The Friends of the Royal Hawaiian Band established a special fund for the collection of monies specifically designed for the purpose of securing a marker for the grave of Mekia Kealakaʻi, member and Bandmaster of the Royal Hawaiian Band for 33 years.
Mele Kealakaʻi, Mekia’s beloved wife, passed away on June 19, 1940, following an extended illness. She lies in rest at Diamond Head Memorial Cemetery. At the time of her passing, Mekia purchased a marker of remembrance for his wife’s gravesite. Mekia passed on March 31, 1944. His gravesite was left unmarked since his death more than 70 years ago. To read a short history of Mekia Kealakaʻi's life, click here.
Mekia Kealakaʻi Remembered (KITV News coverage)
Born on October 15, 1867
Became a student of Henry Berger at the age of 12
Entered the Royal Hawaiian Band as a trombone player at the age of 15
John Philip Sousa stated that Mekia Kealakaʻi was the greatest flute player that he had ever heard
Served as Bandmaster for the RHB 1920-1926 & 1930-1932
Passed on March 31, 1944
1996: Voted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame
A ceremony of commemoration and remembrance was held at gravesite on Monday, March 31, 2014, the 70th anniversary of Mekia Kealakaʻi’s passing. On that auspicious morning, members of the community and the Friends of the Royal Hawaiian Band met and dedicated a new headstone at his final resting place. Members of the Royal Hawaiian Band were present and lovingly performed a number of Mekia’s compositions in his memory.
- To view and/or download a copy of the official program for the ceremony, click here.
- If you would like to visit this true Son of Hawaiʻi at Diamond Head Memorial Park, you can download a pdf file that shows the location of the grave site by clicking here.
- To view a listing of those who donated selfishly to help us insure this devoted Son of Hawaiʻi would never be forgotten, click here.
- To view and/or download a short article regarding the commemoration that was published in OHAs Malaki (March) 2014 Ka Wai Ola, click here.
Mekia’s grave site location has now been listed on findagrave.com. To view the listing on findagrave.com, click here.
Mekia Kealakaʻi Scholarship Fund
Funds are now being sought and collected on an ongoing basis that will be applied toward the establishment of a Mekia Kealakaʻi Scholarship Fund. Monies from this fund will be awarded to a student of Hawaiian ancestry for collegiate study of music in the future.
We welcome all who love and honor Hawaiian music to participate in this celebratory scholarship fund. Donations of any size are welcomed and appreciated.
- To donate online: A secondary page has been constructed that will allow contributors to donate to this very special fund online. It will also show the ongoing progress of the scholarship fund and list the names of those who have donated, whether online or through the mail (unless requested anonymous). As the fund progresses, this page will continue to grow and change. To donate online or to view the ongoing changes, pictures, and information, click here.
- To donate through the mail, click here.
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