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St. Michael’s Church demolished in Kona

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Photography and story by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7

On Thursday (Jan 21) St. Michael’s Church came down after over 150 years of service in Kailua-Kona.

Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Church suffered severe damage from the 6.7 and 6.0 magnitude October 15, 2006 earthquakes which shook the Big Island and caused widespread damage. Cracks in the front and rear arches along with severe damage to the bell tower forced the parish to abandon using the building for services.

A large tent has been used for all services on the church grounds. On Sunday, December 20, 2009 just as the 9 a.m. Mass was ending a violent thunderstorm with heavy wind and rain struck the church tent destroying it. Nobody was injured and a new tent was put up two days before Christmas and will continue to be used until a new church can be built.

Richard Leander Jr., chairman of St. Michael the Archangel Parish Planning and Building Committee, said of the demolition, “We will be moving pavers removed from the sidewalks first thing. Then we will strip wood, windows, ceilings, carpet, doors, choir loft, bell tower supports, floors and anything else that adds structural support or will gum up the equipment without having it fall on the workmen.”

When the building is down and cleaned up, archeologist Bob Rechtman will guide the contractor in the recovery of the priest buried there under a slab.

Photography by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7

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