INITIATIVES

Actions to Optimize Effectiveness and Efficiency

Purpose Statement evolves over time:
Authorized by the 35th Article of the 1864 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i, King Kamehameha V established the Order of Kamehameha I by Royal Decree on April 11, 1865 at the ‘Iolani Palace. The Royal Decree was made with the endorsement of the King’s Privy Council of State.  The Royal Decree specifies the two purposes of the Order as: 

1864 (original)

(1) “ . . . to cultivate and develop among Our subjects the feelings of Honour and Loyalty  to Our Dynasty and its institutions, and, . . . ”
 

(2) “ . . . to confer honorary distinctions upon such of Our subjects and foreigners as have  rendered or may hereafter render to Our Dynasty and People important services . . . ”

It is important to understand that the Order of Kamehameha consisted of a society of men who where recognized for their good works (merit) to the Kingdom and People.  These men took oaths of allegiance, were knighted to a specific degree, then awarded a medal (Order) representing their respective rank.    This society of knights, loyal to the Kingdom, met regularly and discussed the affairs of the Order, People, and Kingdom and how to advance the condition of each.  Membership in the Order was exclusive and limited, however the King was privileged to present Orders (medals) to individuals at his discretion, for political purposes.  As such, the Order of Kamehameha (medal) was also presented to sovereigns of other nations as well as foreign government officials and officers.

Following the overthrow of Queen Lili‘uokalani and the Kingdom in 1893, the Order (the society) was considered a threat and suppressed by the Provisional Government and subsequent Republic of Hawai‘i.  As a result, the Order was forced underground as a secret society for a period of  time (9-years).  After Hawai‘i became a territory of the United States in 1898, Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana‘ole, declared the restoration (return to public light) of the Order in 1903.  
 

To be viable in a new sociopolitical and economic environment, the Order was forced  to revise its original Purpose Statement to one that was non-threatening and acceptable to the new regime.  The Order was no longer an institution of the Kingdom, but now an incorporated body under the Territory of Hawaiʻi and United States of America.

The Order’s new Purpose statement (created under duress) was:

1907 (new under Kūhiō)
“To inculcate the cardinal principles of Friendship, Charity, and Benevolence; to provide for Sick and Funeral Benefits; to aid the widows and orphans; and to improve the social and moral conditions of its members.”

 

Note:  There is no mention of Lāhui, Kingdom, or anyone outside of the Order.

Over the years the Purpose Statement has evolved to what it is today:

 

 1927

“ To preserve and perpetuate the ancient customs and traditions of Hawaii; to uplift and rehabilitate the Hawaiian race; to infuse the spirit of patriotism, loyalty, helpfulness and kindness among its members; to advance the interests of its members in every rightful cause; to render aid and assistance to its members in case of sickness, disability or adversity, to aid the widows and orphans or other beneficiaries of deceased members; and to raise funds by any and all lawful and proper means for the good and welfare of the Order”

1985 (still current)

“To unite in fraternal and benevolent work, men of Hawaiian descent, of good moral character, of sound bodily health; to cultivate the cardinal principles of friendship, charity and benevolence; to aid widows and orphans; to improve the social and moral conditions of its members; to provide scholarship assistance; to preserve and perpetuate the ancient customs and traditions of Hawai‘i, uplift the Hawaiian People; infuse the spirit of patriotism, loyalty, helpfulness and kindness among its members; advance the interest of its members in every rightful cause, and to encourage and develop leadership.”

 

 

 

 

Original:

 

(1) “ . . . to cultivate and develop among Our subjects the feelings of Honour and Loyalty  to Our Dynasty and its institutions, and, . . . ”
 

(2) “ . . . to confer honorary distinctions upon such of Our subjects and foreigners as have  rendered or may hereafter render to Our Dynasty and People important services . . . ”

Current:

 

“To unite in fraternal and benevolent work, men of Hawaiian descent, of good moral character, of sound bodily health; to cultivate the cardinal principles of friendship, charity and benevolence; to aid widows and orphans; to improve the social and moral conditions of its members; to provide scholarship assistance; to preserve and perpetuate the ancient customs and traditions of Hawai‘i, uplift the Hawaiian People; infuse the spirit of patriotism, loyalty, helpfulness and kindness among its members; advance the interest of its members in every rightful cause, and to encourage and develop leadership.”

In Summary:
The Purpose Statement today does not reflect the purpose, mission, or intent of the original.  We must remember that Prince Kuhio was forced to take on a new purpose statement that was non threatening and acceptable to the same powers that usurped the Kingdom.  Given the above, there is no justifiable reason why the Order should not return to its original purpose and mission.  Returning to the original Purpose Statement will solidify continuity of the Order since 1865 and refocus our limited time and resources on what truly matters, supporting the Kingdom and uplifting the Lāhui.

VS