Welcome to the Hawaii State Society Website!

President's Message

Several years ago, the American Medical Technologists (AMT) Home Office entered into conversations with the AMT bodies in Hawaii relating to the possibility of forming a society in our Islands. We are fortunate that on October 4, 2004, the AMT National Board and Council reacted positively to the formation of Hawaii State Society of the American Medical Technologists (HISSAMT). The rest is history since HISSAMT’s confirmation on January 25, 2005. Therefore, it is with pride and honor that 2009 marks our five-year anniversary.

Hawai’i is isolated from the mainland states. However, this isolation makes the Hawaiian Islands so unique that to this date we continue to uphold our culture, beliefs and practices that date back a thousand years before the American colonies became a nation in 1776. The British navigator, Captain James Cook sailed on the Island of Kaua’i and made his first contact with the Hawaiian people in January 20, 1778. He then sailed onto the Big Island in early 1779. However, prior to the arrival of Captain Cook, Hawaiian society was a highly stratified system with strictly maintained castes. Like medieval Europe and the other Polynesian nations, each caste had its assigned tasks and responsibilities.

Before the reign of Kamehameha I, there were a number of small kingdoms. In each of these small kingdoms, the king, headed Hawaii's social pyramid, assisted by a chief minister and a high priest. Next in ranking were the ali'i or chiefs, who varied in power depending on ancestral lineage and ability. A chief's ranking in society was determined by the legitimacy of his genealogy. Chiefs ruled over portions of the land at the whim of the king, who could remove and replace them according to a system of rewards and punishments.

King Kamehameha ruled tightly, but unfortunately he could not prepare the islands for what would affect them the most: diseases. Over the next century the Hawaiian population was decimated by the likes of influenza, typhoid fever, and measles, which resulted the decease of population.  In 1819, when King Kamehameha died, so did the remainder of Hawaiian life. A short time later Kamehameha II, at the behest of King Kamehameha I’s wife, Ka'ahumanu, broke the kapu system that had ruled the islands for generations. A year later, the missionaries arrived from Boston.

In April 1820, the first Christian missionaries stepped off of their ship, the Thaddeus, from Boston and changed the island by introducing reading and writing to the Hawaiian natives. It was the children of the missionary families that would ultimately make the greatest change in Hawai'i. The families could have returned home as they were supposed to have done but instead stayed on the island.

Western law made its way into Hawaiian life. The Hawaiian Constitution came into existence by 1840, along with a supreme court and a parliament. Land issues continued to be a large focus in the coming years. By 1848, land was divided into thirds - one for the royalty, one for the government, and one for the common people. Led by the missionary descendents, a great agricultural boom occurred in Hawai'i in the early 20th century, bringing more and more immigrants from Japan, China, and the Philippines to work in the growing fields of sugarcane, pineapple, and other large crops. Hawai'i became a melting pot of world cultures, faiths, and customs, which forged a new identity that still holds true today.

With the multitude of foreign changes occurring in Hawai’i, The Republic of Hawai'i was formed. In 1898, the United States finally annexed Hawai'i as a territory. Sixty-one years later the voters of Hawai'i approved statehood. The Big Island, Maui (including Moloka'i and Lana'i), O'ahu, and Kaua'i all became one of four counties in the 50th state of the union.

Although we face unprecedented economic times, your individual participation and continued support of the AMT Mission serves as the inspiration to the Officers and Board of Directors of the HISSAMT-committed and dedicated to serving you and reaching our goals as we move forward.

On behalf of the HISSAMT Officers and Board of Directors, I am forever grateful to YOU...

Mahalo Nui Loa,

Minelva B. Manuel
AMT Hawaii State President