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Historian returns old postcard to Kauai

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 2:23 a.m. HST, Aug 23, 2013

LIHUE, Hawaii >> A postcard sent 106 years ago from Kauai has made it back to the island.

The Garden Island ( reports Florida author and historian Ginger Pedersen spotted the card Aug. 10 at a postcard show. She saw it had been sent by Francis Gay, co-founder of the Gay & Robinson sugar cane plantation and cattle ranch, and decided it should be sent to the Kauai Museum, where she’s a member.

“Some postcards take longer than others to find their way,” Pedersen said. “I am mailing this back to the Kauai Museum to complete its round-trip of 106 years.”

Gay was born in New Zealand in 1852. He moved to Hawaii in 1864. He and a cousin, Aubrey Robinson, formed a partnership as Gay and Robinson at Makaweli in 1889 for cattle ranching and sugar cane cultivation.

His postcard was mailed to a congressman from Kansas, U.S. Rep. Philip P. Campbell of Kansas. It shows a sailboat heading toward “Cocoanut Island” in Kaneohe Bay. Gay’s message was, “With aloha nui from us all and wishing you a very pleasant trip.”

Gay served as a legislator in the Territory of Hawaii and may have greeted members of Congress visiting Hawaii.

“That’s his signature,” Kauai Museum curator Chris Faye said after receiving the card. “I’ve seen enough documents signed by him, and I recognize the signature.”

Gay dated the card Aug. 6, 1907. Campbell likely visited the island, Faye said.

“The first movie ever made in Hawaii featured Congress people,” Faye said. “According to a Garden Island newspaper of the period, Philip P. Campbell, a Congressman from Kansas for 20 years, was scheduled to visit Hawaii in 1915.”

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