IN MEMORY OF
Kealakekua Bay is on the Kona coast of Big Island, Hawai’i. It can only be reached by water, or an arduous one and a half mile hike.
An obelisk, constructed of concrete composed of carefully screened pebbles and cement, throughout, painted white with a carved inscription highlighted in black paint. It is 27 ft high and rests on a square platform of lava rock.
The chain around the monument is supported by twelve cannons from the ship HMS Fantome placed with their breaches embedded in the rock to serve as bollards, in 1876.
The obelisk stands nearly 20 yards from the stone slab on which Cook stood when he was killed.
The monument stands on a small patch of British owned land.
The site was given by Princess Likelike (pronounces Likky-likky). In less substantial form there had previously been erected certain other memorials.
Erected in November 1874, near to where Capt James Cook was killed.
Captain Cator, of Her Majesty’s ship Scout, conveyed the architect and men and materials to the spot in the bay where Cook fell.
The cost of this was partly borne by English subscribers, including Admiral Richards, late Hydrographer at the Admiralty, and Lady Franklin.
The inscription was composed by Mr J.H. Wodehouse, British Commissioner in Hawaii.
The monument was unveiled on 14th November 1874, in the presence of Mr Woodhouse, Captain Cator, officers of the Scout and many foreign and native visitors and residents.
In 1875 Rear Admiral Arthur Cochrane, Commander in Chief of the Royal Navy’s Pacific Squadron recommended a perimeter fence be erected, and the Admiralty agreed to release 12 old cannon (32 pounders) for this purpose. These were transported from Vancouver Island to the site in HMS Fantome.
By 1954 the monument had been subject to earthquake damage, and it was restored in 1954 by the crew of HMS Morecambe Bay commanded by Sir Simon Cassels. The restoration was directed by George McEldowney.
In 2012 a party from HMCS Vancouver’s company volunteered to help to clean, repair and repaint the monument and the surrounding fence, as well as tidying up the surrounding vegetation and other commemorative plaques. This was to commemorate their commonwealth link with Cook, and to continue the great tradition of visiting commonwealth warships to keep the monument from falling into disrepair.
THE GREAT CIRCUMNAVIGATOR,
CAPTAIN JAMES COOK, R.N.
DISCOVERED THESE ISLANDS
ON THE 18th of JANUARY, 1778.
AND FELL NEAR THIS SPOT ON
THE 14th of FEBRUARY, 1779.
THIS MONUMENT WAS ERECTED IN
NOVEMBER, A.D. 1874
BY SOME OF HIS FELLOW COUNTRYMEN.
Brass plate on the side opposite that which bears the above inscription:
THIS MONUMENT WAS REPAIRED BY MEMBERS
OF THE SHIP’S COMPANY OF
HER MAJESTY’S FRIGATE “MORECAMBE BAY”
COMMANDER A.C. TUPPER, D.S.C., Royal Navy,
UNDER THE DIRECTION OF
LIEUTENANT S.A.C. CASSELS, Royal Navy
Mr GEORGE McELDOWNEY of HILO, HAWAII
THE WORK BEING COMPLETED
28th OCTOBER 1954
Nearby, just beneath the surface of the water is the bronze tablet, the inscription of which reads “Near this spot Capt. James Cook, R.N., was killed, Feb. 14, 1779.
GPS Coordinates: 19’28.887” N, 155’56.004” W
Cook’s Log, page 1174, vol.18, no.4 (1995)
Cook’s Log, page 1549, vol.21, no.4 (1998)
Cook’s Log, page 1592, vol.22, no.1 (1999)
Cook’s Log, page 39, vol.27, no.2 (2004)
Cook’s Log, page 7, vol.27, no.3 (2004)
Cook’s Log, page 16, vol.28, no.2 (2005)
Cook’s Log, page 18, vol.28, no.3 (2005)
Cook’s Log, page 23, vol.35, no.2 (2012)
Cook’s Log, page 38, vol.35, no.4 (2012)
Cook’s Log, page 22, vol.36, no.1 (2013)
Cook’s Log, page 38, vol.36, no.2 (2013)
Cook’s Log, page 15, vol.36, no.3 (2013)
Western Morning News – Monday 24th November 1924. Page 4.
Image gallery (click to enlarge)