Soldiers’ Chapel honors Hawaiian queen’s birth

| September 9, 2016 | 3 Comments
Father Kaleo Patterson, of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, offers wooden crosses carved from Waianae and presents books to the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii chaplain office during the Queen Liliuokalani Birthday Commemoration Service, Sept. 2.

Father Kaleo Patterson, of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, offers wooden crosses carved from Waianae and presents books to the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii chaplain office during the Queen Liliuokalani Birthday Commemoration Service, Sept. 2.

Story and photos by
Christine Cabalo
Staff Writer

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — With songs and prayers spoken in Hawaiian, it was a celebration fit for royalty when participants gathered to commemorate Queen Lili‘uokalani’s birthday at the Soldiers’ Chapel, here, Sept. 2.

The religious commemoration service marked the 178th anniversary of the queen’s birth and the commissioning of her section of Soldiers’ Chapel to U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.

A portrait of Queen Liliuokalani. (Photo by Karen Iwamoto)

A portrait of Queen Liliuokalani. (Photo by Karen Iwamoto)

Queen Lili‘uokalani was the last reigning monarch of Hawaii before it became an annexed part of the United States.

“The records from the period said (the Soldiers’ Chapel dedication) was a very special event, and they even dedicated a whole new road for dignitaries of the time to use,” said Kenneth Hayes, architectural historian, Directorate of Public Works-Environmental, USAG-HI.

“Some of the guests were the territorial governor and local religious officials. The queen came bearing even more gifts.”

Part of the queen’s lasting gift to the Army includes the front entrance of the chapel, which was built in 1913. The steeple and entrance were merged with another historic chapel, and the structure was moved from its previous location along Lyman Road to its current home at D-Quad near Foote Avenue in 1925.

Modern-day local religious officials, USAG-HI personnel and civilian guests of native Hawaiian ancestry were at the ceremony.

During the service, participants learned about the life of Queen Lili‘uokalani and how even in her later years she rolled bandages to aid in the World War I effort. They also sang one of her original musical compositions she wrote while under house arrest at Iolani Palace.

Participants in the Queen Liliuokalani Birthday Commemoration Service held Sept. 2 exit the historic Soldiers' Chapel that the queen commissioned. Among the guests were Sgt. Maj. Lisa Piette-Edwards and Col. Stephen Dawson, the command sergeant major and commander of U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.

Participants in the Queen Liliuokalani Birthday Commemoration Service held Sept. 2 exit the historic Soldiers’ Chapel that the queen commissioned. Among the guests were Sgt. Maj. Lisa Piette-Edwards and Col. Stephen Dawson, the command sergeant major and commander of U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.

After presenting native flowers and Queen Lili‘uokalani plants in front of a portrait of the queen, Alii Sir Edward Akana, a native Hawaiian chief in the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, spoke about the historical records of her generosity.

“As you have heard, she spent all of her life and her last years loving and giving, based on her ruling life,” Akana said. “There was love and kindness, and she had a passion to uphold Hawaiian life and the tradition of first people who have come to Hawaii.”

He and Barbara Vlachos, who played ukulele, also paid musical tribute to the monarch.

Hawaiian language prayers were offered alongside chaplains who spoke in English representing USAG-HI. After the prayers, participants were encouraged to spread the peace between each other. Several native Hawaiian guests reached out to hold hands with Army personnel.

With history repeating itself, the ceremony concluded with the chaplain office receiving gifts in thanks to Queen Lili‘uokalani. They were gifted wooden crosses from Waianae and new books from their civilian guests.

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Category: Community, Community Relations, Leadership, Native Hawaiian Community Program, Observances

Comments (3)

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  1. Ms. Cabalo could have captioned the photo with the names of the chaplain/s easily accessible from the Public Affairs office on Schofield. The Queen’s song–was it “Aloaha Oe?” She wrote it while under house arrest in Iolani Palace. I was glad to read the story. I would have liked more details.

  2. Fr. Kaleo Patterson says:

    This was an important service that brought out many dignitaries:

    Rev Charles Buck
    Conference Minister of Hawaii Conference UCC

    Rev David Rivers
    Senior Ministef, Central Union Church

    Bishop Robert L. Fitzpatrick
    Episcopal Church of Hawaii

    Sir Edward Akana, Alii Noeaau Loa
    Royal Order of Kamehameha

    Leimalama Leeloy, President
    Iolani Guild

    Leianne Leeloy, President
    St. Andrew Cathedral

    Dr. Haaheo Guanson, ED
    Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center

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