Virginia Couple Funding Digitization of “Rice and Roses” Programs

Richard Borreca
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

Much of Hawai‘i’s unique plantation history sits in a climate-controlled vault in the library of the University of Hawai‘i-West O‘ahu, waiting to be saved.

The 12 pallets of videotapes — more than 3,000 cassette tapes — representing the archives of the long-running television series from the 1980s and ’90s, “Rice and Roses,” which aired on Hawaii Public Television, KHET (today, PBS Hawai‘i). The tapes are being tended to with tender loving care by the series’ director, Joy Chong-Stannard, and producer, Chris Conybeare, under the administration of CLEAR — the Center for Labor Education and Research.

The programs delved into all aspects of Hawai‘i’s plantation past — from the picture brides brought over from Asia at the turn of the century; to the prolonged sugar, pineapple and dock strikes; to plantation politics; to the various traditions that brought about Hawai‘i’s blended culture.

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