HONOLULU Magazine and Paradise of the Pacific, chronicling the Islands since 1888.
By Ronna Bolante
Oct. 1921: “The biggest and best polo tourney ever held in the Hawaiian Islands was completed on Labor Day when in a thrilling battle for the 1921 championship, Maui defeated O‘ahu 8 to 7,” reports Paradise of the Pacific, predecessor to HONOLULU Magazine. The match drew at least 5,000 fans to Kapi‘olani Park, the largest on record for an interisland polo meet. In the photo above, Maui team champions included, from left to right, Sam, Ed and Frank Baldwin and David Fleming.
Oct. 1936: Paradise of the Pacific examines the growing popularity of Hawaiian music around the world, made possible by the burgeoning recording industry on the Mainland and in the Islands. “The fame and appreciation of Hawaiian music has been speeded up a hundred years by the magic of radio,” with Hawai‘i’s two radio stations—KGMB and the Advertiser Co.’s KGU—sending special Hawaiian programs featuring top Island musicians to Mainland networks. In the photo at right, the making of a phonograph record takes place in the studio of Hawaiian Transcription Productions.
Oct. 1961: On Sept. 29, 1961, Honolulu schoolteacher Keo Nakama made history by becoming the first known person to successfully swim across the Kaiwi Channel, a treacherous 27 miles between Moloka‘i and O‘ahu. When Paradise of the Pacific asked the former competitive swimmer why he took on such a challenge, Nakama replied, “I don’t know exactly how it happened, but suddenly I took a hard look at myself and found I was getting fat, sluggish and 40.” Nakama, shown with family below, completed the swim in 151/2 hours.
Oct. 1971: “In just three months Honolulu will be introduced to DDD ... direct distance dialing,” allowing customers to dial Mainland phone numbers without the assistance of an operator, announces HONOLULU Magazine. “The January inauguration of do-it-yourself dialing will mark the fruition of a master plan started years ago by Hawaiian Telephone Co. when it began changing everybody’s numbers to seven digits. Today, you can dial directly 348,000 telephones on O‘ahu; in January, 75 million Mainland phones will also be at your fingertips.”
Oct. 1981: While the state wrangled with environmentalists and Hawaiian activists over the proposed construction of the H-3 freeway, HONOLULU Magazine took what could’ve been a last look at North Halawa Valley (photo above right), one of the areas that would be affected by the project. “Past Halawa’s warehouses, parked buses and dusty roads, past the abandoned cars and mattresses and the disintegrating beer cans, back into the valley where the Jeep trail becomes a footpath and the koa haole gives way to a green forest, North Halawa does have archaeology, history, fauna and flora worthy of exploration and study,” the magazine writes. H-3 construction began in the area nearly nine years later, and the 16-mile freeway, which connected Halawa to Windward O‘ahu, was completed in 1997.
It takes guts to open a brick-and-mortar bookstore in the days of instant online gratification, but in da Shop, local publisher Bess Press has found a way to allow fickle/loyal readers to have their cake and eat it, too.