Thursday, August 21, 2008

Kalaupapa celebrates Damien, Parish Anniversary, New Pastor

In St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa, Bishop Larry Silva preaches at the Mass celebrating the feast of Blessed Damien, the 100th anniversary of the Church, and the installation of Father Felix Vandebroek, left, as pastor. (HCH photo by Patrick Downes)
KALAUPAPA July 28th 2008: (Catholic Herald) - With a joyful Mass and luau on May 10, St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Kalaupapa savored a triple crown celebration — the 100th anniversary of the parish church, the feast day of Blessed Damien and the installation of a new pastor. More than 100 people filled the gleaming white church for a music-drenched liturgy presided over by Bishop Larry Silva, and concelebrated by the pastor Sacred Hearts Father Felix Vandebroek, and Sacred Hearts Father Lusius Nimu. The guests, many of whom came to the isolated location on eight- and nine-seat chartered planes, outnumbered the parishioners — the small, aging community of Hansen’s disease patients, their caretakers and the settlement’s government workers. They assembled gradually and noisily, like a big family reunion, with plenty of hugs and kisses and leis, delaying the scheduled 10 a.m. liturgy by almost a half hour. No one minded. “You can feel the joy,” the bishop said, greeting the congregation. In his homily, Bishop Silva expounded on the image of the Good Shepherd presented in the Gospel, urging the congregation to be “shepherds in your families, in your school communities, in heath care.” Speaking of the church’s anniversary, he alluded to the church’s distinctive history. “As we come to celebrate the centennial of this holy place, we remember all those who gathered here in hope, gathered in sorrow, gathered with pain in their hearts, gathered with great joy,” he said. Citing progress being made at the Vatican in Blessed Damien’s canonization cause, the bishop hinted that he will be declared a saint within the year, saying “that this is perhaps the last time we will call him ‘blessed’ on his feast day.” After the homily, the bishop installed the 80-year old Belgian priest as pastor. Before reciting his installation promise, Father Vandebroek said he had a special message to give “to the parishioners of St. Francis.” “We love you,” he simply said. The Mass music was led by a dozen members of the St. John Vianney Choir of Kailua, frequent Kalaupapa visitors, and directed by Molokai-born Robert Mondoy who wrote or arranged most of it. A hula by four Kalaupapa residents — “God is Love” to the tune of “Makalapua” — served as a prelude to the liturgy. After Mass, the people were shuttled over to McVeigh Hall for a luau lunch complete with squid luau, sweet potato, raw crab, varieties of poke and a sheet cake with a picture of the church. Homegrown and visiting singers, dancers and musicians provided some spirited local-style party entertainment. Anyone who could grab an ukulele or knew the hula to “Boy from Laupahoehoe” was welcome to join in. Singer-composer Keith Haugen, with his wife Carmen, debuted the Hawaiian-language song “Kiloi ia” (“Discarded”), a mele about the people of Kalaupapa. “The sick people were thrown away, they were just discarded here at Kalaupapa, they were thrown without care from the big ship into the rough sea at Kalawao,” goes the translation of one of the verses. The lei-laden Father Vandebroek happily mingled rather than eat, chatting with parishioners, friends and guests. The pastor, who came to Hawaii in 1956 and has served in parishes on Oahu, the Maui and, has been at Kalaupapa since September. Resident Winnie Harada, wife of the late Paul Harada, presented Bishop Silva and visiting Lutheran Bishop Murray Finck of California with containers of Hawaiian salt her husband was famous for collecting along the Kalaupapa shoreline. St. Francis is Hawaii’s smallest, most remote, most unique parish. Because of its particular membership, there are no regular baptisms, first communions or weddings — just funerals. The parish continuously welcomes pilgrims from around the world who want to walk the soil that cultivated the sanctity of Father Damien de Veuster and Mother Marianne Cope. St. Francis Church is the successor to the church Father Damien built and used, St. Philomena, which still stands a few miles away, alone among the graves in Kalawao, the original site of the settlement that became the state-mandated destination for those who contracted leprosy in Hawaii between 1866 and 1969." The original St. Francis Church, built of wood in 1899, burned down in 1906. Construction for the present Gothic-style stone church began in 1907. It was completed the following year and blessed on May 28, 1908. St. Francis was renovated in the late 1990s by then pastor Sacred Hearts Father Joseph Hendriks.
By Patrick Downes Hawaii Catholic Herald



No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Discriminatory Laws on Leprosy Need Amendment

PUNE, India: 19th August 2009 (Times of India) - Leprosy, which has blighted mankind for thousands of years, is still far from being wiped out from the social psyche even though the disease is completely curable now. Even today, there are several laws that continue to discriminate against the leprosy affected people. The International Leprosy Union Alliance (HA) here has identified 16 such acts and filed a petition to the 'Parliament petition committee' (PPC) recently. "The ILU-HA has formed a committee to discuss the discriminatory laws against leprosy-affected people," said Rashmi Shirhatti, chief executive of ILU-HA . There may be more such acts but the PPC has assured us that they will focus on these 16 acts, where the leprosy-affected persons feel hardship and injustice."

Elaborating on some of these acts, Shirhatti said that the Indian Railways Act of 1869, section 56 gives the railway authorities the power to refuse carriage to patients suffering from contagious diseases. "Leprosy is the least infectious and is not at all contagious. The act is discriminatory," said Shirhatti. Similarly, the Care and Protection Act 2000 says a child found to be affected by leprosy should be dealt with separately. "The committee has proposed an amendment to the effect that such a child should not be segregated, except when undergoing an infectious stage as certified by a medical practitioner," said Shirhatti.

The Life Insurance Corporation Act of 1956, which specifies a higher premium to the leprosy-affected, ought to be amended as "it unnecessarily penalises patients and perpetuates an unscientific fear of leprosy," said Shirhatti. Changes have been sought in the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947; Council of India Act, 1992; Persons with Disabilities Act, 1955; Bombay Municipal Corporation Act, 1888 and The Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959, Shirhatti said. "Be it the Special Marriage Act, Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act 1939, The Hindu Marriage Act, 1956 or the India Divorce Act, 1869, all have provisions for divorce on the grounds of a partner suffering from incurable and virulent leprosy, whereas leprosy is a curable disease now," "The laws were framed when leprosy was considered incurable. Now, it's curable. Hence there is a need to amend these laws," said Ashok Laddha, joint director (leprosy and TB).
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Fight Against Leprosy in Hawaii

Number of victims increasing but the disease not hereditary
Oakland Enquirer 1895 - (California) – The government has been pursuing for 26 years the policy of segregating the lepers, who are sent to the island of Molokai, where they must live and die. When this policy was adopted it was believed that it would accomplish the extirpation of the disease, and upon that theory it is still pursued: But recent official reports that in the long fight against this disease the faith of those in the contest sometimes wavers. The leper population upon Molokai increases steadily, and, while some authorities hold that there is not much leprosy upon other islands, there are those who assert that there is as much as ever.

From the statistics given in the report to the President of the Board of Health, it appears that in 1866, when the Molokai settlement was established there were 105 lepers in it and by 1870 they had increased to 279. In 1880 the number was 606, and in 1890, 1,213. In 1893 it was 1,155, a less number than in 1890 but an increase over 1892. The report comments: “Considering the natural decrease of the native population and the number of new cases which annually occur, it would seem that in proportion there is as much leprosy as at the commencement if not more”.

The settlement is kept up at an annual cost of $80,000 or over, and, of course, it would not be maintained if it were not generally believed that segregating abates the plague of leprosy, with prospects of its ultimate eradication. And bearing in mind that this policy stamped out leprosy in Europe where it was very prevalent during the Middle Ages, it is reasonable to believe that it will do the same in Hawaii, only it must continue for a century or two and not merely for twenty six years.

This report shows that the theory of hereditary leprosy has been shaken by the experience at Molokai, where most of the children of lepers appear to be healthy, or in the term used by the physicians “clean”. And many of the children taken away young do not in after life develop the disease. This evidence, in the opinion of Dr. Myer, the health officer upon Molokai, justifies the belief that children do not inherit the leprosy, but contract it from their parents in early childhood. This separation of the children from their leper parents involves a good deal of suffering, and has not been universally followed. There is a home provided for little daughters of lepers but none for boys. Dr. Myer asks the question what will become of these children who grow up on the island and answers it by saying: “They will grow up probably a lawless and dangerous element. The settlement is their home; they know no other. …. There is no work for them; they have learned nothing; they have seen little less than idleness, drinking and gambling, and whatever else perfects hoodlums and tramps”.

A human being could hardly come into existence under more depressing conditions than those of the heartfelt child in a colony of lepers.

New York Times
Published September 28th. 1895

No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Book Review - Moloka'i by Alan Brennert

Don't assume by the length of time it took me to read this book that I didn't like it. I started it sometime last week and fully expected to finish it by the end of the week. However, life got in the way, and it took me almost a full week longer to finally get it read.

Moloka'i is the story of Rachel, a Hawaiian girl who develops leprosy at the age of seven and is sent to the island of Moloka'i which is the site of a leper colony. I was afraid the book would be depressing and bleak, but it really wasn't. I learned so much from this book. I wasn't aware that the Hawaiian people were (are?) very susceptible to developing leprosy and that there was such an epidemic of the disease. I loved this book - in fact, it makes my list of favorites. Don't be dissuaded by the subject matter - this is a lovely book.
Thanks to SOMER @

"Moloka’i is a big, generous, compassionate, beautifully rendered epic novel about a largely forgotten, largely ignored chapter in Hawaiian and American history. Alan Brennert has written an exquisitely textured tale of darkness and light, tragedy and the triumph of the human spirit, filled with original, fully realized characters who walk right off the page and into our hearts."

-Jim Fergus, author of One Thousand White Women: The Journals Of May Dodd

"Love, marriage, divorce, was the same here as anywhere else, wasn't it?....The pali [cliff] wasn't a headstone and Kalaupapa [a leper colony] wasn't a grave. It was a community like any other, bound by ties deeper than most, and people here went to their deaths as people did anywhere: with great reluctance, dragging the messy jumble of their lives behind them."

I confess that I have been haunted by the story of the leper colony on Moloka'i for years and have read other books about Father Damien, who spent sixteen years ministering to patients before he himself died in 1889 of leprosy (as Hansen's disease was then called). Hawaiians were particularly vulnerable to this disease, having lived in isolation on their Pacific islands until the arrival of the white men who brought it.

A couple of years ago, my interest in the human story of the colony was piqued by James Brocker's book, The Lands of Father Damien, in which he memorialized as many of the people from the colony as he could document, including over a hundred photographs of the individuals confined to the colony, the buildings in which they lived, and the activities which made up their day. By far the most moving photographs were those of the small children, all of whom had been wrested from their families, sometimes by bounty-hunters, and sent to live-and meet their deaths-among complete strangers in the Kalaupapa settlement on the island of Moloka'i. One child, Beka, was only four when he arrived alone from Maui to spend the three short years remaining of his life away from his parents, brothers, and sisters.

Alan Brennert's novel Moloka'i is based on serious research into the history of this colony (and includes Brocker's book in the Author's Note). Like Brocker he chooses to focus on the human tragedy, both of individual sufferers and of those families who, while free from the disease themselves, were ostracized by their neighbors and employers because of their association with a patient. But he also emphasizes the personal triumphs of many of these patients, and that is a story which has long needed telling. Instead of elaborating on the horrors of the disease in order to build up drama, as a less skillful writer might have done, Brennert recognizes their dignity and respects them. Though no book about leprosy and the colony at Kalaupapa can ever be free from profound sadness, Brennert avoids turning this novel into a ten-hanky tearjerker, focusing instead on the lives the patients create for themselves and on their attempts at normalcy.

Rachel Kalama, the main character, is a typical 5-year-old growing up in a loving family in Honolulu when her mother first sees a sore on Rachel's leg which will not heal. Fearing what this may mean, not just to Rachel but to the rest of the family, she bandages it and makes Rachel wear long skirts. For over a year she succeeds in keeping Rachel's condition a secret, until one of her siblings lets the secret out during an argument at school. Rachel is taken by the health inspector, who receives a bounty for capturing her, and sent to a Honolulu hospital for sufferers of the disease. The trauma of separation from the only life she has ever known is bad enough, but at least she is in Honolulu, where she can see her family, even at a distance. When Rachel is sent to Kalaupapa a year later, however, her isolation-at the age of seven-is total.

The "family" she develops in Kalaupapa, her friendships with other young children, and her refusal to let the disease (or any of the nuns) control her spirit make her life bearable, and the reader will admire her pluck even while dreading what her future holds. Yet Rachel is one of those in whom the disease develops very slowly, and her story continues through her teen years, her marriage, and well beyond. Through the lively Rachel, Brennert shows the history of the Kalaupapa settlement, the history of treatment for leprosy (Hansen's disease), and the history of Hawaii itself, including the seizure of the Queen and the annexation and colonization of the islands by the American sugar barons (events which clearly parallel Rachel's story). The misconceptions about the spread of the disease and the ostracism of innocent families are brought to life through episodes about Rachel's family and those of her friends at Kalaupapa.

The Christianity of the nuns who work at the settlement sometimes comes into conflict with the centuries-old Hawaiian religious beliefs and mythology of their patients, which the nuns regard as paganism, contributing further to the isolation of the patients and adding to the instability of their lives. Yet Rachel's long, abiding friendship with Sister Catherine, an important part of the book, is built on mutual respect, and Catherine becomes one of the book's most vividly realized characters.

Brennert enriches his novel by incorporating events described in real documents and journals in the Hawaii archives into his story of the settlement, from its lawless, "wild West" atmosphere at the outset, to its final development as a "home" for the people who live there. (Thirty-one people, now completely cured of the disease through sulfa drugs, still reside, voluntarily, in Kalaupapa.) He includes many real people among the fictional characters, thereby informing a new audience of the unselfish service of doctors, administrators, nuns like Sister Catherine, and enlightened patients themselves toward bettering the lives of the people of Kalaupapa. Even Robert Louis Stevenson, who visited the settlement, plays a cameo role. The reader observes the community as it becomes more "normal," with marching bands, sports teams, celebrations, and even horse races (with the patients as riders), along with facilities such as bakeries, general stores, and laundries.

While we have no way of knowing if Brennert's depiction of the life Rachel and others lived in the settlement may be a bit rosy-colored, it is the kind of life we would hope these patients could enjoy. Though there is melodrama and sentimentality here, it flows naturally from the subject and the author's desire to present the full historical record. Few readers will remain unchanged by Rachel's story. As one character says, "How we choose to live with pain, or injustice, or the true measure of the Divine within us."
(reviewed by Mary Whipple JAN 11, 2004)


No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Former Leprosy Patients Hear Long-awaited Apology

Father Damien's church in Kalaupapa, Molokai, Hawaii on August 12, 2008. The state of Hawaii passed a resolution apologizing to the residents of Kalaupapa, who are victims of Hansens Disease, on how unfairly they have been treated. (AP PHOTO)
Aug. 13th. 2008 (Associated Press) - The Hawaiian state delivered a long-awaited apology to former leprosy patients forcibly confined to a remote peninsula on the island of Molokai. "We're sorry. We're sorry for the treatment. We're sorry for the suffering that you've been through," state Sen. J. Kalani English told about a dozen former patients gathered Tuesday at a meeting hall. "The entire state is with me today as I say this." English then read aloud a resolution the Senate and House passed in April apologizing to the former patients.

It said many patients were torn apart from their families when they were sent to Kalaupapa Peninsula. It acknowledged the sacrifices the patients made, noting they thought of the public more than themselves, and gave up freedoms and opportunities the rest of society takes for granted. The Hawaiian Kingdom, and then later the republic, territory and state of Hawaii, together banished 8,000 people with leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease, to Kalaupapa for over a century after 1866 in an attempt to control the illness. Drugs to cure the disease were first administered in the 1940s. Patients were no longer required to remain at Kalaupapa after 1969 but many have chosen to live out the rest of their lives there because it had become their home.

Former patient Gloria Marks told English the apology was way overdue but she appreciated it. "We're very grateful for you to come here and give us this message," Marks told English. But she was sad that Paul Harada, her brother-in-law and former patient who pushed hard for an apology resolution, was not alive to witness the event. Harada died Jan. 4. After English spoke, Makia Malo visited the grave of his younger brother, Earl D.K. Malo, who died at Kalaupapa in 1968 when he was 35 years old. Malo, who is blind, held his cane on top of his brother's gravestone while a health aide read the resolution. Malo, 73, said he thought everyone buried at Kalaupapa heard the statement. "I know they're watching and nodding. All of these people. They're all agreeing. They're just saying 'at last,'" Malo said.

Edwin "Pancake" Lelepali, 80, said he believed the apology should be made to the earliest residents of Kalaupapa more than anyone because they had to scrounge for shelter and food and were given little medical care. But by the time Lelepali arrived in 1941 at the age of 14, he said patients received food rations, allowances and health care. Then in 1969, patients were given the opportunity to leave if they wanted. "Those people up there, they had nothing," Lelepali said. "They really suffered."
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Doctor Shares Story of Cancer Patient's Miracle Cure

Dr. Chang
KALIHI, Hawaii: Aug. 11th. (KHNL) -- It's the miracle cure that is leading to the sainthood of one of Hawaii's best known religious figures. On Sunday night, a cancer survivor's doctor shares his story. Dr. Walter Chang and others in the medical field couldn't help but marvel about the surprising results, after cancer patient Audrey Toguchi, refused treatment. A Kalihi church priest asked doctor chang to speak about Mrs. Toguchi's so called "miracle cure." Even though it's not a catholic church, a recent discussion about miracles in life, sparked episcopalian interest. "Right down the street I grew up and my brother was telling you, very interesting times," Dr. Chang said.

But not nearly as interesting as his experiences with his former patient, Audrey Toguchi. "We were really, truly, I mean, we marvelled at this particular phenomenon and of course it's called complete spontaneous regression of cancer, the true believable call it a miracle, a true skeptic will say this is a random coincidence," Chang said. At Kalaupapa on Molokai, Father Damien treated Hansen's Disease patients for more than 15 years and was said to give them hope instead of dispair. After refusing treatment, Toguchi prayed to Father Damien often. Eventually doctors confirmed Toguchi's tumors had disappeared without treatment. "So I was so thrilled when I learned that it was she who had her cancer disappear in five months and I think all of us at Aiea High School, there's an alumni association, are just ecstatic about what has happened to her," Toguchi's co-worker Nancy Au said. "No one could've deserved it more than her." Dr. Chang feels this so-called miracle might not work for everyone. "Well, hopefully that they'll believe there's something to prayers, but they should actually see their physician actually for tried and true therapy first," he said.

One thing most agree on is that no one truly knows why some cancers disappear. Dr. Chang says an additional three patients he's treated have experienced complete spontaneous regression of cancer. He says only around 800 people throughout the world have experienced this.

By Duane Shimogawa
No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

In Their Own Words

In the past, both patients and visitors to Kalawao and Kalaupapa wrote about their impressions and experiences. First-hand accounts reveal how people felt about being sent to this remote place, and of the conditions they faced. The following quotes offer some insight into patient life as seen from the standpoint of the patients themselves.

Ambrose T. Hutchison, resident in the settlement from 1879-1932
“On the night of the 4th day of January 1879 about seven p.m. I with 11 other fellow sufferers were lined up in two by two file by our jailer (each of us carrying our own baggage) guarded on each side by a squad of policemen were taken from the leper detention station...and put aboard the SS Mokolii lying along side the pier at the foot of Fort Street. After a half-hour wait for two Government Officials, Sam G. Wilder President of the Board of Health and Dr. N.B. Emerson newly appointed first resident physician of the Leper Settlement of Kalawao. When they arrived and came aboard the steamer the line was cast off, the steamer moved out into the habor and steamed out to sea bound for Molokai and arrived off Kalaupapa the next morning 7 a.m. when the steamer anchored we entered a row boat with the two officials and rowed to the Kalaupapa landing and put ashore and [were] received by the local officials of the Leper Settlement. After our names, ages and places we hailed from were taken down, left on the rocky shore without food and shelter. No houses provided by the then Government for the like of us outcasts.”
- Ambrose T. Hutchison, resident in the settlement from 1879-1932

Peter Kaeo, cousin of Queen Emma, in a letter to Queen Emma, August 11, 1873

Peter Young Kaeo Kekuaokalani March 4, 1836 - November 26, 1880 was a Hawaiian prince and cousin of Queen Emma of Hawaii also the grandson oJohn Young Olohana advisor to Kamehameha the Great. Peter was born March 4, 1836 at Pa'loha, Honolulu on the island of O'ahu. He was born into a noble Hawaiian family. His mother was Jane Lahilahi, the youngest daughter of John Young and Ka'o'ana'eha. His father was The Hon. Joshua Kaeo, sometime Judge of the Supreme Court of Hawaii, and great grandson of King Kalaniopuu. He was, according to Hawaiian tradition, hanaied (adopted) by his maternal uncle John Kaleipaihala Young at birth. His uncle was the fourth Kuhina Nui and the Minister of the Interior. He was chosen by Kamehameha III to attended Chiefs'Children's School along with his cousin Emma because of their descent from Kealiimaikai, Kamehameha III's uncle. The school was ran by Amos Starr Cooke and Julliette Montague Cooke an American missionary couple. He was declared eligible to succeed the Hawaiian throne by the Royal Order of Kamehameha III. He serve as a member of the House of Nobles and assisted in formulating laws of kingdom. He also served as Aide-de-camp to Kamehameha IV.

He contracted leprosy, known as Hansen's disease, which was uncurable at the time. He was exiled and isolated to the leper colony at Kalaupapa on the island of Molokai. He arrived on the settlement on the same boat as William P. Ragsdale, landing June 29 1873. He had the means to maintain a comfortable existence for himself, including two servants, but was not unaware of the poverty and desperation around him. During his exile at Kalaupapa, he and his cousin Emma Kaleleonalani, at the time Queen Dowager of Hawaii, exchange letters revealing record of their personal lives during this three-year period.

From Peter Kaeo to Queen Emma, August 11, 1873:

"Deaths occur quite frequently here, almost dayly. Napela (the Mormon elder and assistant supervisor of the Kalaupapa Settlement) last week rode around the Beach to inspeck the Lepers and came on to one that had no Pai [taro] for a Week but manage to live on what he could find in his Hut, anything Chewable. His legs were so bad that he cannot walk, and few traverse the spot where His Hut stands, but fortunate enough for him that he had sufficient enough water to last him till aid came and that not too late, or else probably he must have died."

In November 26, 1880 at the age 44, he died at Kalawao, after 7 years of suffering on the leper colony. Yet the Hawaiian Gazette, Dec. 1, 1880 has to say: The Hon. P. Y. Kaeo died at his residence on Emma Street on Friday night [November 26, 1880]. The funeral took place on Sunday and was largely attended by the retainers and friends of the family. The hearse was surrounded by Kahili-bearers as becomes the dignity of a chief.

- Peter Kaeo, cousin of Queen Emma, in a letter to Queen Emma, August 11, 1873

Male, Part-Hawaiian, c. 1977-78
“Like the other patients, they caught me at school. It was on the Big Island. I was twelve then. I cried like the dickens for my mother and for my family. But the Board of Health didn’t waste no time in those days. They sent me to Honolulu, to Kalihi Receiving Station, real fast. Then they sent me to Kalaupapa. That’s where they sent most of us. Most came to die.”
- Male, Part-Hawaiian, c. 1977-78

Female, Hawaiian, c. 1977-78
“I remained in Kalaupapa for thirty years. I was finally paroled in 1966. My mother was still alive, so I wrote to her and told her I was finally cured. I could come home. After a long while, her letter came. She said, ‘Don’t come home. You stay at Kalaupapa.’ I wrote her back and said I wanted to just visit, to see the place where I was born. Again, she wrote back. This time she said, ‘No, you stay there.’ You see, my mother had many friends and I think she felt shame before them. I was disfigured, even though I was cured. So, she told me, her daughter, ‘Don’t come home.’ She said, ‘You stay right where you are. Stay there, and leave your bones at Kalaupapa. This place is finally my real home. They take good care of me here.”
- Female, Hawaiian, c. 1977-78

Male, Hawaiian, c. 1977-78
“You know, the babies that were born inside here were not allowed to stay with their parents. After the babies were born, the law said they had to be taken away to the baby nursery in Kalaupapa. They were afraid of the contact—afraid the babies would catch the disease from their parents…. But some of my children, I will tell you this, some of them I kept longer. Most times, the babies were born in the night. We kept everyone quiet so the administrators and nurses would not hear the baby being born. All my babies were born in my own home, right here."
- Male, Hawaiian, c. 1977-78

Male, part-Hawaiian, c. 1977-78
“One of the worst things about this illness is what was done to me as a young boy. First, I was sent away from my family. That was hard. I was so sad to go to Kalaupapa. They told me right out that I would die here; that I would never see my family again. I heard them say this phrase, something I will never forget. They said, ‘This is your last place. This is where you are going to stay, and die.’ That’s what they told me. I was a thirteen-year-old kid.”
- Male, part-Hawaiian, c. 1977-78

Male, part-Hawaiian, c. 1977-78
“When I arrived at Kalaupapa, I was the youngest child inside the place. My father was waiting for me when I arrived, along with many of his friends. All the people took me in, and I became like everyone’s child. It was really one big family in here, an ohana. I had everything…so much love! I was spoiled rotten. I even had the nuns taking care of me.”
- Male, part-Hawaiian, c. 1977-78

Official photo left, taken in Oct 1934, providing her with her patient identification number.
Olivia Robello Breitha (1916-2006)
Olivia Robello Breitha's life was "ordinary and uneventful" until 1934. That year when she was 18 yrs. of age, about to be married and happily living with ther family, she was told she had leprosy. In those days, all those diagnosed with this disease in Hawaii were forcibly taken from family, friends and community and isolated on the remote peninsula known as Kalaupapa. Olivia lived at Kalaupapa for 73 yrs. during which time a cure for leprosy had been discovered, the isolation laws have been abondoned and Kalaupapa designated as a National Historical Park for the education and inspiration of present and future generations. Olivia traveled to different states and other countries but chose to live out her life at Kalaupapa - her home. This is where she fell in love, married Johnny Breitha and chose not tohave children because she knew they would be taken away from her at birth. This is where she wrote her autobiograpby and made a documentary with Tim Baker a 32 yr. old man who has since died from Aids, continuing to fight for her own rights and those of others.
Documentary Review Olivia & Tim Click Here >>>>>>

“The administration office…had a railing around the ‘boss’ (administrator) and there was a bench set against the wall where the patient sat. When Mr. Judd [Lawrence Judd, former Governor of Hawai`i who later became a Kalaupapa superintendent] came, the first thing that came down was the railing in his office. Then came the chain link fence in the caller house at the visitors’ quarters. That gave us a feeling that we, the patients, almost belonged to the human race again. You cannot imagine how much a simple thing like a fence and a railing coming down meant to me. I’m sure it had the same effect on all the patients.”
- Olivia Robello Breitha,

No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.

An Act to Prevent the Spread of Leprosy, Honolulu 1865

(Statue of King KAMEHAMEHA)
WHEREAS, the disease of Leprosy has spread to considerable extent among the people, and the spread thereof has excited well grounded alarms; and Whereas, further, some doubts have been expressed regarding the powers of the Board of Health in the premises, notwithstanding the 302nd Section of the Civil Code; and Whereas, in the opinion of the Assembly, the 302nd Section is properly applicable to the treatment of persons afflicted with leprosy. Yet for greater certainty, and for the sure protection of the people,

BE IT ENACTED, by the King and the Legislative Assembly of the Hawaiian Islands, in the Legislature of the Kingdom assembled:

SECTION 1. The Minister of the Interior, as President of the Board of Health, is hereby expressly authorized, with the approval of the said Board, to reserve and set apart any land or portion of land now owned by the Government, for a site or sites of an establishment or establishments to secure the isolation and seclusion of such leprous persons as in the opinion of the Board of Health or its agents, may, by being at large, cause the spread of leprosy.

SEC. 2. The Minister of the Interior, as President of the Board of Health, and acting with the approval of the said Board, may acquire for the purpose stated in the preceding section, by purchase or exchange, any piece or pieces, parcel or parcels of land, which may seem better adapted to the use of lepers, than any land owned by the Government.

SEC. 3. The Board of Health or its agents are authorized and empowered to cause to be confined, in some place or places for that purpose provided, all leprous patients who shall be deemed capable of spreading the disease of leprosy, and it shall be the duty of every police or District Justice, when properly applied to for that purpose by the Board of Health, or its authorized agents, to cause to be arrested and delivered to the Board of Health or its agents, any person alleged to be a leper, within the jurisdiction of such police or District Justice, and it shall be the duty of the Marshal of the Hawaiian Islands and his deputies, and of the police offers, to assist in securing the conveyance of any person so arrested to such place, as the Board of Health, or its agents may direct, in order that such person may be subjected to medical inspection, and thereafter to assist in removing such person to place of treatment or isolation, if so required, by the agents of the Board of Health.

SEC. 4. The Board of Health is authorized to make such arrangements for the establishment of a Hospital, where leprous patients in the incipient stages may be treated in order to attempt a cure, and the said Board and its agents shall have full power to discharge all such patients as it shall deem cured, and to send to a place of isolation contemplated in Sections one and two of this Act, all such patients as shall be considered incurable or capable of spreading the disease of leprosy.

SEC. 5. The Board of Health or its agents may required from patients, such reasonable amount of labor as may be approved of by the attending physicians, and may further make and publish such rules and regulations as by the said Board may be considered adapted to ameliorate the condition of lepers, which said rules and regulations shall be published and enforced as in the 284th and 285th Sections of the Civil Code provided.

SEC. 6. The property of all persons committed to the care of the Board of Health for the reasons above stated shall be liable for the expenses attending their confinement, and the Attorney-General shall institute suits for the recovery of the same when requested to do so by the President of the Board of Health.

SEC. 7. The Board of Health, while keeping an accurate and detailed account of all sums of money expended by them out of any appropriations which may be made by the Legislature, shall keep the amounts of sums expended for the leprosy, distinct from the general account. And the said Board shall report to the Legislature at each of its regular sessions, the said expenditures in detail, together with such information regarding the disease of leprosy, as well as the public health generally, as it may deep to be of interest to the public.

Approved this 3rd day of January, 1865.

The section referred to is as follows:
§ 302. When any person shall be infected with the small-pox, or other sickness dangerous to the public health, the Board of Health, or its Agent, may, for the safety of the inhabitants, remove such sick or infected person to a separate house, and provide him with nurses and other necessaries which shall be at the charge of the person himself, his parents or master, if able; otherwise at the charge of the Government.

No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.


(Picture left, from Hawaiian State archives shows two boys with leprosy in the year 1900. Picutre right, shows 24 yr. old man with leprosy)

New York Times: Published November 2nd. 1900

Precaution in Hawaii to guard against the Disease
Washington Nov. 1st: Marine Hospital Surgeon Carmichael at honolulu, Hawaii, in a report to Surgeon General Wyman, on the disinfection of mails from the leper settlement on the Island of Molokai, says a reasonably safe plan has been adopted to avoid the delay incident to sending the mail to the quarantine station. All mail from the leper settlement will be disinfected with sulphur dioxide at the settlement and then transferred directly to the steamer and received on board in clean and disinfected sacks furnished by the Post Office authorities.


No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.