Cooke Family Assembly: Sophie and George Cooke's Legacy

Our Friday, September 21, 2018, our Assembly was an exciting, historical one! To launch our Centennial Year, it was fitting to remember and honor our school’s founders, Sophie Judd Cooke and George Paul Cooke. It was thrilling to welcome on campus 14 family members of the Cooke ‘Ohana who represented different branches of the family of Anne Charlotte Rice Cooke, and, husband, Charles Montague Cooke. George Cooke was one of their sons.

Amber Strong ‘89 Makaiau, a Cooke descendant, current parent and PDC Director, organized a wonderful assembly of the Cooke family. Thanks to Mrs. Makaiau, the teachers were able to prepare the children for the assembly by introducing them to a number of primary sources, such as family photographs, books, and a timeline. The children then generated questions they wanted to ask the Cooke panelists, John Derby ‘52 (grandson of the founders), and Caroline Bond ‘66 Davis (great-granddaughter of the founders).

The students took charge of the Assembly by posing very interesting questions curious to know more about the founding of our school and its founders:

Aiden, 6th grade asked: What was your favorite memory of Sophie and George Cooke? Mr. Derby responded how much he enjoyed visiting his grandparents on Molokai where they had a home. It was in Kauluwai where they had 42 cows. At 3:00 AM he would hear a big bell, he put on his boots and supervised the milking of the cows. Mrs. Davis said she remembers vividly how she taught her great grandmother how to back shuffle cards at 82 years old, and how this is a remarkable example of Sophie as a lifelong learner.

Pale in Kukunaokala inquired “what was here before the school? Why did they. build the school here? Mr. Derby shared it was a 2-acre vacant lot and “grandpa” moved 2 buildings to this lot — 1 was the classroom and 1 was the Shop. Hanahau‘oli started with Shop!

Nahina in JK wondered, “why are there so many traditions at Hanahau‘oli? Mrs. Davis said this is a way to remember things of the past. She shared that her Great Grandmother Sophie had the chance to shake the hand of then President Theodore Roosevelt. Sophie never forgot his firm, strong handshake. This memory endured and explainswhy at the end of each school day, the students shake hands with the Head of School!

There were so many great questions with so many interesting answers, filled with information about the history of our school.

The assembly ended with the school’s tribute to the Cooke Foundation because if its wonderful support each year. Ms. Woo presented to Greg Wrenn, Mrs. Baclig’s brother and President of the Cooke Foundation, a plaque that had a picture of all the Cooke Foundation Trustees on the school’s Dome on the playground that read:

The Cooke Foundation
Ho'omau Hanahau'oli: Perpetuating a legacy of Lifelong learning
With deep gratitude for the aloha and support
Centennial Year 1918 - 2018 (with Centennial logo)

What a special, unforgettable morning!