Skip to Main Content

'Iolani School Archives: One Team History and Character

The ‘Iolani School Archives collects, organizes, preserves and provides access to historical records of ‘Iolani School.


Above steps by the National Archives

Teaching with Primary Sources

*Also see the Teaching and Primary Sources box in the Links tab of this guide.


                Content disclaimer

One Team History & Character

Grade 6, 7, 8 Faculty!

Grades 6 through 8 are a time of new friendships. This lesson utilizes primary source documents and artifacts to relate the history of the One Team ethos at 'Iolani School and discuss the personal character of those who embody it.
The following is primarily intended to complement your existing teaching units.


Grade: 6 - 8


Location: Classroom or 'Iolani School Archives


Time allotment: 10 minutes


Overall Outline:

  • One Team - Character Traits
    • Underdog - Never give up; come together to support and persevere
    • Champions - Humility
  • Closing - Synthesis & Information Literacy


Key Figures

  • Reverend Kenneth A. Bray
    • 'Iolani tenure: 1932 - 1952
    • Life: May 26, 1879 - January 9, 1953
    • Campus tribute: Bray Athletic Courtyard
    • One Team focus in athletics- introduced the concepts of coming together to achieve a goal, and the importance of every individual to the whole.
    • Biography:
      Father Kenneth A. Bray was a coach and director of athletics at ῾Iolani School from 1932 to 1952. He was born in England on May 26, 1879 and died in Hawai'i on January 9, 1953. A World War I veteran as a member of the American Expeditionary Forces, Bray also lent his clerical services locally during World War II. He greatly expanded the athletics program at 'Iolani School. Under his direction the school won six IHL championships: Football- 1939, 1940, 1950; Basketball-1951; Baseball-1950, 1951. He is credited with instilling the "One Team" ethos of the school. In addition, Bray served on the Board of Governors beginning with the school's incorporation in 1942. He was honored as a Contributor by the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.
  • Edward (Eddie) K. Hamada
    • Class of 1946
    • Played for Fr. Bray
    • 'Iolani tenure: 1954 - 1991
    • Life: January 27, 1928 - January 3, 2010
    • Campus tribute: Hamada Field
    • Mr. Hamada was a teacher, coach, and athletic director.
      He spread the One Team ethos with kindness and love; expanded it to the whole school. He was sometimes referred to as Mr. 'Iolani or Mr. Aloha. One Team as it is today, with those feelings of love and kindness for each other, is the legacy of Mr. Hamada.


Display the Bray / One Team banner graphic.

FrBray(72wx36hin) by Georgina Tom


One Team - Character Traits:
We talk about One Team as a way of being, and an attitude.
The materials here today show that it is also about personal character.

  • What does "personal character" mean?


Underdog - Never give-up; come together to support & persevere:

  • There WAS a sports program before Fr. Bray came, but the teams were widely known as underdogs.
    • Introduce Bray letters and illustrations:
      Bray wrote and illustrated messages to his team for motivation.
      Letters are undated but likely from 1940/41 (over 80 years ago)
    • He once quoted Mr. Howard
      "No matter how poor a start he gets, no matter how much bumping and interference he has to put up with, he fights it out to the finish."
      • Pass around letter #33 (Seabiscuit illustration)
  • Ask for student volunteers (3) to read "How 'Iolani Got Its Horseshoe"
    • Archivist circulates with the horseshoe while students read aloud.
  • Summarize reading:
    It's about never giving up but also, in the One Team way, coming together to support and persevere.


Champions - Humility:

  • Teams started winning. SY 1950/51 saw 3 champions: Football, Basketball, and Baseball
    • There is still One Team in winning.
  • Introduce the Confidence letter
    Bray's message to championship baseball team in 1951.
    • Ask for student volunteers (2) to read highlighted excerpts.
  • Summarize letter: Fr. Bray is talking about humility.
    • What does "humility" mean?


Closing - Synthesis & Information Literacy:

  • What are some things that One Team and these items symbolize?
  • We are learning about Fr. Bray and we have letters here written by Fr. Bray.
    • Does anyone know what kind of source that is?
      [A: Primary source]


Archival Material Used:

  • ISA-MS003 - Father Bray Collection
    Catalog record:

    • Box 1 - Folder 2 - Series: Documents - "Confidence" letter to players [reproduction]
    • Oversize Drawer 3 - "Confidence" letter to players aluminum broadside
    • Box 1 - Folders 9a-9d - Series: Documents - Letters to Players - Item no. 033 [reproduction]
    • Box 7 - Series: Artifacts - Item: Seabiscuit horseshoe

  • ISA-RG028 - Photographs and Prints - Subject Photograph Collection
    Catalog record:

    • Box 3 - Series: Nu‘uanu Campus - NC-Faculty/Staff/Admin - Bray, Kenneth A. - Item: Bray kneeling on field with hat [oversize reproduction]
    • Box 7 - Series: Ala Wai Campus - AWC-Faculty/Staff/Admin - Hamada, Edward (Eddie) - Item: Coach Hamada '46 with Elroy Chong '69 [oversize reproduction]



Ethos :
the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of a person, group, or institution

Personal character :
the complex of mental and ethical traits marking and often individualizing a person, group, or nation

Underdog :
a loser or predicted loser in a struggle or contest

Humility :
freedom from pride or arrogance: the quality or state of being humble
Humble - not proud or haughty: not arrogant or assertive

Legacy :
something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past

Primary source :
is created by someone who experienced an event firsthand, usually at or near the time of that event


Related Videos
*Some videos require 'Iolani School faculty/staff/student login.

Important Questions in the Study of Primary Sources infographic

(Click to enlarge.)

Thanks for reviewing a draft of
"Important Questions" go to
Dr. Melissa Perkins,
'Iolani School History Faculty
2021 Hawai'i History Teacher of the Year

(Click to enlarge.)