Bishop (The) Memorial Chapel, 1897

Author: 
Janet Zisk, Kamehameha Schools Archivist

 

(Information for this web page comes from a 1997 commemorative booklet, Celebrating a Century of Worship by Janet Zisk, Kamehameha Schools Archivist. )

Courtesy of the Kamehameha Schools Archives
 
 
 
 
Courtesy of the Kamehameha Schools Archives

This chapel was a gift from Mr. Bishop in memory of Mrs. Bishop.  It was dedicated on Founder's Day, Dec. 19th, 1897. The keys were presented by Mr. S. M. Damon, representing Mr. Bishop, to Hon. J. O. Carter representing the Trustees. The address was delivered by the Rev. Henry Parker of the Kawaiahao Church...(The History of the Kamehameha Schools by Uldrick Thompson, p. 26.)

Prior to 1897. Kamehameha students attended Sunday services at Kaumakapili Church, then located about a mile from campus at the corner of Nu'uanu and King Streets. It took some 20 minutes to cover the distance on foot--with the boys wearing their heavy West Point-style uniforms designed for "long lasting quality, not comfort."

August 1, 1895. Charles Reed Bishop officially declared his intention in his deed of trust to build a chapel on the Kamehameha Campus honoring his royal wife...The trust specified that $60,000 be spent "To pay for the cost of a chapel for the use of said Kamehameha Schools, for worship and Sunday school purposes..."

October 14, 1895 to April 23, 1896. "Bishop provided input to the project from San Francisco, California where he had moved permanently in May 1894. He concerned himself with details such as, 'The doorway should be arranged that people can enter without being blown in by the strong wind,' and ' The sketch made by Mr. Ripley [one of the architects] does not quite suit me...There is more in the proportions of a building than most people imagine. Proportions count for more than ornamentation in striving for beauty in a building."

Fall 1897. Regarding selection of a pastor; Bishop wrote, '"...we do want a broad-minded, cheerful man whose everyday life and personal influence will be worth more than preaching."

December 19, 1897. The chapel dedication took place on the sixty-sixth anniversary of Bernice Pauahi Bishop's birth. KS scholars, teachers, administrators and community representatives filled the whole building. Ferns, asters and Hawaiian flags decorated the interior. The Reverend H. H. Parker, pastor of Kawaiaha‘o church, preached a sermon based on Matthew 7:24-28. 'Everyone therefore which heareth these words of mind and doeth them shall be likened unto a wise man which built his house upon the rock.' The singing of the KS student body and the trained choir directed by Cordelia Clymer was deemed fine by a local newspaper. That evening, a musicale with singing, recitation and responsive reading was held in the chapel at 7:30 p.m. 'Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow' was the theme.

December 24, 1897. C.R. Bishop comments, 'The appearance of the chapel is much praised, and I hope that the service in it will always be attractive, elevating, and helpful toward right living, so that it may be a blessing and delight to all who are, or may be connected with the Schools.' Bishop envisioned the worship services emphasizing lessons 'such as is taught in the life and words of Jesus and as awakens and strengthens love for and helpfulness to mankind.'

March 5, 1898. "The new pipe organ built by John Bergstrom Organ Co. of San Francisco, also a gift of Mr. Bishop was dedicated in an evening ceremony at the chapel. At Mr. Bishop's request, Wray Taylor, organist at St. Andrew's Cathedral, presented a special recital. It included Taylor's composition 'In Memoriam --Pauahi.' Taylor's wife, Keōmailani, was closely related to Pauahi. Their son William Bishop Kahe‘ekai was Mr. Bishop's godson, ward and student at Kamehameha's Preparatory Department.

September 11, 1938. The Kamehameha ‘ohana held its final church service in the chapel. After four decades of use, the preparatory department buildings and the surrounding land were condemned and purchased by the Territory for the Wallace R. Farrington High School.

June 1954. The Territory finally razed the chapel to make room for the Farrington High School auditorium. The chapel was vacant for 16 years and suffered the indignities commonly inflicted by vandals. Kamehameha Schools was only able to salvage several hundred stone building blocks, the chapel's metal hinges and door locks and the two-manual reed organ that replaced the original 1898 organ when it was destroyed by termites. The reed organ is now in Bishop Museum. The building blocks, metal hinges and door locks were incorporated into the design of the current Kamehameha Schools chapel and heritage center."