The First Kamehameha Day, 1872.

This past Tuesday, as per the Royal Proclamation, the 11th of June was observed as the day to commemorate Kamehameha I, our Royal Ancestor who conquered the land. This is a new day included in the realm of holidays; and the people were joyous at the designating of a day like this for the remembering of our precious beloved one of days gone by. The day opened beautifully, without any drops to bother the people who were well adept to celebrate the day. From early morning, the doors of the large and small shops of town were closed shut, and when the sun came out, nonexistent the sight of many people on the streets of this town, and the places of work were deserted. Everyone was ready to entertain themselves with pleasures of all sorts; some people with feasts or horse riding, but it seemed as if most of the people were at the races set up at Kulaokahua, where enjoyments of all sorts took place [? i muu ai].

The sight of the race track on that day, was as if like no other before. The lanai and tents were nicely built, and congratulations go to those responsible for that distinguished job. The lanai and grounds were filled all the way atop the hills with thousands enjoying themselves with the festivities of the day. Should a visitor stand far away and look forth, it was as if it was a scene from great racing days in Europe. The events of the day began at 10 o’clock or thereafter; and to take in all of the many fun activities of the day was great; there were no big uproars to disturb the peace; that is something unusual for big days like this.

At 10 o’clock sharp, Queen Emma made an appearance with her guests, and King Kapuaiwa with his suite. At the arrival of the King, the activities of the day were opened, and all the people joined in the festivities set aside. There are the races below as well as those who won.

The activities of the day began with the First Race for the Kamehameha Plate, which was two miles long. John A. Cummins [Keoni Kamaki] of Waimanalo won, with “Carry the News,” with a time of four minutes and thirty seconds. This was one of the fine open races [heihei pualu] of the day.

Trotting Race [Heihei Holo Kaa], for one hundred dollars, two mile long course. J. T. Chayter won with the horse Bill Taylor, with a time of seven minutes and thirty seconds.

Foot Race [Heihei Kukini], for twenty dollars, two hundred yards, won by E. Williams [Edward Williams].

King’s Cup, won by John A. Cummins [Keoni Kamaki], with his horse, “Carlotta,” one mile and  a half, with a time of two minutes and twelve seconds.

Sack Race [Heihei Eke], was one of the most humorous races of the day, won by Sam, the harbor boy who is used to winning that type of race in past years.

Honolulu Purse [Eke Honolulu nei], of $100, one mile, won by “Bosetona,” the horse of Keoni Miki [John Meek].

Mule Race [Heihei Miula], $40, won by the mule of Mr. Pilipo of Kailua, Koolaupoko.

Foot Hurdle Race [Heihei Kukini Lele-pa], four hurdles in a hundred yards; the first place went to Ed. Williams, and the second to Sam; $40 and $10.

Public Purse [Eke o ka Lehulehu], one mile, the horse of John A. Cummins [Keoni Kamaki], “Tom Riddle,” won, with a time of two minutes and fourteen seconds.

$60 Purse [Heihei Eke $60], half a mile long, between “Carlotta” and “Jack Diamond.” This was one of the best races of the day, in the first running, they were head to head; but on the second race, “Carlotta” won with a time of one minute.

Velocipede Race [Heihei Kaa Huila kahi], half a mile long, won by Edward Williams.

Hurdle Race [Heihei Lele pa], for $80, won by “Carry the News,” the horse of John A. Cummins [Keoni Kamaki]. Eight hurdles were jumped over in two miles.

The final race was the wheelbarrow race [heihei kaa palala], which was the most comical. With this race, the activities of the day came to a close, and everyone went home with hearts filled with much joy. There is one thing amongst all the activities which we appreciate greatly, that is the fraction of various sorts of commotions. There were no disturbances believed to have resulted from the gaiety of the day.

[This is quite a different type of celebration compared to today. Whatever you may have planned for today, let there be remembering of the one who unified the islands, Kamehameha Paiea.]

(Au Okoa, 6/13/1872, p. 2)

Ma ka Poalua iho nei...

Ke Au Okoa, Buke VIII, Helu 9, Aoao 2. Iune 13, 1872.

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