Lydia Lili‘u Loloku Wewehi Kamaka‘eha, sister of King Kalakaua and hanai sister of Princess Pauahi, was a self-described scholarly girl with a deep love for books and learning.
She went on to become an extraordinary musician, composing a remarkable 150 songs including the famed “Aloha ‘Oe.” Young Lili‘u was also shaped by the profound grief and suffering she witnessed in the aftermath of a measles epidemic that decimated Hawaiian families, talking over 10,000 lives.
When she assumed the throne as Queen Lili‘uokalani, her deeply compassionate nature would be harshly tested time and again. During the tumultuous overthrow, the Queen was forced to surrender the Hawaiian Kingdom to the United States to avoid bloodshed. Imprisonment and the failed campaign to block Annexation took its toll. The beloved Queen, and last ruling monarch of Hawai‘i, died of a stroke in 1917.
The childless Queen had inherited ancestral lands from her mother, Keohokālole, and it was with these lands that she established the Queen Lili‘uokalani Trust. This Ali‘i Trust, her enduring legacy to Hawai‘i’s people, is dedicated to the well being of the least fortunate Hawaiian keiki (children). It came as no surprise to those who knew her when the Queen singled out orphan and destitute Hawaiian children as the primary beneficiaries of her estate.
The Queen believed in the advantages of education, that it could transform her people. When Queen Lili‘uokalani executed her Deed of Trust, she set in motion a legacy to improve the welfare of her beneficiaries in perpetuity.
Kuleana for the Queen’s mission is perpetuated today through the Lili‘uokalani Trust and the Lili‘uokalani Children's Center. ‘Onipa‘a.