For much of the week beginning August 19, there was a strong possibility that the Category 4 Hurricane Lane, south of Hawai‘i Is. and moving slowly West, might turn North and strike the rest of the main Hawaiian Islands, all of which were under hurricane warnings. Originally it was expected to reach O‘ahu as early as Thursday evening. Fr. Moki closed the office officially for Thursday and Friday and cancelled the Saturday evening service, and the staff started preparing the property. By Wednesday, the earliest arrival was postponed to Friday evening, and a crew assembled to put up hurricane curtains on the stained glass windows around the Cathedral. Earlier in the week we had ascertained that it would not be possible to erect the curtain over the Great West Window, as there were no cherry picker cranes available.
A crew assembled early Thursday morning, including Fr. Moki, Office Secretary Ramona Simmons, Fr. Keleawe Hee, Jim Harvey, Roth Puahala, Dixie Kaetsu, Elizabeth and Ned Conklin, Keanu Young, as well as Eric Johnson and Eric West from Hawaii Theatre for Youth. Putting up the curtains was laborious: first we had to remove the storm-strength screws in the prepared sockets, then use the screws to fasten the curtain panels. There were panels sized and dedicated for each window — but some were mislabeled, and some didn’t quite fit! By noon, however, they were all hung, and after a sandwich lunch most of the crew worked to take down the tent, which was stored in the Ambulatory. We were as ready as we could be.
See a slide show from the week’s drama!
But O‘ahu was spared. Although there were severe rains and flooding on the more southerly islands (particularly Hawai‘i Is.), and much later on Kauai, O‘ahu had nothing worse than a moderate storm, with some rain and wind gusts. Saturday morning, Fr. Moki and Dixie Kaetsu took down the curtains over those Cathedral windows that were openable, and Sunday services proceeded almost normally, with many prayers of thanks.
The hurricane curtains were specially made for the Cathedral in 2012, under the supervision of Bob Moore, then Chair of Buildings and Grounds. Fortunately, they have never been tested by a full hurricane, and we pray that continues to be the case.