Hilo Kamehameha Statue Spear Returned
Hilo’s King Kamehameha the Great statue is on its way to its original splendor.
On Saturday, the statue’s 22-foot, over 100-pound ihe, or spear, was returned to its original resting place after being repaired by local metal worker Wes Hammond.
The top portion of the spear was forcibly ripped off the statue at some point between Sept. 5 and Sept. 6 by an individual identified days after the incident as William Roy Carroll, a former Oahu man who was at the time homeless on the Big Island.
Kamehameha Schools East Hawai’i Alumni Association, Mamalahoa Chapter held a ceremony at the statue on Saturday, coinciding with Founders Day. Kahu Moses Kahookele Crabbe led the ceremony, saying that Carroll should be forgiven and the incident should be used as an example for future generations.
After media outlets reported in September on the damage done to the iconic Hilo statue, which sits along Hilo Bay at Wailoa State Park, community support poured in.
Skylark Rossetti, who is one of the people initially involved in bringing the statue to the island and is leading the Alumni Association in the statue’s restoration, says that in all, the organization was given about $8,000.
“Many people donated money to our non-profit organization. One of them that came forward was a $5,000 donation from Microcom Dish Network to help us restore the statue” said Rossetti.
While additional work is in the plans, the alumni association hopes to write in for grant funding and hold a community fundraiser in the spring.
“We plan to restore the rock wall, since some of the rocks were broken. Some of the headdress and the chest were also damaged, so we have that to fix,” Rosettii noted of future work. “We also plan on adding some additional lighting that would help defer vandals from coming into the area.”
Two signs at the historical spot in Hilo have already been replaced after they received extensive damage.
Those interested in assisting the Kamehameha Schools East Hawai’i Alumni Association, Mamalahoa Chapter with funds to restore the statue can send donations to P.O. Box 5845, Hilo, HI 96720.