From Our Files
In 1888, King Kalakaua issued a royal charter, commissioning a magazine. Then titled Paradise of the Pacific, this publication became HONOLULU Magazine, making it the oldest magazine west of the Mississippi.
Paradise of the Pacific interviews Sun Yat-Sen, the father of the Chinese Revolution. A graduate of ‘Iolani, Sun muses on how Hawai‘i will be affected by political changes in Asia. “‘I wonder whether, when ... empires [of the Orient] become republics, that an old saying of East passing through West will mean more,’ he says. ‘The time will come when it will mean that East meets West definitely, but may not pass. ... Under the American flag, this little island country will always be the dividing line between East and West, and nations will pause when they consider that it lies just where it does—a strategic outpost. Nations will not pass there.’”
In a profile of Winona Beamer, Paradise of the Pacific notes that the hula icon takes after her grandmother, Helen Desha Beamer, who first dared to teach the outlawed hula in 1902. “[Nona] is a crusader who, in 1947, sold her washing machine, her car, her pearls to finance the tour of a hand-picked hula troupe up and down and across the breadth of the United States, showing the true hula to the right people in the right places,” the magazine writes. The tour included a recording session with Ethel Merman and appearances at Carnegie Hall. Beamer (shown with her troupe, standing third from the left) died in April this year.
HONOLULU Magazine encounters an unusual scene on a stroll down Merchant Street in downtown, “the sight of an elderly couple wearing leis, and sipping from plastic champagne glasses and posing proudly for snapshots on the sidewalk.” It turned out to be John and Aiko Reinecke, celebrating with friends, including their lawyer Harriet Bouslog. Earlier in the day, they’d received “a check for $254,000 from the state of Hawai‘i as compensation for the Reineckes’ unjust dismissal as schoolteachers 31 years ago for alleged Communist leanings and failing to meet the ‘ideals of democracy,’” the magazine writes.