History and Culture

About Keauhou - History and Culture


Club Site:  Keauhou Bay, Hawai’i Island    
Club Colors:  Green, White, & Turquoise 
Year Club Started:  1980

Keauhou Canoe Club is located at the head of historic Keauhou Bay, whose name is often translated as "a new beginning.” King Kamehameha III was born a few hundred feet south of  Keauhou Bay in 1814 and from 1825 to 1854 became Hawaii’s longest reigning monarch.  Maihi Bay is just south of Keauhou Bay.  It is the place where in 1820, under the direction of King Kamehameha II, the Hawaiians fought the Battle of Kuamo’o.  Over 300 Hawaiians killed in the battle are buried there in the Lekeleke Burial Grounds.  The battle ended  formal recognition of the kapu system of laws, but they still form the basis for many Hawaiian cultural practices.

During the days of the Hawaiian Kingdom, much of the area in the vicinity of Keauhou Bay was used as a site for ali’i  sport and recreation, from the mile-long sled course (“hōlualoa”) leading down to Heʻeia Bay, and the big water surf break fronting the bay.  The hōlualoa  can still be seen from the water while paddling a canoe and experienced surfers can catch the waves of He’eia Bay.  Keauhou Canoe Club continues these water-related traditions, along with members of the surrounding community, who use Keauhou Bay for swimming, fishing, and other sport and recreational activities.  

Keauhou Canoe Club was founded in September 1980 as Honokōhau Canoe Club. The name was later changed, effective in July 1981, to Kauikeaouli Canoe Club, to honor the birthname of Kamehameha III. The final name change to "Keauhou Canoe Club" became effective May 31, 1988.. 
The founding Officers and Directors were  Rex (Stan) Dzura, President; Jack Urbach, Vice President; Edward Azura,  Treasurer; Pilipo Springer, Secretary; Mary Jane Kahanamoku, Race Coordinator; and Directors Frank "Skipper" Kent, Herb Kane, Kelly Greenwell, Jim Higgins, Dr. Edgar Hauntz, Louis K. Kahanamoku, and Sam A. Kahanamoku.


 A vital part of our Mission Statement is to “educate our youth, our membership, and the community at large about Hawaiian culture, values, and traditions.”  Hawaiian cultural practices may be included in club activities only if they are done in alignment with Hawaiian cultural protocols, lead by a huna, loea, kumu or kahu (“practitioner”) with reverence and respect given to the why, how, and to whom the practice was passed down. The cultural significance, for example, of hula, chant, and oli (chant without dance) are generally a rite of passage that must be bestowed upon the learner by an acknowledged practitioner.  They cannot be casually used to perform or entertain by anyone else.  In Hawaiian culture these practices are the intellectual property of those who teach or earn the right to perform them.  For anyone else to appropriate them is considered theft and deeply offensive.  We advise anyone interested in Hawaiian culture to seek education from an acknowledged practitioner.  If Hawaiian cultural practices are to be included in club activities, the person authorized to teach or perform them might hold a meeting prior to the activity to properly educate club members on the events that will take place so those events can be afforded proper respect and reverence.