EXCLUSIVE: Ewa plantation cemetery is eyesore - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

EXCLUSIVE: Ewa plantation cemetery is eyesore

Jane & Kiyoshi Ikeda Jane & Kiyoshi Ikeda
Kibul Pantohan Kibul Pantohan
Ron Menor Ron Menor
John Bond John Bond
Victor Pantohan Victor Pantohan
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The Ewa Plantation Cemetery spreads out over eleven acres. There are about 500 grave sites on the property, but the grass is so tall in spots it swallows grave markers. Even when you know where a relative is buried you still can't find it.

"There was a time when there was a little walkway. Now you can't even see it," Jane Ikeda said.

Walk the land and you'll find crooked crosses and toppled tombstones

"The cement that hold the stone just wouldn't hold them any more," Kibul Pantohan said.

He voluntarily cared for the cemetery since 1998 because his relatives are buried there. During that time Pantohan can only recall a city crew cleaning it up once.  First-term city councilman Ron Menor vows to find help.

"We've got to get the appropriate city departments to expend the dollars, but most importantly to get their manpower and crew out here to do the necessary cleanup work, so we can preserve an important legacy for Hawaii's people," he said.

Menor said the cemetery sits on city land.

Ewa historian John Bond said the people buried in it were plantation workers and their relatives.

"They came from all over Asia, Japan, Philippines, Portugal. They deserve to be remembered and their grave sites taken care of," he said.

Victor Pantohan buried his wife and brother in the cemetery. He remembers how the graveyard used to be.

"Way back you could just walk all over. You could spock all the tombstones, crosses and everything," he said. "This place is all in a mess."

Besides cutting grass and straightening grave makers, some of the work Kibul Pantohan has done is hard labor. He's cut up large fallen branches and stacked wood. But he's 79 and slowing down. He's begging for help.

"Get some kind of group and volunteer and cut the grass, or hire some company or somebody to maintain this," he said.

The cemetery was established as a tribute for the men and women who labored in the Ewa fields. Sadly, that tribute has become an eyesore.

Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved

Top Stories

Ewa Cemetery Slideshow (SIDEBAR)

Updated:

SLIDESHOW: Ewa Plantation Cemetery More>>

  • Hawaii News Now headlinesNewsMore>>

  • In new setback, Uber to lose license to work in London

    In new setback, Uber to lose license to work in London

    Friday, September 22 2017 6:25 AM EDT2017-09-22 10:25:36 GMT
    Friday, September 22 2017 6:36 PM EDT2017-09-22 22:36:54 GMT

    London's transport authority says it won't renew Uber's license to operate in the British capital, arguing that it demonstrates a lack of corporate responsibility with implications in public safety and security.

    More >>

    London's transport authority says it won't renew Uber's license to operate in the British capital, arguing that it demonstrates a lack of corporate responsibility with implications in public safety and security.

    More >>
  • The Latest: Sanders praises McCain's for using 'conscience'

    The Latest: Sanders praises McCain's for using 'conscience'

    Friday, September 22 2017 11:36 AM EDT2017-09-22 15:36:38 GMT
    Friday, September 22 2017 6:36 PM EDT2017-09-22 22:36:48 GMT
    Sen. Rand Paul says despite President Donald Trump's attacks on him for opposing the new GOP health care bill, the measure is a "fake" and he won't support it.More >>
    Sen. Rand Paul says despite President Donald Trump's attacks on him for opposing the new GOP health care bill, the measure is a "fake" and he won't support it.More >>
  • US beefs up NKorea sanctions, Kim Jong Un insults Trump,

    US beefs up NKorea sanctions, Kim Jong Un insults Trump,

    Thursday, September 21 2017 10:25 AM EDT2017-09-21 14:25:57 GMT
    Friday, September 22 2017 6:36 PM EDT2017-09-22 22:36:40 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). President Donald Trump speaks at a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in New York.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). President Donald Trump speaks at a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in New York.

    President Donald Trump says the U.S. will impose additional sanctions on North Korea over the communist country's nuclear weapons buildup.

    More >>

    President Donald Trump says the U.S. will impose additional sanctions on North Korea over the communist country's nuclear weapons buildup.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly