NENA Announces 2018 Medals

The NENA medal for 2018 features Henry Opukaha'ia. The medal marks the 200th anniversary of Henry Opukaha'ia's death and the 25th anniversary of the return of his remains to Hawaii. In his memory, the New England Numismatic Association (NENA)and the Big Island Coin Club ( have issued a joint medal in his honor.  The medals are two inches in diameter and are produced in two finishes: antique bronze and antique silver color. Both medal finishes share a common obverse while thereverse of the of the antique bronze features NENA's logo and the reverse of the antique silver color features the logo of the Big Island Coin Club.

The set of two medals is available for $25.00 with pickup at the convention. Please add $3.00 postage if you want them mailed to you.  Address orders to NENA; PO Box 2061, Woburn, MA 01888. Email queries may be addressed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Medals from previous years are also available. Email your requests to the above address.

 The 74th NENA Conference and Convention will be held on November 10th in conjunction with the NH Coin and Currency Expo, November 9-10 at the Manchester Downtown Hotel/Doubletree by Hilton, 700 Elm Street, Manchester, NH. See the website for schedule, details, discount coupon, and hotel reservations.


2018 medal obverse    2018 medal obverse
Medal Obverse
  Medal Obverse
NENA medal reverse   Hawaii medal reverse
NENA Reverse   Big Island Coin Club Reverse

Henry Opukaha'ia: A Link Between Hawaii and New England
By Bob Hewey

Henry Opukaha'ia was born in about 1792 to a royal family in the Kua region of the big island of Hawaii (not far from the recent volcanic eruption!). Around 1803, Henry’s parents and siblings, and later his aunt, were killed as part of the war that eventually resulted in the uniting of the Hawaiian Kingdom under Kamehameha I. When he was about fifteen years old, in 1807, he decided to leave Hawaii and found a merchant ship’s captain who was willing to take him on.

While on board this ship, Henry was befriended by a Yale College student, Russell Hubbard, who taught Henry some spoken English and the alphabet. The ship finally landed in New Haven in 1809. Because of Henry’s friendship with Hubbard, the Reverend Doctor E.W. Dwight, President of Yale, agreed to teach Henry to read and write. During this instruction Henry learned about Christianity and rejected the idol worship of his ancestors. Henry was a fast learner and an avid reader and writer.

After New Haven, Henry continued his education with the Mills family, first in Torringford (now part of Torrington, Connecticut) and then in Andover, Massachusetts where Henry confessed his Christian faith in public, completing his conversion. He decided he wished to return to Hawaii as a missionary. Toward the end of 1816 Henry accompanied a Reverend Perkins, an agent of the Board of Foreign Missions, to solicit donations for the benefit of the Foreign Mission School in Amherst, Massachusetts. Partly because of Henry’s presence, donations were much greater than usual.

When the Foreign Mission School moved to Cornwall, Connecticut in May 1817, Henry followed, and continued his studies with the goal of bringing Christianity to Hawaii. But sadly, he fell ill in early 1818 and died on February 17 of that year at the age of 26. Before he died Henry was reported to have said, “Oh! How I want to see Hawaii! But I think I never shall. God will do right. He knows what is best.” Henry was buried in the Congregational Church yard in Cornwall.

A few months later, a small book by Rev. Dr. Edwin W. Dwight was published as “Memoirs of Henry Obookiah” including many of Henry’s own letters and diary entries. On October 23, 1819, inspired by Henry Opukaha’ia’s life as narrated in the book, fourteen missionaries left Boston on the brig Thaddeus. They arrived in Hawaii five months later and began their work of bringing Christianity to the Hawaiian people.

In 1992, Deborah Li’ikapeka Lee, a distant cousin of Henry had a vision that he wanted to have his remains returned to Hawaii. With the help of friends, relatives and officials in Hawaii and Connecticut, she arranged to have his skeletal remains exhumed, which were still intact. The remains were placed in a koa wood casket and flown to the Big Island on July 26, 1993. On August 6, 1993 he was reinterred on the grounds of the Kahikolu Church in Napo’opo’o overlooking Kealakekua Bay. There were ceremonies in both Cornwall and Hawaii, led by Rev. David Hirano, United Church of Christ Connecticut Conference minister, and Hawaii native.

Though many have said that the arrival of the missionaries in the islands was a mixed blessing for the Hawaiian people and their culture, there is no doubt that Henry Opukaha'ia forged a link between New England and Hawaii that has lasted for centuries.

The year 2018 marks the 200th anniversary of Henry Opukaha'ia's death and the 25th anniversary of the return of his remains to Hawaii. In his memory, the New England Numismatic Association (NENA) and the Big Island Coin Club have issued a joint medal in his honor.

"Memoirs of Henry Obookiah by Edwin D. Dwight, Revised Edition, complete with new epilogus and pictures of his return to Hawaii", Copyright 2012, Women's Board of Missions for the Pacific Islands.

“United Church News, CONNtact edition” Vol. 9, No. 7 September 1993.




A Call to Exhibit

The New England Numismatic Association is seeking exhibits for our 74th, Conference and Convention. The exhibit competition will take place on Saturday November 10th, 2018 at the Double Tree by Hilton/Manchester Downtown Hotel, 700 Elm Street, Manchester, NH.

In this issue of NENA News we have included the Exhibit Rules and Application. The Application needs to be filled out letting the Exhibit Coordinator (s) know the time of arrival one is going to set up the exhibit. All exhibitors have a deadline to fill out and send an application with the title and numismatic area of exhibiting, and the Exhibits have to be set up by a certain time so that cases can be locked and judged. An exhibit would consist of a title, numismatic items and usually but not necessarily numismatic information. Numismatic information usually enhances an exhibit especially if the exhibiting is to be competitive with judging. On request NENA will provided the use of display cases if needed.

Awards will be presented based on the overall rating of the Judges. The Best of Show award will be presented to the exhibit which has the highest overall rating and will receive a plaque and a prize award of a 1/10 ounce gold Eagle. Second and Third Place will receive an engraved plaque and a 1oz. Silver Eagle.

The People’s Choice Award will be decided by ballots cast by exhibit viewers and will receive an engraved plaque and a 1oz. Silver Eagle.

Junior Applicants under age 18 will also be eligible to receive a Y.N. Award Plaque for First, Second or Third Place. In addition they will also receive a numismatic prize.

Everyone has expertise in some collecting area, so if you are looking for a way to share this then exhibiting can be a wonderful way of doing it. NENA is always looking for people to set up and display an exhibit. If you have never set up an exhibit before notify NENA and we can help you. It is always a great learning experience.

For more information including rules and application see website ( ) or request a hard copy by mail:

Send to: NENA EXHIBITS, P.O. Box 2061, Woburn, MA 01888


73rd Conference Re-Cap

Highlights from our 73rd Conference and Convention

On Saturday November 4th, our activities included the John Kittredge Young Numismatist Program sponsored by NENA and the Kittredge Foundation, the Club Table where visitors could purchase this year’s medals and pay their dues, the Exhibits Gallery; our “What is it Table”, ANA Membership and Information Table, and the Annual Meeting that included the awards and election of officers.

The Young Numismatist program was held from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM and was headed by Richard J. Hand Jr. with the assistance of Diane Zuck, Richard Ziegler and Donat Charron. This year’s program was very well attended with 45 Y.N’s including nine Boy Scouts from Troop 66, Thompson, CT; The nine scouts, troop leaders plus three local Y.N’s were sponsored by the Mansfield Numismatic Society who’s generous donation made it possible for the scouts to attend the program. The group from Connecticut also received one year ANA Memberships thanks to the generous donations by David Pepe of Pilgrim Coin and Currency, Weymouth, MA and Ernie Botte, EBW Promotions.

The “What is it Table” was set up adjacent to our Club Table where several volunteers including  Robert Hewey and John Ferreri answered questions and helped identify coins and other numismatic items that were brought to the table.

This year’s exhibits were outstanding; we had six exhibits with a total of thirteen cases. There were two Non-Competitive exhibits including a three case exhibit that highlighted NENA’s history and a two case exhibit featuring Connecticut Town Medals. There were four Competitive exhibits including a two case exhibit on Polymer Banknotes; one case on Large Silver Rounds; three cases on Youth Institution Scrip and two cases on Hometown Collecting.

Brian Maxfield won the Eliott Goldberg Best of Show Award for his exhibit on “Hometown Collecting” and received an acrylic plaque and a 1/10 oz. Gold Eagle; Robert Fritsch took Second Place with his exhibit on “Polymer Banknotes” and received an engraved plaque and a one ounce Silver Eagle; Robert Hewey took third place with his exhibit on “Youth Institution Scrip” and received an engraved plaque. Brian Maxfield also received the People’s Choice Award for his exhibit on “Hometown Collecting” and was given an engraved plaque and a one ounce Silver Eagle. All exhibitors received a silver uniface medal with the NENA logo on the obverse. The committee gratefully appreciated the time taken by the three Judges to evaluate the exhibits and each judge was given a special NENA medal in a black finish with the NENA logo on one side and a pointing hand with “you make the difference” on the other side.

The Annual Meeting took place from 3:00- 4:00 P.M. and was open to members and non-members alike. The meeting started with a brief talk by Bob Fritch titled ““The Sad Story of The Luther Little and Hesper”. This was followed with the Annual Business Meeting that included the Awards and the elections for Officers.

The New England Numismatic Association honored and paid tribute to Terrance O’Connor with the “John and Mary Mullen Lifetime Achievement Award” for his contributions to this organization and the New England Numismatic Community. Terry had put in many hours as our State Director for Massachusetts, Membership Director and served on our 75th, anniversary banquet committee, he also produced the programs for that event. It was always our intention to recognize him for his extraordinary efforts with this organization but unfortunately he had passed unexpectedly before any such appreciation could be given. The award was presented on Terry’s behalf to his son Tyler.

A Presidential Award was presented to Donat Charron for his dedication and outstanding work as State Director for Connecticut and his role as the chairman for the 75th, Anniversary Banquet.The Mansfield Numismatic Society was also presented with a Presidential Award for their longtime support of this association and generous donation to our Y.N. Program and initiative to bring Y.N.’s and Scouts to our program.

The Elections were held resulting in the following changes to our Board: Yale Lansky was elected to the position of Director, taking over the seat that was previously held by Robert Hess. We would like to express our thanks to Mr. Hess for his service as Director.

We then held the drawings for the door prizes that included a 2017 Silver Eagle and a 2017 NENA medals set.

We would like to thank all those that helped make this a successful event including our board, committees, volunteers and members. Ernie Botte and EBW Promotions for providing the exhibit space and meeting room for our event; The Kittredge Foundation and Mansfield Numismatic Society for their generous financial support of our YN Program; The dealers for their generous donations of coins, medals, tokens and supplies for the Y.N’s.

Awards YNs
Awards Presentation Young Numismatists








The New England Numismatic Association Mission Statement

The aims and purposes of the Association shall be set forth in the agreement of the Association as follows:

 To encourage and develop the appreciation and understanding of numismatics in the New England states and elsewhere; To encourage and enforce, when necessary, the highest ethical standards of behavior of our members; To conduct courses of study in the art and science of numismatics; To edit and publish various forms of numismatic literature; To give and sponsor lectures, exhibitions, displays and functions pertaining to the appreciation and understanding of the art and science of numismatics.


NENA Exhibit Sampler

  • A nice exhibit of animal themed banknotes.
  • An exhibit of New Hampshire Police Department medals
  • An exhibit of medals designed by the renown Swiss medalist Antoine Bovy
  • An exhibit honoring JFK on the 50th anniversary of his assassination
  • An exhibit of NENA items from past conventions.