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Old Maui High School Painting to be Showcased at September Centennial Celebration

July 25, 2013
Maui Weekly

The watercolor painting of a classic building with arched windows, twin stairways and overhanging trees looked familiar to Jeff Reiss. Years later, his yard sale purchase was identified as the historic 1929 Old Maui High School auditorium/gymnasium--dubbed "the Barn" by decades of students.

Reiss generously donated the work to Friends of Old Maui High School, and the group will produce a limited-edition glass display paperweight commemorating the school's Centennial, to be sold at the September centennial celebration at the school's original Hamakuapoko campus.

The Barn sheltered athletic and social events during Maui High's 60 years at the historic campus--from roller skating classes to drama club performances, dances and assemblies, and more. From 1972, when the school was moved to Kahului, until the building was burned to the ground in the late 1990s, it served as venue for many community gatherings, sports meets, classes and events.

Article Photos

Kunio Ogawa’s newly discovered painting of Old Maui High School.

The artist, 1935 Maui High School graduate Kunio Ogawa, took up painting following his service in the U.S. Army's 100th Infantry Battalion--"The Purple Heart Battalion"-- while recovering from tuberculosis. Over the years, until he died at the age of 92, Ogawa painted many scenes of Maui landscapes and buildings, which he gave to friends and family.

When Maui High alumni gather Sept. 13 to 15 at the Old Maui High School Centennial Celebration, Ogawa's original painting will be displayed next to the commemorative paperweights and other unique Saber memorabilia. The weekend event is expected to bring together more than 1,000 Maui High alumni, families and friends for a once-in-a-lifetime celebration, including a traditional luau, plantation-days displays, spirited performances by former cheerleaders and talented alumni, and a birthday program celebrating 100 years of building community.

Information about the celebration is available at or by calling 579-9287.



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