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COURTESY LA'I MITCHELL CHONG Kahu Billy Mitchell presided over a ceremony last week marking the return to Hawaii island of a koa canoe carved by Theodore Vredenburg decades ago. Mitchell, whose wife, Jenny, is Vredenburg’s granddaughter, first arranged to view the canoe at the home of Tony and Kim Allard, who bought the vessel on the East Coast.
COURTESY LA‘I MITCHELL CHONG Theodore Vredenburg’s canoe was brought out for a paddle after the blessing. The vessel felt like it belonged on the Big Island waves, said La‘i Mitchell Chong, Vredenburg’s great-granddaughter and a paddler.
COURTESY LA'I MITCHELL CHONG Theodore Vredenburg was a master carver with Scottish, French, Dutch and Hawaiian ancestry. He carved the canoe during World War II while he was the manager of Huehue Ranch in North Kona.