Will was to help better her people


The Honolulu Advertiser
Friday, October 10, 2003

By Charles Maxwell Sr.

Kahu Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell Sr. sits on the Kamehameha Schools board of advisers.

If a person's will is considered a legal document and by law has the weight of a person's last wish, then why do so many people have a problem with the will of Princess Pauahi Bishop (see Andrew Thomas, "Follow the Law," Sept. 17)?

Doesn't a person have the right to leave her property to whom she wants and dictate who the beneficiaries are?

The princess' will distinctly states: "To devote a portion of each year's income to the support and education of orphans, and others in indigent circumstances, giving the preference to pure or part aboriginal blood."

If this statement is not clear enough, I don't know what is.

The fact is, Princess Pauahi's will was consummated upon her death in 1884 and her wishes were carried out. The reason she felt it was important was that she had seen the demise of her people, who had died by the hundreds of thousands since the arrival of Capt. James Cook and others who followed, bringing every known disease from the West and later from the Orient.

Princess Pauahi's will is more appropriate today because of the condition of the kanaka maoli who disproportionately are at the top of the social ills of present-day Hawai'i. The overthrow was just as traumatic to us as the 9-11 attack on America, and like that attack, it has far-reaching affects. The facts of the illegal overthrow of Hawai'i reek of terrorism in the literal sense of the word.

One only has to look at modern-day Hawai'i and ask what good statehood did for us as kanaka maoli. Are we better off because we are under the U.S. government? How come the laws of this so-called great nation, which is our colonizer, are now taking the last bastion of our culture with the Hawaiian Home Lands, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the legacy of a princess, the Kamehameha Schools?

Is it not enough that the Hawaiians lost all of Hawai'i? As a kupuna, I am very concerned for the future of our people because the visitors industry, all the businesses that rely on tourism, is not helping the cause of the Hawaiian people. Even Hawaiians who promote aloha and sharing have a breaking point. Let's all hope and pray that this point is never reached.

© COPYRIGHT 2003 The Honolulu Advertiser, a division of Gannett Co . Inc.

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