Monday, March 30, 2009

MTM: Queen's Hospital

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
Leo F. Buscaglia

“How many desolate creatures on the earth have learnt the simple dues of fellowship and social comfort, in a hospital.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Original Queen's Hospital

Queen Emma & Kamehameha IV 1859

“I remember when I used to sit on hospital beds and hold people’s hands, people used to be shocked because they’d never seen this before. To me it was quite normal.”
Princess Diana

In the 19th Century, introduced illnesses and diseases were decimating the Native Hawaiian population of these islands. Though Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV were sovereigns of ALL of Hawaii's residents, including American, European, and Asian subjects of the Kingdom, they felt a special Kuleana (responsibility) to preserve their own people to whom they were bound by an ancient genealogy. The two monarchs did not disdain to humble themselves, visiting private homes all over O`ahu to solicit funds for a modern hospital at the foot of Punchbowl Crater.

2009 is the 150th Anniversary (1859) of the founding of The Queen’s Hospital (today: The Queen's Medical Center). The only hospital in the nation with a royal pedigree, Queen's serves all of Hawaii and the Pacific. Once can scarcely read Honolulu history, or literature that is set here (From Here to Eternity, House of Many Gods, Molokai, Honolulu) without "visiting" this hospital that is such a major part of our community.

Trippler Army Medical Center, Kuakini (Formerly the Japanese Hospital) Kapiolani Women's & Children, Shriner's, Kaiser Moanalua, and The Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific, are local hospitals that also serve us with great distinction; but to enter Queen's is to enter the fabric of Honolulu in a unique way. You're likely to notice a Kupuna ( senior citizen) softly playing a ukulele in the lobby. A portrait of the Queen herself, along with distinctive Polynesian & historic art is on display in this cutting edge modern facility.

Here we interact with so many ethnicity's and life stories: Micronesians suffering the lasting effects of nuclear testing, neighbor islanders wary of the big city, tourists from every nation who find themselves unexpectedly and deeply ill, so very far from home - all find solace and Aloha here at Queens. Mostly it is the local staff, from physicians, nurses, skilled technicians to maintenance and office workers, who keep the graciousness alive.

While pondering this week's My Town Monday post I realized that it was a no brainer. I have spent lots of time at the hospital recently visiting my Dad. This place with it's precision, history and warmth has become dear to my heart. I hope this brief post has touched yours today!
You can read more about the Royal couple here:
A L O H A! Cloudia


the walking man said...

I am quite happy for you Islanders that have such a place to be made whole in. I am equally happy to report that now I know of at least one hospital in America I have not had the (misfortune?) pleasure of visiting.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Although those original hospitals looked lovely, the cure rate was low. Too bad we can't have both.

magiceye said...


unfortunately most of the hospitals these days have become mercenary in their attitude..

Charles Gramlich said...

With the modern health care beurocracy we sometimes forget in our world how important hospitals were in earlier days and earlier societies.

Jenn Jilks said...

Great post! I attended a volunteer's workshop where they were rewarded for doing the good work they do.

In Canada we rely so much on volunteers to make things run well. I cannot imagine working in a hospital. We need these people so much, though.

Barbara Martin said...

How true Leo F. Buscaglia's quote is. I have been fortunate in my dealings with hospitals thus far.

Travis Erwin said...

Hospitals are never fun but oh so important at times. Thanks for teaching us about this one.

Daryl said...

Its interesting to see another side to Island life ..

Akelamalu said...

Hospitals are never fun but are necessary so it's great when you get a good one! :)

debra said...

The original building is lovely, Cloudia. I love the image of ukelele music in the lobby.

Deborah Godin said...

Grat to read all this history and info. and a love that double portrait of the handsome royal couple!

David Cranmer said...

Those are great photos of Queen Emma & Kamehameha IV. They look so contemporary.

Anonymous said...

Dear Cloudia -- What wonderful history and a gracious legacy. I'd heard that Queen's was still a good place...maybe I'll need to volunteer there if the Honolulu VA is too hectic...I'm hoping there's still time to be a nurse and spend time with the patients on the Islands. True caring, true aloha. Praying for peaceful visits with your Dad...bring in your back-up team, sooner than later. Do something for YOU! Hugs, DrumMajor

Cloudia said...

Thank You,
Each and every one of you!

Your comments are appreciated, Aloha-

Denise said...

Fascinating history Cloudia. I've enjoyed my visit here today, as I always do :)

Bubblewench said...

Again, what an interesting piece of history about your home.

I will keep your father in my thoughts and prayers. Hope he is ok.