Remembering history, celebrating Hukilau

LAIE, Hawaii — Some 600 members of the BYU-Hawaii 1st Stake gathered Oct. 23 for a stake activity commemorating Laie history. The students listened to Wylie Swapp, one of the original instructors at the Church College of Hawaii (now BYU-Hawaii) tell the history of the Church purchasing land in 1865 and the growth and construction of Laie, including the dedication of the Laie Hawaii Temple 85 years ago in 1919 — the first temple built outside the continental United States. Former temple president T. David Hannemann shared stories of Joseph F. Smith's coming to Laie and prophesying that Laie would become a place of learning. He spoke of the triad of learning in Laie: spiritual learning at the temple, temporal learning at the university, and cultural learning at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Following the addresses, the students divided into their 14 wards to create sand sculptures of the Laie temple and then celebrated the Hukilau — Hawaiian for catching fish with nets — by pulling in nets taken out by boats. The students and some guests actually caught some fish in the process. According to correspondence sent by S. Rick Crump, a stake high councilor, this was the final activity of the existing BYU-Hawaii 1st Stake. The next day during stake conference, the stake was divided into the BYU-Hawaii 1st and 3rd stakes.