Starting on Monday morning, members of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Local 1 of Hawaii, will begin a volunteer effort to repair the recently-vandalized headstones at the Kawaiahao Church Cemetery. Work will begin promptly at 7:00 a.m. with a pule from Kahu Kenneth Makuakane.
The approximately ten volunteers from the Bricklayers’ Union will work in two teams over the course of several days to repair 26 of the 27 vandalized headstones. The remaining headstone will be fully replaced with a new headstone, in accordance with that family’s wishes.
Work will involve cleaning the headstone surfaces, grinding away old mortar, reattaching the headstones to their pedestals using epoxy, and ensuring that the headstones are properly plumbed and leveled.
Several local construction companies and materials suppliers generously donated materials which will be used in the repair effort, including Hawaiian Dredging which provided beams for scaffolding and hoisting, Bonded Materials Co. which provided epoxy and other bonding materials, and Marmol Hawaii Inc. which is loaning equipment.
“Our union members are moved to be able to give back in such a meaningful way,” said Mel Silva, Business Manager of Local 1. “These kupuna deserve respect, honor, and dignity, and this is our way of showing them our deep aloha.”