Lahaina, Maui, Hawai’i, USA, May 30, 1994: French Patrol Vessel La Tapageuse of the Marine Nationale anchored in the port of Lahaina, Maui, Hawai’i, U. S. A., the ancient capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom under King Kamehameha (1802). © Photo Marine Nationale / La Tapageuse. All rights reserved.  


MAY 30, 1994 – MAY 30, 2024


Laperouse Bay, May 30th, 1994: From L to R: Mr. Cobbas, Consul-General of Australia in Honolulu, HI., and his spouse, the capitaine de vaisseau Jean-Marie Viriot, naval attaché in Washington D.C., Linda Crockett Lingle, mayor of Maui County, Ambassador Antoine Frasseto, Consul-General of France in Honolulu, Elisabeth Jenssen, president of the Friends of Laperouse, lieutenant de vaisseau Augustin D’Arco, in command of La Tapageuse, and Elizabeth de Laperouse in front of the Friends of La Perouse Memorial in Maui, Hawaii, U.S.A. (Photo © Marine nationale / La Tapageuse). 


Hibiscus brackenridgei

In memory of my friends Dr. Pierre ALMARIC (1999), Albi, France. Robert & Elizabeth GOUYETES, Kihei, Maui, HI. Bob KRAUSS (2006) The Honolulu Advertiser, Honolulu, HI. Pierre “Pierrot” MOULIN (2016), Honolulu, HI. Mary EVANSON (2019), Founder of the Friends of Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawai’i. Henri BRU (2020), Historian & Professor at the Lycée Lapérouse Albi, France. Elizabeth ERDMAN (2020) Kula, Maui, Hawai’i. Joëlle DUMAS (2022), Founder and Director of Ecole Claire Fontaine Schools in Venice, California, and Executive Director of Cultural Affairs MDFDE/Southern California. Ambassador Antoine FRASSETO (2023), former Consul General of France in Honolulu, Hawai’i. Mme Marie-Christine PESTEL (2023), direct descendant of French Navy officer and Pacific explorer Jean-François de GALAUP, Comte de LAPÉROUSE, Albi, France. Chuck FEENEY (2023), San Francisco, California.

Elisabeth Jenssen


Dear MDFDE, Friends of Laperouse USA and Friends of the “Merci Train,”


UNBELIEVABLE! THIRTY YEARS have passed since we, Friends of Laperouse USA, have had the honor to establish our Laperouse Memorial in presence of the French Navy — today’s one of the most popular Maui’s historic landmark, certainly the most visited with up to 1,000 international visitors/day (prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the devastating Maui wildfires of August 2023) — located at Keone`o`io Bay, Laperouse Bay, Maui, Hawai’i, south of the resort community of Wailea, at the end of Mākena Alanui Road (State Highway 31).

As I gratefully reflect on this important date of recognition in the History of Maui and of the Hawaiian Archipelago, cherishing the History of French-American cultural relations established across the Pacific Ocean 238 years ago — on May 30, 1786 — thanks to the French explorer and humanist Jean-François de Galaup Comte de LAPEROUSE, the first European dignitary to land on Maui he refused to claim as French territory in the name of King Louis XVI…

Nine months after the said Maui fires took 100 precious Mauian lives, knowing too well that the People of Maui are still struggling to get their life back. Still trying to recover from their tragic losses, the complete destruction — except for its legendary 151-year-old banyan tree — of the historic, beloved town of Lahaina with its charming museums, landmarks, restaurants and shops, and, more importantly for its residents, their homes, sweet homes…

As Maui’s uncertain economy, based on tourism for the largest part, is still slowly moving ahead, I can’t help but wonder: How long is this recovery going to take? How long for restoring Lahaina? How long to rebuilt all these houses burnt to the ground? How long? And what could we, Friends of Laperouse USA, possibly do to help in our own capacity? And then I think about our dearest contribution to the People of Maui County to date, our Friends of Laperouse USA Maui Laperouse Memorial as it stands today: 30-year-old and going! Hope is on its way…


1994 – 2024


And so, on this 30th Anniversary of our Maui Laperouse Memorial and in memory of all our late Laperousian friends who contributed one way or the other to the establishment of our said Memorial… On behalf of the Friends of Laperouse USA, I would like to first and foremost thank Pardee ERDMAN, owner of the ULUPAKALUA RANCH, his late wife Elizabeth and their son Sumner ERDMAN, who donated the land and built the Memorial for us because, truly, without their symbolic gift to the Friends of Laperouse USA, there wouldn’t be a Maui Laperouse Memorial today for all the People of Maui and visitors to enjoy at Laperouse Bay.

And last but not least, I would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to all the employees at the Maui County agencies who, for four years (1990-1994), helped me so much personnally in learning about the ancient History of Keone`o`io Bay, Laperouse Bay — a Reserve Land — and guided our group through the whole process of establishing a Memorial.

These agencies included: The Office of Benjamin J. CAYATANO, then Governor of Hawai’i; the Office of then Maui Mayor Linda LINGLE; DLNR; the Maui Planning Dept.; NPS; MVB; the Maui News; the Honolulu Advertiser (today the Honolulu Star-Advertiser) and the wonderful People of Maui County.

And because the very best way to help Maui’s economic recovery is via much more visitors coming from France and Europe all the way to Laperouse Bay… As the Maui County Sister Cities Foundation will be celebrating, in 2026, their 20th Anniversary with BIG PLANS…

We are also looking forward to renew our historical ties and relationship between Maui County and Albi, France, Laperouse’s birthplace, in the near future as well as exploring a brand new connection by joining THE most dynamic laperousian association in Albi, L’Equipage de Laperouse, created two years ago and presided by Pierre-Marie SENES and VP Bernard JIMENEZ (see their links below) to really perpetuate Laperouse’s lasting legacy with multiple events and activities..

And so, on our 30th Anniversary, because our Maui Laperouse Memorial is definitively not for sale and any false claims by any individual and/or cultural association will be handled accordingly! Because only one group of French-Americans, the Friends of Laperouse USA, is and has ever been in charge of our Laperouse Memorial in the name of the People of Maui County and we like to keep it that way…

Because, as previously clearly stated in a letter dated April 12, 2004 (translated into French by Ms. Jenssen below) by His Excellency Jean-David LEVITTE, then French Ambassador to the United States, addressed to some specific French individuals and corporations not respecting (re: Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, U. S. A.) the work and intellectual rights and other rights of Ms. JENSSEN and the Friends of Laperouse USA (aka then as the Laperouse Foundation USA) especially in the United States and France, and I quote:

Ambassade de France 

aux Etats-Unis


Washington, April 12, 1994


I very much appreciate the work that you are continuing in interaction with your French colleagues. 
It is of course essential that everyone, in this collaboration, respects the laws and good practices of our two countries, particularly regarding intellectual property, author rights and copyright. 

I therefore ask the various parties to make the necessary communication efforts so that we can continue to be proud of this collaboration. 

Jean-David Levitte 

It is my honor to proudly announce, on this special day, our Friends of Laperouse USA’s exciting plans of restoration of our historic Maui Laperouse Memorial we have been waiting for so long to schedule, complete with a HUGE rededication in 2026.

And so, looking forward to cooperating again closely with Maui County to get the necessary permits etc…, I would like to thank in advance the very same people already cited, the ERDMAN Family, the Maui County agencies and, mostly, the People of Maui.

Because Laperouse’s story in Maui — a unique tale of how, in the then European Age of Enlightenment, a French nobleman demonstrated his own concept of what Democracy should be when visiting Hawai’i, California, Alaska etc… — matters even more today than 30 years ago, and therefore the Friends of Laperouse USA has a moral duty to keep #MauiStrong! I thank you again, Friends, for your support and friendship as we will keep you all posted!

With my kindest regards,

Elisabeth Jenssen Founder & President

MDFDE/The Friends of Laperouse USA

Related Links:

Regimental badge of the Pacific Marine Infantry Regiment – Polynesia (France).

May 30, 1994: A French Honor Guard from La Tapageuse and RIMAP-P (régiment d’infanterie de marine du Pacifique – Polynésie/French Pacific marine Infantry Regiment – French Polynesia) stand still as Philippe and Elizabeth de LAPEROUSE, direct descendants of French Navy officer and Pacific explorer Jean-François de Galaup Comte de LAPEROUSE unveil, under the watchful eye of master of ceremonies Pardee ERDMAN (Photo © Marine nationale / La Tapageuse). 

Related Links:


ULUPAKALUA RANCH 14779 Piilani Hwy, Kula, HI 96790 Phone: +1 (808) 878-1202 Email:

Ulupalakua Ranch

Ulupalakua Ranch to celebrate a half-century of Erdman leadership


Longtime Maui conservationist Evanson: ‘It’s not my world anymore’


COLS BLEUS Magazine by the Marine Nationale (the French Navy) UN ALBIGEOIS AUX SANDWICH par le Médecin Frédéric Grassin Editions Cols Bleus 09/24/1994 (N° 2274) p. 14-15

Sister Cities | Maui County, HI – Official Website


BP 30048

81027 Albi Cedex 9

Phone: from the States: 011 33 7 86 39 77 61



Bibiography: L’Expédition Lapérouse (French Edition) by Bernard JIMENEZ.





 – L’expédition Lapérouse: Une aventure humaine et scientifique autour du monde – Jimenez, Bernard – Livres

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MDFDE/World: EARTH DAY: Happy 60th Anniversary Sister Cities International! #COP21 #MDFDEJeSuisLadyLiberty130 #NPS100

MDFDE/USA: Congrats To MAUI & HAWAII, Winners of Travel Weekly Readers Choice 2017! #MDFDEFriendshipMerciTrain70

MDFDE/USA: The Maui County Sister Cities Foundation Celebrates the 230th Anniversary of La Perouse’s Landing!‏ #COP21 #SolarImpulse2 #MDFDEJeSuisLadyLiberty130 #NPS100


MDFDE: 20th Anniversary of the La Perouse Memorial in Maui, Hawaii, U.S.A. #FriendsOfLaperouseUSA

MDFDE/USA: Mr. Pierre MOULIN named Senior Team Leader MDFDE/Hawaii/Honolulu

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