Banyan at Lahaina, 1930s? 1940s?

Found this postcard a while back in a box at home. Aren’t these the very trees that the Lahaina Public Band was playing under a hundred years ago?

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BANYAN TREE, LAHAINA

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No fooling in Lahaina a hundred years ago, 1916.

ALL WERE DELIGHTED

Mr. Sol Hanohano, Aloha oe:—Please allow me some open space on the wings of  the seagull of ours, so the words above have somewhere to nest.

While everyone was sitting around in the shade of the ulu grove of Lele, enjoying the softly blowing Ma-aa breeze, the local wind of the land, the people were surprised to see a notice put up: “Band concert tomorrow afternoon at 3 o’clock p.m. The Lahaina Public Band will give a public concert under the banyan tree, court house grounds. All welcome! Come one! Come all!”

And being that it was on the 1st of April that this announcement was seen, and the words said that it was the following day at 3 o’clock p.m. that the band would play, Apr. 2, 1916, the announcement was not reliable, because it was the 1st of April, maybe the intent of that announcement is an April Fool; so when going to the place directed, you would find something like the kids saying, “Go to school, tell your teacher you’re a fool,” but for this,  “Go to courthouse grounds, and call yourself you’re a fool!”

But these guesses were put aside until the prescribed time was at hand, and the band members were indeed seen seated in the place made ready for them. And for the first time, the realization came that this was not an April fool.

When the clock struck 3 o’clock, we saw Lowell Kupau bow and as he rose up he was holding his instrument, and with a wink of an eye, the voice of the band burst forth. It was just so lovely! it was a beauty that could not be faulted for they were only taught for a very short few days. The songs played were “Kaua i ka la i pohina,” “Silver Threads Amongst the Gold,” “Maui Beauty me Roselani,” composed by William J. Coelho. “Maui no ka oi,” composed by Rev. S. Kapu, “Mai poina oe ia’u,” and “Aloha oe.” “Hawaii Ponoi.” Continue reading