From Our Files


May 1927: A snapshot of the recently opened headquarters of Bank of Hawai‘i on the corner of King and Bishop streets, published in Paradise of the Pacific, predecessor to HONOLULU Magazine. The building was eventually torn down and, in 1968, replaced with the bank’s main branch that stands there today, as part of the Financial Plaza of the Pacific.

May 1937: Paradise of the Pacific covers the previous month’s annual Easter Sunrise Service at Punchbowl crater, a decade before the area became a memorial cemetery for Hawai‘i servicemen. At the time, Punchbowl served as a rifle range for the Hawai‘i National Guard. The Easter service, a tradition started in 1901, attracted thousands of people—one of the largest turnouts in its history. “From nearly every part of Honolulu … was visible the city’s symbol of passiontide—a 20-foot cross erected on the summit of Punchbowl and lighted by the United States Army searchlights,” the magazine writes. “Worshipers facing the huge cross looked directly into the beautiful morning sun as it rose out of the sea.”

May 1947: “Because of the large number of U.S. Navy personnel and their families that are stationed in Hawai‘i, even in peacetime, the Navy has been called one of Hawai‘i’s major industries,” writes Paradise of the Pacific. In the previous year, more than $8 million ($73 million in today’s dollars) had been spent on Naval public works projects, and Navy personnel’s expenditures totaled $4.5 million ($41 million today). In the photo above, Chief Petty Officer Fred Thornberry and his wife, Sibyl, pose in front of their Quonset hut in Moanalua’s military housing area.

May 1952: More than 6,500 people jammed the Pearl Harbor Bloch Arena to see Bob Hope and the latest addition to his benefit troupe, Alfred Apaka, “the golden voice of Hawai‘i.” Hope and his wife had first discovered Apaka while he was performing at a lu‘au in Waikiki. “Hope gave Apaka guest spots on three of his popular radio and television shows,” the magazine writes. “Hollywood columnists soon reported Hope’s prediction that his protégé will be with Crosby and Sinatra within one year.”

May 1962: Hollywood heartthrob Troy Donahue (shown with Hilton Hawaiian Village security guard Walter Noa) is the newest member of locally filmed detective show Hawaiian Eye, Paradise of the Pacific reports. The TV show, which starred Richard Conrad and Connie Stevens, ran from 1959 to 1963, five years before Hawai‘i Five-O first aired.