Diamond Kekona passes away in Germany, 1922.

That Hawaiian Boy Dies in Germany

Diamond Kekona Grew Weary of This Life After One Week of Being Ill.

HIS WIFE WAS AT HIS DEATH BED

It was His Wife Who Announced the Sad News to Honolulu nei on Monday

On Monday, this town received the sad news about the death of Diamond Kekona, the son of D. K. Kekona of this town, in Berlin, Germany, on the 13th of last month, February.

It was Mrs. Diamond Kekona, the wife of Kekona, who sent the sad news of the death of her husband to Mekia Kealakai, the leader of the Royal Hawaiian Band [Bana Hawaii], because he was a friend of the young Kekona and his wife when they were all living in London.

A letter was also received by Mr. D. K. Kekona, the father of the young man, confirming the news about the passing of his son.

Diamond Kekona was born on the 6th of October, 1890, so at his death, he was thirty-three years old and some.

Diamond left Honolulu in 1905 for New York, with a group of singers and musicians. He spent many years in America in this occupation.

During the great war of the world, Diamond Kekona was in England, and he enlisted in the service under Britain, going off to war in France and Belgium. He married a British woman and had two children, however the two of them died.

At the end of the war, Mr. and Mrs. Kekona lived in Belgium, and just last year they went to Berlin, Germany, where they met up with Joe Puni, William Kanui, and Joseph Nihali [?]; but according to the letter of Mrs. Kekona, he did not get along with Joe Puni, and they did not talk.

Mr. Kekona was not sick for long before he died, it was just a week; and in the letter his wife wrote to Mr. D. K. Kekona, she told him of her intent to return the body of her husband to London to bury, in her homeland, close to her home.

With the passing of this Hawaiian youth in foreign lands, he left behind, grieving for him: his young British wife; his grandmother, Mrs. Makalohi, who is 91; his father, Mr. D. K. Kekona, working in the sheriff department and a pastor of the Christian Science Church [Hoomana Naauao]; two younger brothers named Hugo and August Kekona; and their sister, Mrs. Lonohira [Mrs. George Lonohiwa]; and a big family.

(Kuokoa, 3/22/1922, p. 1)

Make Ia Keiki Hawaii Maloko o Kelemania

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LXI, Helu 12, Aoao 1. Maraki 22, 1922.

Maybe that wasn’t the final word on Diamond Kekona, 1922.

THE YOUNG KEKONA AND JAZZ BAND IN BERLIN.

Diamond Kekona, the Hawaiian singer is in Germany today, that according to what Diamond Kekona wrote to Dick Kekona, his father, who is in the local police department.

Diamond Kekona is one of the Hawaiian boys famous for his singing, in Scala Casano [?], Germany now, and is getting paid 3,000 Marks (German dollars) per week, which is a very low wage for him, but he hopes he will receive more when it is changed.

There was much enthusiasm in France and England about Hawaiian music and the people there went crazy over Hawaiian music, and after he was out of work for a few weeks, he went to Germany under a contract with a Jazz band, and he is the only Hawaiian in the band; the other four are all haole. He only sings. Here below is a portion of his letter written to his father explaining:

“I’ve met many Germans who have been to Honolulu before. We are headed for Baden in the summer. I am now seeing the huge cities of Europe.”

[I went back earlier into the year to see if i might find a death announcement for Diamond Kekona, because we have received kind word from Sabine, a dear reader in Germany, that she’d attempt looking for Diamond Kekona’s grave, and this is what I found first from early in 1922.]

(Kuokoa, 1/27/1922, p. 1)

O KEKONA OPIO AME KA JAZZ BAND MALOKO O BERELINA.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LXI, Helu 4, Aoao 1. Ianuari 27, 1922.

More mele, this time from Liliuokalani! 1920.

NEW MELE BY LILIU.

From within the various papers of the deceased Queen Liliuokalani, the Honorable H. L. Holstein, the executor of the deceased queen’s estate, found two mele which she composed herself, and which Honolulu’s people have not heard before; however, on the evening of this Sunday, the mele will be sung by the Royal Hawaiian Band [Bana Hawaii] outside of Kapiolani Park, under the direction of Mekia Kealakai.

The words of these compositions are profound, unlike most of the mele composed by other famous composers of Hawaii nei; this shows that there are but few people who are adept at composing mele like Queen Liliuokalani.

Being that Mekia Kealakai is one of those skilled at composing Hawaiian mele while he was a member of the Hui Kawaihau [Kawaihau Glee Club], there will be nothing lacking in his directing of the playing and singing of the Royal Hawaiian Band, when the mele are sung, drawing forth feelings of admiration from the audience.

Here below are the mele composed by Queen Liliuokalani:

KA UA KILIHUNE O KONA.

Ei ae ka ua kuakualua
Ke nihi ae la i ka moana;
E uhai ae ana e ike kona pili,
Kahi wai kaulana i Haliilua.

Hui.

Maeele au i ka ua la,
Kilikilihune ka nahele la,
Hoopulu ana i ka palai.

Pulu au i ka ua anu au maeele,
Hoopulu ana i ka palai.
Ke walea la oe i ka la’i o Maunaloa,
I ka uluwehi nani a o ka lehua.

NOHEA.

He mea nani ke aloha,
Ke hiki mai i o’u nei;
Me he opuu lei daimana,
Kahiko no kuu kino.

Hui.

Kuu lei popohe i ka la’i,
Nohea i Mu’olaulani,
Ko beauty la he mau ia,
No na kau a kau.

He pua iluna ka’u li’a,
He mea laha ole na loko;
He waiwai hiilani na’u,
O ka oi no ia o Hawaii.

[This must have been some performance! “Nohea” is also known as “Nohea i Mu’olaulani” and as just “Mu’olaulani.” I am not sure why this song is referred to as an unknown composition in 1920. But does anyone know if there are any recordings of “Ka Ua Kilihune o Kona”?]

(Kuokoa, 12/10/1920, p. 3)

HE MAU MELE HOU NA LILIU.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LVIII, Helu 50, Aoao 3. Dekemaba 10, 1920.