Celebration of the birthday of Queen Emma at the Queen’s Hospital, 1945.

Our Day


KAHALA, Honolulu, January 5, 1945—The nurses and all the employees of The Queen’s Hospital gave a luau in the memory of the birthday of Queen Emma Kaleleonalani, on the grounds of the hospital. There were many people who were invited, and there were many who attended. We two [Evelyn Desha and Stephen Desha Jr.] were among the invited, and my companion [Mr. Desha] was invited to speak on the life of Queen Emma. There were many who entertained at that luau. Singing groups with their hula girls. Something that really made the two of us happy was our meeting and shaking hands with Admiral Nimitz, General Smith, and Governor Stainback. The ideas below are some that were spoken of by my friend on that afternoon.

One hundred and eighty years ago, on the second of January, 1836, born from High Chiefess Fanny Young Kekelaokalani was a daughter called Emma. We gather to commemorate her birthday on this afternoon and partake of the food prepared on this table. We commemorate the birthday of this baby who rose in stature and became Queen of Hawaii, with her husband, Kamehameha IV. They built this hospital called The Queen’s Hospital, a memorial to this beloved Queen of Hawaii. Before her birth, she was given to Dr. T. C. B. Rooke, the husband of Grace Kamaikui Young, the younger sister of the mother of Queen Emma. And at her birth, she was taken to the home of Dr. Rooke, and it was there that she was cared for until she married her husband; and and it was there that she returned to after her husband died, Kamehameha IV.

In the year 1840, Dr. Rooke enrolled his hanai in the school for the children of alii. There were fourteen children in this school; seven boys and seven girls. Six of them became kings and queens of Hawaii. Alexander Liholiho, that is Kamehameha IV; Lot Kamehameha, that is Kamehameha V; William C. Lunalilo, that is King Lunalilo; David Kalakaua, that is King Kalakaua; Lydia Kamakaeha or Lydia Paki, that is Queen Liliuokalani; and Emma Rooke, who was Queen Emma, the wife of Kamehameha IV, and the one whose day we are celebrating this day.

In the month of June, on the 18th, in the year 1856, Emma Rooke wed Kamehameha IV in Kawaiahao. Dr. Armstrong (Limaikaika) married the two. It is said that there were three thousand people who were in that church and the same number outside the church looking through the windows.

On the fifth of May, 1858, God blessed Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV, and she gave birth to a boy named Ka Haku o Hawaii, Prince of Hawaii. This baby did not live long, but in his fourth year of life he died. One year after his death, his father died, Kamehameha IV. Within one year, her loved ones disappeared from her, and it was something which she grieved for. This is a short story. After the death of Queen Emma’s child, she called herself, “Kaleleokalani,” (my beloved one flew off to heaven), and when her husband died, she changed her name to “Kaleleonalani,” (my beloved ones flew of to heaven), and it was this last name that Hawaiian adults today are familiar with.

In the year 1865, Queen Emma travelled to Europe and met with Queen Victoria of England. They became friends and it was death which separated them. In the year 1875, Queen Emma and Kalakaua were the choices for the throne of the Monarch of Hawaii, and it is said that if the vote was left with the makaainana, and not to the  members of the Legislature, Queen Emma would have won.

Queen Emma lived twenty-one years after the death of her husband, Kamehameha IV, and these years have been filled with her help to her people. She was a Queen  who was loved by Hawaii.

[Queen Emma’s help to her people still goes on and on 73 years later!]

(Hoku o Hawaii, 2/7/1945, p. 2)


Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Volume XXXIX, Number 42, Aoao 2. Pepeluali 7, 1945.

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