June 12, 2009 – Hilo, Hawaii
Produced by David Corrigan
The landmark statue of King Kamehameha the Great at Wailoa State Park in Hilo is adorned with fresh flower leis during an annual evening ceremony. The event, in its 13th year, traditionally takes place on the eve of the state wide holiday honoring the legendary Hawaiian ruler.
The 14 foot Hilo statue, sculpted by R. Sandrin, is one of five prominent statues to be found around the world. The statue was originally commissioned for $125,000 by the Princeville Corporation for their resort in Kauai, but was later donated to Hilo. Kauai was never conquered by Kamehameha.
The ceremony was MC’d by Skylark Rossetti. The Royal Order of Kamehameha, well known hula halau, and other prominent Hawaiian organizations honored the king’s memory with lengthy, elaborate lei.
Duke Aiona’s comments at the ceremony
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Lt. Governor (and gubernatorial hopeful) James “Duke” Aiona spoke during the King Kamehameha lei draping ceremony in Hilo, on the eve of the celebrated holiday.
Aiona, standing in front of the statue of King Kamehameha the Great, spoke on the topic of leadership, the true measure of which he says is “influence”.
Aiona said everyone influences by “our disposition, and not by our position.”