H.R. NO.













requesting the governor to support a permanent memorial HONORING HENRY OBOOKIAH on the grounds of the state capitol.




     WHEREAS, the United Churches of Christ have designated the third Sunday of February as "Henry Obookiah Day" as a day of national remembrance for Henry Obookiah, also known as Henry Opukahaia, who was the first Native Hawaiian to convert to Christianity in 1815; and


     WHEREAS, Henry Obookiah was born in Ka‘u on the island of Hawai‘i in 1792 and, as a teenager left the islands on a whaling ship that sailed to Alaska, China, the Cape of Good Hope and debarked in New York, where Henry Obookiah eventually settled and lived in New Haven, Connecticut; and


     WHEREAS, he learned to read and write, embraced Christianity and developed a commitment to its ideals and principles, and helped other Native Hawaiians who came from Hawai‘i to seek a Christian education; and


     WHEREAS, Henry Obookiah was taken under the wing of Dr. Timothy Wright, president of Yale College, enrolled in the Foreign Mission School, and became involved with plans to send missionaries to Hawai‘i to teach the Hawaiian people about Christianity; and


     WHEREAS, in 1818 Henry Obookiah contracted typhus fever and died at the age of twenty-six, never fulfilling his desire to witness Native Hawaiians become Christians; and


     WHEREAS, a year after his death, a missionary team comprised of both Americans and Native Hawaiians, among them the Reverend Hiram Bingham and Reverend Asa Thurston, was dispatched to Hawai‘i to begin the work that Henry Obookiah had longed to do; and


     WHEREAS, Henry Obookiah is credited with starting Hawai‘i's conversion to Christianity; and


     WHEREAS, in 1993, Henry Obookiah's remains were returned to Hawai‘i from Cornwall, Connecticut and interred in a vault in Napo‘opo‘o on the island of Hawai‘i on the grounds of Kahikolu Congregational Church, which was the third church established in Hawai‘i by missionaries inspired by Henry Obookiah; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fourth Legislature of the State of Hawai‘i, Regular Session of 2008, that the Governor is requested to support a permanent memorial honoring Henry Obookiah on the grounds of the State Capitol by recommending a site, conducting a cost analysis, and selecting an appropriate design; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Governor is requested to consult with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Department of Accounting and General Services, and any other appropriate executive agencies to plan and implement the erection of the Henry Obookiah memorial; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Governor is requested to submit a written report to the Legislature not later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2009 on the status of the project; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, the Chairperson of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and the Comptroller.









Report Title: 

Henry Obookiah Memorial