Going back in time: Holualoa school to mark centennial with opening of time capsule

  • Holualoa Elementary School students stand next to a time capsule created 25 years ago, which will be opened in May. (Courtesy photo/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • Artist Matthew Levein creates the vessel to be used as a time capsule for Holualoa Elementary School in 1997. Courtesy photo/Special to West Hawaii Today

  • Artist Matthew Lovein, left and student designer Dennis Umeno with the time capsule in 1997. (Courtesy photo/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • Artist Matthew Lovein, left and Holualoa principal Dan Yoshida at the unveiling of the time capsule in 1997. Courtesy photo/Special to West Hawaii Today

Students at Holualoa Elementary School will be able to take a trip back 25 years when they open a time capsule this spring.

In May 1997, Holualoa Elementary School had an assembly where all students, teachers and alumni were invited to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the school. At that time the principal Daniel Yoshida unveiled a time capsule that was made by ceramic artist Matthew Lovein of Holualoa Gallery.


There was an art contest among students to submit a concept for the vessel. The winner was David Umeno. He worked together with Lovein to manifest his winning vision and all of the teachers’ and students’ names were written on the vase. The time capsule is in the school library and is to be opened at the school’s Spring Festival scheduled for May 6.

The program is headed by English Language Coordinator, Matthew Rossman.

“We’re going to try to have the official opening that will be tied into our Springfest program,” he said.

The entire student population in 1997 submitted an individual pho to along with what they wanted to be when they grew up.

“We have a teacher here, Miss Lee Loy. She was a fifth grader when it was sealed,” said Rossman. “One of her pictures is in the time capsule.”

Rossman said there are still a few teachers at the school that taught there a quarter century ago.

“There’s some West Hawaii Today newspaper articles including coverage of the new cafeteria opening after the old one burned down and the school winning the Newbery Quiz Bowl,” he said of other items tucked into the capsule.

The capsule has been in the school library since being sealed 25 years ago.

Rossman said alumni are invited to the grand unsealing and Spring Festival where each grade level has prepared a song.

He said students are looking forward to the event, which hasn’t been held the last two years because of the pandemic.

After opening and viewing the contents of the vessel, everything will be put back, adding current students contributions and re-sealing it to be open in another 25 years.

Rossman said that even though the school is celebrating 125 years, they have found teacher’s notes from 1895, making the school 127 years old.

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