Living history presentation focuses on lives of Portuguese immigrant descendants

  • Courtesy photo Jackie Pualani Johnson

  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald file photo Dolores Tavares and her son, Michael, hold photographs of her parents, the Perreiras, in their Hilo home.

  • Courtesy photo Gabriella Cabanas

  • Courtesy photo Ed and Beth Andrade

In September 2017, the Hawaii Island Portuguese Chamber of Commerce celebrated the 140th anniversary of the arrival of Portuguese immigrants to Hawaii. Commemorative events included special performances by island actors, enacting living histories of some descendants of the 1878 immigrants.

The scripts that featured those life stories were prepared by retired University of Hawaii at Hilo drama professor Jackie Pualani Johnson, who interviewed the descendants in order to capture the values and lifestyle of the Portuguese in East Hawaii.


The Lyman Museum in downtown Hilo will feature living histories of Norbert and Erma Serrao of Hilo and Paauilo, respectively, portrayed by Edward and Beth Andrade of Hilo, and Dolores Tavares, formerly of Lahaina, Maui, and Pahoa, personified by Gabriella Cabanas of Hilo, during two presentations next week.

These enactments will be presented 7-8:30 p.m. Monday (Feb. 18) and 3-4:30 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 19) at the museum.

“The Journey Continues: Lives of Portuguese Immigrant Descendants, 2018” will help those who attend feel what life was like for these Portuguese families, sharing tidbits from earlier generations about everyday activities and the choices made to build families and careers. Anecdotes about life on the Big Island tell of devotion to family and church, including the sacrifices made to ensure a better future for the next generation.

The cost to see these heartfelt portrayals is free for Lyman members or $3 for non-members.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for evening events, and additional parking is available Monday evening next door to the museum at Hilo Union School. Seating is limited.


The Lyman Museum is located at 276 Haili St.

For more information, call 935-5021 or visit

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