Trust beneficiariesThe Charles Reed Bishop Trust was established in 1895 and initially funded with 14 promissory notes totaling $800,000. The notes came due at various times through 1905.
In the first 21 years of the trust, approximately $256,000 was paid out in distributions. By 2009, the trust had distributed millions of dollars to its beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries of the Trust now consist of only eight (8) designated entities, which are: Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Mauna‘ala (the Royal Mausoleum of Hawai‘i), Central Union Church, Kaumakapili Church, Kawaiahao Church, Kamehameha Schools, Mid-Pacific Institute and Lunalilo Trust.
Establishing the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum was a long-time pursuit of Charles Reed Bishop. As he intended it, the museum was created as a permanent memorial to his wife Pauahi. It was a place to safeguard Pauahi’s collection of Hawaiian and Polynesian antiquities and to provide a repository for Hawaiian antiquities that were spread far and wide.
The mission of the museum since its founding has been ’to study, preserve and tell the stories of the cultures and natural history of Hawai‘i and the Pacific.”
Mauna‘ala figures prominently in Hawai‘i’s unique history. It is the final resting place for Hawai‘i’s ruling families, including Kamehameha II, III, IV and V, Queen Kamamalu, Queen Ka‘ahumanu, Queen Emma, Queen Kapi‘olani, Queen Lili‘uokalani, Prince Albert, Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani, King Kalākaua and Pauahi and Charles Reed Bishop.
Charles Reed Bishop understood the significance of this precious place. To maintain the dignity of Mauna‘ala is to honor the ruling families of Hawai‘i and their significant place in Hawaiian history.
As of 2009, the trust was also supporting indigent Hawaiians through an annual award to Lunalilo Home, with smaller awards presented to Central Union Church, Kawaiaha‘o Church, Kaumakapili Church and for Founder’s Day ceremonies on the Kamehameha Schools Kapālama campus.
An award is also presented annually to a student at Mid-Pacific Institute, as Kawaiaha‘o Female Seminary (a beneficiary named in Bishop’s will) and Mills Institute merged in 1907 to form Mid Pacific Institute.