Odd Fellows

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is a fraternity of citizens who had its origin in the 18th century. The first Odd Fellow groups were formed in England and thought to have grown out of guilds, forerunner of today’s unions. It is believed that the first Odd Fellows were motivated by a concern for the members of their own groups, notably those in trouble and families who needed assistance, and the widow and the orphan.

It is believed that because these workers were helping other workers, rather than depending on patriarchal royal protection, and they were organized to do this charitable work, they were looked on as “Odd Fellows” and the name has remained with the Order. Symbolically, the order uses three links of interlocking chain ; each link has a letter, F, L & T, respectively, representing Friendship, Love and Truth.

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Lua Na Moku ʻIliahi

Sandalwood (ʻiliahi) has been highly prized and in great demand through the ages; its use for incense is part of the ritual of Buddhism. Chinese used the fragrant heart wood for incense, medicinal purposes, for architectural details and carved objects. Trade in Hawaiian sandalwood began as early as the 1790s; by 1805 it had become an important export item.

In order to measure how much sandalwood to harvest and move down the mountain, they dug “Lua Na Moku ‘Iliahi” (sandalwood measuring pits) in the forest. The pits were used to measure an amount of sandalwood that would fit in a ship’s hold. The wood was cut and placed in the pit. When the pit was filled, the logs were carried down the mountain to a waiting ship.

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Lēʻahi Hospital

Can you imagine how you would feel if you or a loved one was admitted into the “Honolulu Home for Incurables?” The “destitute and incurables” were transported to such in Kakaʻako for a while until a new place could be found.

Subscribers were solicited for a new hospital; Kaimuki was selected. At about that time, Kaimuki was destined for growing development. Originally charted in 1901 as the Honolulu Home for Incurables, its name was changed to the “Lēʻahi Home” in 1906. In 1942 the word “Hospital” was substituted for the word “Home.”

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These posts are part of a personal learning experience; I have been searching to learn more about the place I and my family were born, raised, and live (and love) – then, share what I have learned.

Because of my Planning work across the Islands, as well as previously serving as Director of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources, State Historic Preservation Officer and Deputy Managing Director for Hawaiʻi County, I have had the opportunity to see some places and deal with some issues that many others have not had, nor will have, the same opportunity.

So, I am sharing some insights, events and places with others. These informal historic summaries are presented for personal, non-commercial and/or educational purposes. I hope you enjoy them. Thanks, Peter.

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