Mother Rickard Celebrates her birthday
On Sunday, March 6, “Mother” Nora Rickard of Honokaa celebrated her 90th birthday, after living until local on the Island of Keawe for 71 years. She was born in Devonshire, England, and left there when she was 19 years old and went to America on a sailboat travelling under Cape Horn [Kaipo Hone], a trip that took five months.
“Mother” Rickard is the first white woman who lived in Honokaa. She is still strong and spry, even if she is very old. Pertaining to her trip from England, she says:
“I was but a young girl at that time, but the girls during those days married early. I was 19 years old. My first child, Mrs. Rickard Westoby was born on a schooner travelling under Cape Horn.
“We landed at Kawaihae, the harbor of the Parker Ranch.
“We had an uncle ‘Hardy’ living here in Hawaii. He was a soldier in the war of Mexico, and this uncle was living in Waimea as a carpenter. He wrote and insisted that we come to Hawaii nei, and that is why we came. My husband was only 20 at the time. We came aboard the ship R. N. Wood from Plymouth, England, on the 24th of September 1866, and the met with calm and stormy conditions at sea. They faced terrifying conditions at Kaipo Hone. Mr. Rickard started the Honokaa sugar plantation and the planting of the first field, but that first planting did not go well, so we switched to cattle and started sugar once more. Thereafter, the sugar mill was built. Then Mr. Rickard left his work and we moved to Honolulu, and there he was caught up in the overthrow and thrown into jail, and there he tuberculosis and he died some years later due to that sickness.”
Mrs. Rickard has many fascinating stories about the royal court during the monarchy. After the civil war [of 1895], the Rickards came back to live in Honokaa.
The size of Mother Rickard’s family is 16, with 14 still living.
From her came 32 grandchildren, and 25 great-grandchildren, and friends; and she received beautiful gifts and loving messages on her birthday. Her friends hope that she will live until a 100.
On Sunday afternoon, at Kapiolani Park, Honolulu, the Royal Hawaiian Band [bana Hawaii] played some songs dedicated to her by being broadcasted on the Radio Station KGU; one of these songs were “Imi Au Ia Oe”. There were many friends on Hawaii Island who were listening at the time who heard this awesome gift to the fine woman.
(Hoku o Hawaii, 3/9/1938, p. 3)