Last year, I looked on my own for Kaulehelehe's grave at the Ross Bay Cemetery and couldn't locate it. So during the past year, I made contact with a variety of people who eventually led me to Michael Halleran, secretary of the Old Cemeteries Society in Victoria, who has led tours of the cemetery focused on its prominent Hawaiians.
Michael not only told me about the Kaulehelehes, he also offered to meet me at the cemetery and show me the location of the graves of William's wife, Mary Kaai, and his hanai daughter, Mary Opio. So we met at the Ross Bay Cemetery tonight, and he took me first to William's unmarked grave:
|Michael Halleran at William Kaulehelehe's |
unmarked grave in Victoria, B.C.
Michael also took me to another cemetery, the Old Quadra Street Burial Ground, a few kilometers away, where Kaai and Opio also are buried in unmarked graves. That cemetery unceremoniously has been turned into a city park (a group of people were hula-hooping on top of grave sites -- probably unknowingly -- when we arrived), and almost all of the more than 1,000 tombstones at that site have been removed, but, Halleran said, the bodies still are there, including Kaai and Opio. The city's parks department removed most of the markers in 1909, when the site was "renovated" into Pioneer Square Park. At this point, because of the lack of precise records about the site, Halleran said there is no easy way to determine where the women are buried. He was able to determine that Opio was buried in the Catholic part of the cemetery, roughly near this large church marker:
|Halleran suggesting where Opio might be buried.|
|Halleran determining roughly where Kaai is buried.|
Opio (her full last name was Kamopiopio), by the way, died at the age of 15, on June 26, 1864, in what appears to have been a botched abortion. Halleran said there is some documentation and some speculation about what happened, so we are going to look more closely at that story and see what we can find.
Mary Kaai (full last name: Kaiiopiopio) died at the age of 43 (cause and date of death unknown) and was buried on New Year's Eve, the next year, 1865.
William Kaulehelehe lived to the age of 65, dying almost a decade later, on June 22, 1874.
I also grabbed the GPS coordinates of these grave sites, so I hope to embed some digital media at that those places some time in the near future, to at least leave a virtual marker of their lives. Will keep you posted!