About Us

photo of Old Kailua, courtesy Ray Jerome Baker

Our Mission

Kailua Historical Society works to collect and preserve Kailua’s past through archives, oral histories, public forums, tours, site preservation, and publications.

The Story of Kailua Historical Society

The Kailua Historical Society was conceived on a lazy Sunday morning in June 2001 when a group of Kailuans were reminiscing about the town’s colorful past. Their talk led to the realization that most of the materials on Kailua’s history—photographs, literature, maps, governmental documents—even stories of the old days, are not readily available to those who care most about them: Kailuans themselves. They decided to do something about that.

Other town folk agreed with their urgency to discover and preserve Kailua’s history, much of which is still hidden in the memories of older residents and forgotten family collections. Oral histories needed to be recoded before being lost to the future. A trained group was needed to inventory public and private collections centering on Kailua.

Thus, the Society was born. Forty members gathered for the charter meeting on July 17, 2001. Years later, reaching a peak in 2019, several times that number were involved in wonderful community presentations. Recorded interviews with elders have been done and archival materials have been donated for appropriate identification and preservation.

With the onset of COVID in 2020, our meetings experienced a decrease in frequency, but our activities in sharing historical photos, helping with research, and collecting materials has continued, largely online and out of the public eye. Despite these conditions, we even published our latest booklet about the Lani-Kailua Outdoor Circle, a collaboration with the amazing members of the LKOC.

We hope to resume vibrant community meetings now that the pandemic years are finally at a close. You can follow our Facebook Page to see our upcoming events.  Facebook has been very quiet since 2020, (at the time of this writing, 2023, itʻs been a long hiatus from in-person events) but our social media account there is still monitored and will announce future meetings.

KHS Founders Circle

The Society is forever grateful for the vision and guidance of the Founders Circle.

Sylvia Baldwin
Dr. Clare Carey
Susan Campbell
Dr. Robert Cole
Anneliese Chun
Dr. Joanne Flannery
Peggy Froome
Lucille Gibson
Theadore Gibson
Mary Jane Heilbron
Marlis (Candy) Irvine
Stan Kanetake
A. T. “Red” Miller
Verne and Bill Moore
Joe Muratsuchi
Dudley Pratt
Muriel Seto


President — Paul Brennan
Vice President – Membership: Jan Wakamatsu
Treasurer — Kevin Keaveney
Recording Secretary — Irish 

Board Members
Cosette Morrison Harms
Wendy Roberts (webmaster)
Sarah Gilman Sur

Thank you posthumously to the following members of the Kailua Historical Society for their many years of service on the board:

Chuck Burrows, board member and Liaison Kawainui Organizations
Stan Kanetake, board member for Legal Matters

Photo Credit for Blog Header: Seth Ladd on Flickr