THAT GREATLY BELOVED MATRIARCH DIES
MRS. EMMA NAWAHI LEAVES THIS LIFE
SHE WAS LIVING DEBILITATED FOR A LONG TIME AND PASSED AWAY
HILO, Hawaii, Dec. 28.—In the famous history of Hawaii nei, the name Mrs. Emma Aima Nawahi will be seen and known, from when there was hair upon figure, when the town of Hilo was very young, and the trains joined the two sides of Hamakua and Puna; at 6:30 this morning she left behind this life, and Leleiwi crossed its hands behinds its back, and the earth was left the earth’s, and His to Him.
At 2 in the afternoon on this coming Sunday, her funeral will be held at her home. After the funeral her body will be cremated and her ashes buried at the cemetery at Homelani.
She left behind one son, Alexander Nawahi of Hilo and three grandchildren.
When Mrs. Emma Aima Nawahi left this life, undone were the memories of the days when the alii of the land were living from this time of the new government. Mrs. Nawahi was a matriarch well known among the alii families of Hawaii nei, for her intelligence and for her becoming a leader for the lahui in those days when politics was strong, and her home in Hilo became the home of homes, the home that welcomed everyone and a place for travellers to rest.
She was part Chines, and her father was Tong Yee, and he was the very first Chinese to start growing sugarcane on the island of Hawaii, and her mother was Kahole-aua.
It was her father who first planted sugarcane on the land of Paukaa, and the first mill build on the island of Hawaii. Thereafter he entered into a partnership with John Ena Sr.
Mrs. Nawahi’s husband was the Hon. Joseph K. Nawahi, a member of the legislature of Hawaii nei for 20 years or more, and he was one of the political pillars who appointed Lunalilo as King for Hawaii nei. Mr. Nawahi was a powerful force opposing annexation, and in the year 1895 he established the Hawaiian Newspaper called “Ke Aloha Aina,” to express his political views.
Mrs. Nawahi was a member of the organizations Daughters of Hawaii, Kaahumanu Society, Hale o na Alii, Ahahui o na Wahine ma Hilo, a member of the Haili Church in Hilo, and so too of the American Red Cross.
(Alakai o Hawaii, 1/16/1936, p. 4)