Laie sesquicentennial celebration: In early 1865 — 150 years ago — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints purchased the two ahupuaa [traditional Hawaiian land divisions] of Laie, and established the small community as a Mormon plantation, headquarters and gathering place.

Over the years since our town has become the home of the Laie Hawaii Temple (opened in 1919), the world-famous Hukilau tourist attraction (which ran from 1948-1971), BYU-Hawaii — which started as the Church College of Hawaii in 1955, and changed its name in 1974), and of course the Polynesian Cultural Center, launched over 50 years ago in 1963.

Laie Hawaii Temple

To help focus on all that history, the 2015 annual conference of the Laie-based Mormon Pacific Historical Society invites anyone interested in making a historical presentation to submit abstracts by September 1, 2015, to Mark James,

The MPHS conference, titled “Laie: A Sesquicentennial Celebration,” will be held on the BYU-Hawaii campus, October 23-24. Papers may address families, individuals, events, issues, traditions, documents, entities, etc., which have contributed to Laie’s history as a Mormon settlement over the past 150 years.

More details and new of other Laie sesquicentennial events will be shared as they become available.


Mike Foley, who has worked off-and-on

at the Polynesian Cultural Center since

1968,  has been a full-time freelance

writer and digital media specialist since

2002, and had a long career in marketing

communications and PR before that. He

learned to speak fluent Samoan as a

Mormon missionary before moving to Laie

in 1967 — still does, and he has traveled

extensively over the years throughout

Polynesia and other Pacific islands. Foley

is mostly retired now, but continues to

contribute to various PCC and other media.