Waiahole: Little Old School That Could

The Waiahole ohana has put together a grand celebration that’s been 130 years in the making.

This Saturday’s Waiahole Elementary School 130th anniversary party will include a luau, prizes, commemorative booklet and T-shirts, country market and great home-grown entertainment for the public. Just venture down Waiahole Valley Road from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to join in the fun, which includes a raffle drawing for a neighbor-island trip for two and a dedication (at 11:30 a.m.) to a “surprise honoree.” Luau tickets cost $10.

Entertainers include Kuhai Halau O Kahealani Pa Olapa Kahiko with Kevin Tolentino & Waiahole students at 9 a.m.; Na Wai Hooluu o ke Anuenue at 9:45; Holunape at 10:45; kumu Shona Lam Ho & Hoomaikai Hula Halau at 12:15 p.m.; Po & the 4Fathers at 1:15; and Kupa’aina at 2:15.

Many of the tiny school’s alumni have made their mark as adults, such as musician Jerry Santos of Olomana, kumu hula Mary Kupau-Mikaele, DOE superintendent (and state senator) Charles Toguchi, state senator and minister Bob Nakata, and Broadway’s MissSaigon actress Zoey Anguay.

During the reign of King David Kalakaua, Waiahole School opened with the mission to educate the valley’s rural population, offering farming courses as well as standard subjects. Today, principal Wendy Matsuzaki and staff work to enlighten approximately 70 students on modern-day benchmarks. Agriculture still is alive on campus, however. Last month the students planted GMO-free corn seeds, which should be ready for harvest later this fall.

“Waiahole Elementary stands as a legacy of generations of families, a small school with a big history,” said Matsuzaki. “Our valley community feels proud that our school is still standing.”

For details, call 239-3111.