Its name has also evolved from Convalescent Nursing Home … to Maunalani Hospital … to, finally, the present Maunalani Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (as of March 1998).
It started as the home of Hattie Ethelwyn Alfred Castle. She “was born in this city (Honolulu) on December 21, 1872, in the days of King Lunalilo …”
“… one of the two daughters of Charles Alfred Castle and Claire Eloise Coleman, his wife, and a grand-daughter of Samuel Northrup Castle, one of the founders and pioneers of the Hawaiian Mission from New England.” (Hawaiian Church Chronicle, January, 1941)
“After her father’s early death on April 30, 1874, which occurred in the fourth year of his married life and when Miss Castle was less than a year old, her mother took her and her sister, Eloise – now Mrs. BL Marx of this city, east to Canada …”
“… the birthplace of their maternal grandmother, where they spent thirteen years of their girlhood and young womanhood in what is locally known as the ‘Eastern Townships’, or English-speaking section of the Province of Quebec.”
“In her later years, Miss Castle’s recollection of this period of her life, with its ice and snow and jingling sleigh-bells, its rustic simplicity and kind-hearted neighborliness …”
“… was as keen and vivid as though its events had happened but yesterday; and one of her delights was to converse of that country with those who also know it.” (Hawaiian Church Chronicle, January, 1941)
She bought nine and a half acres of land atop Maunalani Heights and built her home. She died November 2, 1940.
In her will, she made provisions that, subject to the life tenures of several relatives, her home would become a residence for seniors in need of comfort and care.
The home was incorporated in 1945 as a non-profit, non-discriminatory organization.
The matter didn’t sit well with everyone … “As a result of petitions received from residents of Maunalani Heights a public hearing will be held …”
“… to air their objections to the proposed location of the Convalescent Nursing home in that area.” (Star Bulletin, September 3, 1947)
In January 6, 1950, with the diligence of prominent Honolulu community leaders, Maunalani opened its doors and welcomed its first residents.
“‘We had a hard row to hoe this first year,’ admits Mrs. Elaine P. Johnson, administrator of the home, adding that it has taken time to educate the public and build up clientele. ‘But we have gained the confidence of the public,’ she adds.” (Practical Nursing Scrapbook)
“The home started out with five patients. ‘We wanted to see what our capabilities were before we went too far,’ said Mrs Johnson.” After the first year it grew to 22. With 8 more scheduled to enter. (Practical Nursing Scrapbook)
Over the years, Maunalani has experienced a series of additions and renovations to the original Castle family residence. A part of her home still exists as part of the facility.
Today, Maunalani Nursing and Rehabilitation Center offers 24-hour nursing support to residents with varied levels of need on a long-term or temporary care basis.
Because residents vary in age and need, individualized rehabilitation therapy programs are provided based on physician recommendation.
Maunalani’s physical, occupational and speech therapists offer restorative and maintenance therapy to residents who need to practice, strengthen and sustain daily living skills. (MNRC)