Ko Olina Entrance Sculpture Dedicated To Hōkūle‘a’s Worldwide Voyage

From now on, every time you drive into Ko Olina, you can take a moment to think back on the incredible bravery, spirit, and skill shown during the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

A sculpture of a sail has stood just a few feet from the Ko Olina gatehouse for nearly a decade now — it’s on your right as you’re driving in. The inspiration for the sculpture came from an illustration that Ko Olina Resort general manager Ken Williams saw on a trip to New Zealand. The sculpture represented Ko Olina’s connection with the ocean and commitment to sustainability.

Now, it represents even more. On February 29, at a formal blessing ceremony, Ko Olina Resort dedicated the sail and a new plaque to the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

koolina sail dedication honoreese

Honorees (L to R) Ken Williams, Kahu Nettie Tiffany, Nainoa Thompson, and Jeffrey R. Stone. Courtesy Ko Olina Resort.

“We’ve always had a special place in our hearts for the Hōkūle‘a and the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage. What Nainoa and the Polynesian Voyaging Society have done is something that can’t be quantified, for Hawai‘i, for the Hawaiian culture, for our race, for the world,” said Williams. “They have spread our aloha around the world.”

Seven of the top ten Pwo (master navigators) in the world were among the guests, including Master navigator Nainoa Thompson, President of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

The ceremony honored Nainoa’s father, Myron “Pinky” Thompson on what would have been the elder Thompson’s 96th birthday. “Pinky” Thompson, who survived a head wound suffered on the beaches of Normandy and went on to become a powerful advocate of native Hawaiians and native Hawaiian culture, lost a battle with cancer in 2001.

Thompson has said that, of the 400 ports the Hōkūle‘a visited around the world, the Waiʻanae Coast was the most important, because of the high population of native Hawaiians here.

“We try to serve the community on the west side as best we can,” Nainoa Thompson said. “We are training captains and navigators and they are going to lead this future of voyaging. Ko Olina has become a bridge to that community.”

As yet another support for that bridge, Ko Olina owner and master developer Jeff Stone announced that the resort is gifting the Polynesian Voyaging Society with a $25,000 scholarship to pursue educational endeavors.

A permanent commemorative plaque on the sculpture depicts the voyage, for future generations to reflect upon and learn from.