-kill animal shelters

In last Saturday's column, a Kokua Line reader wanted to know of alternatives to the Hawaiian Humane Society, specifically no-kill animal shelters. We suggested the Sylvester Foundation (259-0064) and asked readers for information about any other shelters. These two were named:

Bullet East Maui Animal Refuge, a nonprofit, no-kill shelter run by Sylvan and Suzie Schwab and about a dozen volunteers in Haiku. It has about 400 animals, domestic and wild. Donations may be sent to East Maui Animal Refuge, 25 Maluaina Place, Haiku, HI 96798. From Oahu, call (808) 572-8308.

Bullet Hawaii Animal Sanctuary: Several hundred cats, plus dogs, rabbits and other creatures, live in a no-kill/rehoming environment in East Honolulu. Nonprofit and run entirely by volunteers. Call 395-0023 for information about tax-deductible donations.


To Robert Nomura for returning my purse, which I lost at the Makiki post office. Good Samaritans like him make life enjoyable. -- Linda Kalopodes

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