Edwin M. Desha fights for Ka Hoku o Hawaii, 1938.

Eddie Desha is Trying All Means to Save “Ka Hoku o Hawaii”

An effort to perpetuate the Hawaiian language and a Newspaper published in that language is being made in Hilo.

Eddie Desha, the nephew of the late Senator Stephen L. Desha Sr., is making this determined effort, with the courage and persistence which characterized his uncle, one of Hawaii’s noted orators and legislators.

Besides a small monthly magazine published by the Hawaiian Board of Missions [Ka Hoaloha], there now remains only one weekly newspaper printed in the native Hawaiian language of Hawaii. It is Ka Hoku o Hawaii (Star of Hawaii), published in Hilo by the Star of Hawaii Publishing Co., Ltd., of which W. H. Beers, Hilo attorney, is president, and Edwin M. Desha is treasurer and manager.

The late Senator Stephen L. Desha Sr. was editor and publisher of the paper for many years. His nephew has succeeded in building it up from a nearly defunct institution to a newspaper that is steadily acquiring recognition from prominent people from all over the territory who are anxious to assist in maintaining the one medium that is making a brave attempt to preserve the beautiful language of the native Hawaiians.

Hawaiians Need It

Writing to The Star-Bulletin, Mr. Desha says:

“I have several reasons for wishing to see this newspaper survive. It is the only medium through which the old time Hawaiians can enjoy the luxury of reading, as most of them can not read English. They are dying off at an alarming rate and for this reason it is important to build up the paper’s circulation without the help of people of other races.

“Many prominent people throughout the territory, learning of the paper’s efforts to preserve the Hawaiian language, have come to its assistance by either subscribing for the paper themselves or sending in checks to cover subscriptions for Hawaiians who are too poor to pay for it.

Have Good Friends

“Senator Harry Baldwin, of Maui is one of our best friends and has paid for a number of subscriptions. Frank C. Atherton of Honolulu, and Mrs. Thomas Jaggar of the Hawaii national park, have also helped in this way, while among others we have recently added to our subscription list are Senator Elsie Wilcox of Kauai, Sheriff Clem Crowell of Maui, Chief of Police Gabrielson of Honolulu, Delegate Samuel W. King, the Hawaii Tourist Bureau, the Inter-Island Steamship Co., Ltd., Honolulu Public library, Edwin  P. Murray, Senator Joseph R. Farrington, Princess David Kawananakoa, Governor Joseph B. Poindexter, Eaton H. Magoon, Rev. Henry P. Judd, Col. Curtis P. Iaukea, and dozens of others.

Memorial to Uncle

“Another reason why I wish to keep this paper alive is that it will be a lasting memorial to my late uncle, Senator Stephen L. Desha Sr., who was loved by the Hawaiians all over the territory as well as by other nationalities.

Ka Hoku O Hawaii is an independent newspaper and its policy is one of constructiveness. One page is printed in English, for the benefit of the younger Hawaiians and for the increasing number of friends, of other nationality, who have come to our assistance.”

Mr. Desha is assisted in his work of publishing Ka Hoku O Hawaii by J. B. Dixon, veteran newspaperman, who is circulation manager and editor of the English page.

Hopes to Double Circulation

Mr. Desha will appreciate any assistance the people of Hawaii Nei wish to give. He hopes to double the paper’s circulation before the end of the present year, and is making a special offer of $5 for a three year subscription, one year for $2. All Hawaiians, and friends of Hawaiians, are asked to get in touch with him.

Eddie Desha was for many years one of Hawaii’s best known athletes, particularly in baseball. His family traces back on his father’s side to the famed Desha family of Kentucky, prominent in civic, political and official life of the state and of the south.

[The English for most of this article was taken from the original article, “Eddie Desha Making Effort To Save ‘Star of Hawaii,'” found in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 10/8/1938. The Hawaiian was most likely translated from the English.]

(Hoku o Hawaii, 10/12/1938, p. 1)

Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Volume XXXIII, Number 24, Aoao 1. Okakoba 12, 1938.

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