Groundbreaking and Blessing December 20, 1980

Kahu Elmer Wilson delivered this speech as he blessed the start of Kawela Plantation.

Known as a hot and desolate area of land, with Kakahaia Fish Pond and its beach, an area that was cut up and divided.

History tells us that in the early 1750s, a very hard fought battle was fought here, at Kawela, when Chief Kapiiohokalani from Oahu landed with his army to battle with the Molokai chiefs. Word was sent to Chief Alapainui of Hawaii who was visiting on Maui so he and his army and war canoes took off to help the chiefs of Molokai, for they were a part of his family.

Alapainui and his army landed at Pukoo, and the next day moved west to do battle with Kapiiohokalani and they had his army hemmed in at Kamalo, with the Molokai warriors pushing down from the mountains and Alapainui's war canoes from the ocean and the land forces pushing, Chief Kapiiohokalani army was routed, and a fierce battle took place at Kapualei. But they continued to drive them down to Kawela, where Kapiiohokalani was slain and his army routed.

The Puuhonua or Puu Kauwa, the hill where the final battle took place, was on the ridge between the west and east Kawela stream, and it still stands as the old battle ground.

In the year 1795, Kamehameha I did battle for the island of Molokai, at Kawela and it was known as the Battle Of Pakuhiwa, or the Battle of the Cocoanut Grove. It was said that Kamehameha's war canoes lined up on the shore at Kawela for a distance of four miles and he drove the Molokai chiefs and their army up the Kawela Valley on into Pelekunu Valley.

Yes, Kawela has seen its share of wars and deaths, but today a new era is about to start, as Senator Wadsworth Yee and his group, starts the Kawela Plantation agricultural subdivision, with roads, new houses, plantations and farms and little ranches. God has seen fit to make the change, and it will start today.

Ka Aina Kaia `0 Princess Hina, `0 Molokai Nui A Hina