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About Lorenzo Lyons
Lorenzo Lyons or "Makua Laiana" (1807 – 1886) was an early missionary to the Kingdom of Hawaii. He was a songwriter who composed "Hawaiʻi Aloha", which was inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame in 1998. Lyons spent the last 28 years of his life as postmaster in the district surrounding Waimea, Hawaii County, Hawaii.
He was born in Colrain, Franklin County, Massachusetts, April 18, 1807. He graduated from Union College in 1827. Ordained as a Congregationalist minister at Auburn Theological Seminary, September 20, 1831.
Missionary in Hawaii
He embarked from Boston, Massachusetts on November 26, 1831, on the Averick with his wife Betsy Curtis (1813–1837). Part of the fifth company from the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, they arrived in the South Kohala district of the island of Hawaiʻi on May 17, 1832.
He spent the remainder of his life dedicated to the native Hawaiians.
His Waimea parish eventually included the districts of Kohala and Hāmākua, making it the largest mission station in Hawaiʻi.
During his tenure, Lyons was responsible for the erection of fourteen churches, such as Imiola Church where he is buried. He was district postmaster from 1858 until his death.
He was fluent in the Hawaiian language and composed many poems and hymns; his best known and beloved work is the hymn "Hawaiʻi Aloha" sung to the tune of "I Left it All With Jesus."
Rev. Lyons died on October 6, 1886, and is buried at Imiola Church Cemetery in Waimea, Hawaii County, Hawaii.
His first wife died in 1837, and he married Lucia G. Smith of Truxton, New York on July 14, 1838.
Son Curtis Jere Lyons was born June 27, 1833, attended Punahou School and graduated from Williams College in 1858. After attending Union Theological Seminary for two years, he returned to Hawaii and became a reporter. In 1868 and 1870 he was elected to the legislature of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and married Julia E. Vernon on April 23, 1873. He died on September 24, 1914.
Son Albert B. Lyons (1841-1926) Founding Secretary, American Pharmaceutical Association, Scientific Section.
Samoan writer John Kneubuhl wrote a play based on his life titled "The Harp in the Willows" in 1946. It was one of the first published works to use Hawaiian Creole English (known as "Pidgin").
HAWAII COUSINS. Miss Fidelia M. Lyons, well known to kamaainas, especially on Hawaii, passed away quietly on the morning of November thirteenth in this city. The earthly remains were laid to rest in Kawaiahao Mission Cemetery the next afternoon, after a simple but beautiful service at which Rev. A. A. Ebersole officiated. Hymns translated by Miss Lyons' father were sweetly sung in Hawaiian by a trio from the Kawaiahao Church Choir, a fitting tribute to the departed one's love for Hawaii nei which was evinced in one of her very last conversations. Miss Lyons was a daughter of the Rev. Lorenzo Lyons, once known as "the lyric poet of Hawaii." She was born at Waimea, Hawaii, September 4, 1839, and passed most of her life in that village. There she and her sister continued to some ex- tent the missionary labors that had so endeared their parents to the Hawaiians As a young girl she attended Punahou School, many present residents of Honolulu being among her schoolmates. Ten years ago failing health was the cause of her leaving Waimea to be cared for in Honolulu, where she has since resided. Her's was a simple, uneventful Christian life characterized always by the child-like but strong faith that was her blessed heritage. She was uncomplaining through years of lonely seclusion and subsequent years of invalidism. Even in her last hours she showed consideration for those who cared for her rather than for herself. Miss Lyons was a sister of Dr. A. B. Lyons of Detroit, Michigan, the late Prof. Curtis J. Lyons of Honolulu and the late Mrs. Joseph Hay of Myrtle Point, Ore.