HPU 'Ohana Takes Part in Second Fort Street Beautification Project

HPU 'Ohana Takes Part in Second Fort Street Beautification Project

With scrub bushes and cleaning rags in hand and trash bags in tow, about 30 members of the HPU ‘ohana gathered on Thursday, Nov. 9, to participate in the second Malama HPU Fort Street Beautification Project. The service event was co-organized by the Human Resources and University Relations departments. The HPU team focused on cleaning the Padrao Monument and the area surrounding it on Fort Street Mall and Beretania Street. The monument was commissioned in 1978 by leaders in the Portuguese community to celebrate the Portuguese Centennial in Hawai‘i.

Individuals with strong connections to the Portuguese community and the Fort Street Padrao Monument came to the Nov. 9 Malama HPU event to meet the HPU service team: John Henry Felix, Ph.D., Honorary Consul of Portugal; Laura Figueira, who was President of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i at the time of the monument’s dedication in 1986; and Marlene DeCosta, Director of Real Estate, Roman Catholic Church in the State of Hawaii, Diocese of Honolulu.

Felix and Figueira were among the leaders in the community who donated in support of the Padrao Monument’s construction. On the pedestal of the monument are bronze plaques, telling the story of the Portuguese immigration to Hawai‘i and includes the names of the donors or the names of the ancestors the donors were honoring.  

The Padrao — a special-shaped cross on a column — represents what Portuguese navigators used to identify newly explored lands. Surrounding the monument is a 30-by-35 foot compass mosaic, which includes 18 tons of pink, black, and beige rocks shipped from Portugal. Two stone masons from Portugal worked in Hawai‘i for several months to hand place the rocks into the intricate design.

Figueira explained the significance of the Fort Street location for the Padrao, which honors the economic and social contributions of the Portuguese in Hawai‘i. The first Portuguese immigrants to Hawai‘i — many of whom came to work in the fields —  arrived in September of 1878 on the Priscilla. After they landed, the group marched up Fort Street to Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, wanting to give thanks.

Through the Malama HPU project, HPU is making a difference. By extending a helping hand to the university’s neighbors, the HPU ‘ohana is beautifying and improving the community HPU calls home.


Pictured: Malama HPU team of staff, students, and faculty, and past President Portuguese Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i Laura Figueira (floral print blouse) at the Nov. 9, 2017, Malama HPU Fort Street Beautification Project event.