From Russia with Aloha ..continued

Posted on January 27, 2013


ImageWe have had on other occasions a few opportunities to chat with the Countess, who is now in her nineties. And she shared with us not only her beautiful smile and boundless energy, but how she has been on this mission that spans over several decades of doing humanitarian work for those less fortunate. And the Countess Nicholas Bobrinskoy especially loves to feed, help and focus on the children, especially our orphans of the world.

This journey is all in preparation for the January 28, 2013,  as the Countess Nicholas Bobrinskoy will hold the first ever Investiture and Knighting of the order here in Hawaii at Kawaiahao Church.  The ceremony will start at 5:30-7:30 pm and will mark Hawaii’s first solemn Investiture of new Knights and Dames in recognition of their exceptional service to humanity. 

The ceremony is honoring some of Hawaii’s own living treasures, our Kapuna’s and other individuals with knighthood in the Royal traditions. The event was organized by Dame Commander of Grace, Honorable Dr Sandra Rose Michael, and will recognize 20 individuals that will be Knighted into the Knights of the Orthodox Order of St. John. Which is the oldest historical humanitarian organization in the world.  This venerable Order dates back to the 2nd century Knights Hospitaller of the Crusades who established the world’s first hospitals for the care of sick and injured regardless of race, creed, caste or ability to pay and also were called the Knights of Malta before being granted Imperial Protection in Russia.

In the traditions of Royalty, Special Recognition in this Investiture Ceremony will be granted to some of Hawaii’s own living treasures:

Dr. Agnes Kalanihookaha Cope, Kahu Kamaki Kanahele, Mr. Al Harrington, Father Phil Harmon, Lady Shayla Spencer, Joanne Tachibana of the UN Association, Reynolds Kamakawiwoole representing Royal Order of Kamehameha, Rev. Kedar and Shelley St. John


At this ceremony, her Excellency will be honoring Honorable Governor Abercrombie with a gift of a beautiful Anniversary Medal from the Order to commemorate the establishment of the Hawaii Priory of this prestigious Order and Dr. Terry Shintani, will be advanced in rank to Knight Commander of this Priory. 

The Countesses journey is bringing together many local and global individuals who are attempting to help bridge the gap of knowledge, which continues to unfold the rich history and relationships that King Kalakaua’s court had. And in many of his portraits you can actually see the Maltese Cross adorning the Kings Regalia, and on the Royal Crowns, including the Maltese cross that adorn many of his formal attire. Here is what one of our sources found about the history in a book on Kauai that reflects on during the Hawaiian Art and National Culture of the Kalakaua Era:


  “The taro leaf motifs adorning the crown’s fillet referenced the chief as the source of life. They denoted the role and responsibility of the chief as the progenitor of the people and the land, the chief’s descent from the gods, and the divine course of life.” (Bishop 1958, 12)  

“On the crown, the taro leaves figuratively formed the foundation for the eight unified islands symbolized by the eight arching gold bands. … The four Maltese crosses placed equidistant above the crown’s fillet and the one at his apex appear to have had special significance to Kalakaua. He also incorporated the motif into his designs for the coat of arms, medals and Royal Orders. Kalakaua was not the first ruler to incorporate the Maltese cross into Hawaiian regalia (it was, for instance, used in the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, founded April 1863 by Lota Kapuaiwa), but he multiplied and amplified its display.  … it is reasonable to assume that he was familiar with the twelfth century military monastic order of Knights of Malta, which was initially founded as Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem and subsequently known as the Knights of Rhodes and, in 1530, the Knights of Malta.”

“…(Kalakaua) repeatedly utilized the Maltese cross to signify Hawai’iis, like Malta’s, ability to guard itself, care for its people, and expand its sphere of influence internationally. Further, the four two-pointed arms of the Maltese cross and its variations…likely referenced the theme of national unity among the eight major Hawaiian islands.”     The Arts of Kingship by Stacey L, Kamehiro, 2009, University of Hawai’i Press, Honolulu.