Honolulu’s community leaders wonder who’ll carry on the work of the city’s most passionate preservationist.
Bannick’s many causes included Hawaii Public Radio and the Honolulu Symphony.
Photos: Top, Hawaii Public Radio and right, by Carl Hefner
Hawaiian advocate Peter Apo worked with Bannick to preserve the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium. He remembers the petite 81-year-old as “a one-man army, relentless, who could see Hawaii slipping away. She was a despot about keeping the little things that connected our past with our future, preserving those things that define us as a people.”
Bannick was one of the earliest supporters of Hawaii Public Radio and worked tirelessly on behalf of at least a half-dozen other causes, including the Honolulu Symphony, Kapiolani Park, the Honolulu Academy of Arts and The Contemporary Museum. As hard as it is to imagine what Honolulu would look like today without Bannick, it may be even harder to picture the city 60 years from now, without a busload of volunteers trying to pick up where she left off.
“It’s a vacuum that not any one person can fill,” says Apo. “She was one of those people, and I’m speaking as a Native Hawaiian, that reminds you that being a true kamaaina is not about blood or birth, it’s about getting it. And she got it.”