Diamond Kekona passes away in Germany, 1922.

That Hawaiian Boy Dies in Germany

Diamond Kekona Grew Weary of This Life After One Week of Being Ill.

HIS WIFE WAS AT HIS DEATH BED

It was His Wife Who Announced the Sad News to Honolulu nei on Monday

On Monday, this town received the sad news about the death of Diamond Kekona, the son of D. K. Kekona of this town, in Berlin, Germany, on the 13th of last month, February.

It was Mrs. Diamond Kekona, the wife of Kekona, who sent the sad news of the death of her husband to Mekia Kealakai, the leader of the Royal Hawaiian Band [Bana Hawaii], because he was a friend of the young Kekona and his wife when they were all living in London.

A letter was also received by Mr. D. K. Kekona, the father of the young man, confirming the news about the passing of his son.

Diamond Kekona was born on the 6th of October, 1890, so at his death, he was thirty-three years old and some.

Diamond left Honolulu in 1905 for New York, with a group of singers and musicians. He spent many years in America in this occupation.

During the great war of the world, Diamond Kekona was in England, and he enlisted in the service under Britain, going off to war in France and Belgium. He married a British woman and had two children, however the two of them died.

At the end of the war, Mr. and Mrs. Kekona lived in Belgium, and just last year they went to Berlin, Germany, where they met up with Joe Puni, William Kanui, and Joseph Nihali [?]; but according to the letter of Mrs. Kekona, he did not get along with Joe Puni, and they did not talk.

Mr. Kekona was not sick for long before he died, it was just a week; and in the letter his wife wrote to Mr. D. K. Kekona, she told him of her intent to return the body of her husband to London to bury, in her homeland, close to her home.

With the passing of this Hawaiian youth in foreign lands, he left behind, grieving for him: his young British wife; his grandmother, Mrs. Makalohi, who is 91; his father, Mr. D. K. Kekona, working in the sheriff department and a pastor of the Christian Science Church [Hoomana Naauao]; two younger brothers named Hugo and August Kekona; and their sister, Mrs. Lonohira [Mrs. George Lonohiwa]; and a big family.

(Kuokoa, 3/22/1922, p. 1)

Make Ia Keiki Hawaii Maloko o Kelemania

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LXI, Helu 12, Aoao 1. Maraki 22, 1922.

Maybe that wasn’t the final word on Diamond Kekona, 1922.

THE YOUNG KEKONA AND JAZZ BAND IN BERLIN.

Diamond Kekona, the Hawaiian singer is in Germany today, that according to what Diamond Kekona wrote to Dick Kekona, his father, who is in the local police department.

Diamond Kekona is one of the Hawaiian boys famous for his singing, in Scala Casano [?], Germany now, and is getting paid 3,000 Marks (German dollars) per week, which is a very low wage for him, but he hopes he will receive more when it is changed.

There was much enthusiasm in France and England about Hawaiian music and the people there went crazy over Hawaiian music, and after he was out of work for a few weeks, he went to Germany under a contract with a Jazz band, and he is the only Hawaiian in the band; the other four are all haole. He only sings. Here below is a portion of his letter written to his father explaining:

“I’ve met many Germans who have been to Honolulu before. We are headed for Baden in the summer. I am now seeing the huge cities of Europe.”

[I went back earlier into the year to see if i might find a death announcement for Diamond Kekona, because we have received kind word from Sabine, a dear reader in Germany, that she’d attempt looking for Diamond Kekona’s grave, and this is what I found first from early in 1922.]

(Kuokoa, 1/27/1922, p. 1)

O KEKONA OPIO AME KA JAZZ BAND MALOKO O BERELINA.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LXI, Helu 4, Aoao 1. Ianuari 27, 1922.

Final word on Diamond Kekona… 1922.

A LETTER FROM FOREIGN LANDS.

Mr. Dick Kekona, much aloha between us:—Here is what I have to tell you, I met up with your letter on this past 8th, and I understand your feelings full of aloha.

Here I am, living in Berlin [Belina], and we are working at Luna Park [a well-known huge amusement park of the day] today until the end of winter [summer?] and going into September. We are working at Luna Park for four months. Great is Almighty God’s aloha for the Hawaiians  who wander about the world.

Here is another new thing I must tell you, about the grave of Diamond [Kaimana] Kekona, I will take care of it and watch over it, and I will purchase a gravestone for Kaimana Kekona, my beloved younger brother.

As for our life here, it is very good, and our health is fine as well. I pray every day for the day we will meet again.

Here is another thought I have for you, my father in the land of my birth; if you might please look for my actual family who are in Kailua, Koolaupoko, Oahu: Julia Kapahu, my mother; David Nahale, my older brother; and Mele, my sister. Give my great aloha to all of them, and tell them to write me here in Berlin.

I thank you, O Papa, for your kindness to me.

Perhaps this is enough here. Give my aloha a nui loa to the family, and to yourself as well.

Sincerely, living here,

JOSEPH K. NAHALE,

17 Liesenstrasse, Berlin, N. 39 Germany.

c/o C. Sundermann.

[I wonder what happened to Diamond. He must have been only in his early 30s? Maybe he grave is still findable in Berlin?]

(Kuokoa, 6/22/1922, p. 8)

HE LETA MAI NA AINA E MAI.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LXI, Helu 25, Aoao 8. Iune 22, 1922.