From Our Files

The January 2012 archives from our files of Paradise of the Pacific and HONOLULU Magazine.

Our History

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.



“A cherished possession of the Royal School on Emma Street is a set of rare musical bells, brought to Honolulu from England,” writes Paradise of the Pacific, predecessor to HONOLULU Magazine. Each year, sixth-grade students try out for the all-girls school’s bell choir. “Playing the bells requires deep concentration and good coordination, faculties developed by the girls during practice sessions.” The choir practiced and performed with 16 brass bells that were given to the school in 1915 and played songs such as “O Come All Ye Faithful.”


“The brilliant boards that decorate the page are not the expensive product of a Mainland or local factory. They represent ‘loving hands at home,’ most likely those of the boys displaying the boards,” observes Paradise. The surf community called them paipo boards and crafted them from ¾-inch pieces of plywood—with or without a skeg—and the boards ranged in size from two feet to four feet. “The boards are ideal for learners and those who either wish to ride the waves or sand slide. The boards provide a thrilling ride, for they are very fast, shoot ahead of a wave, and can be ridden in anything from small surf to storm surf.”


“For more than a generation, Jack de Mello has been at the center of the Islands’ recording industry. His influence on Island music is likely to persist for another generation,” writes HONOLULU. The magazine sits down for a Q&A with the state’s premier composer, arranger and producer. De Mello talks about his compositions, such as “I Lost my Sugar in the Sugar Cane” and “Coconut Willie,” as well as his son Jon’s work in starting the Mountain Apple label. In addition to his contributions to Hawaiian music, de Mello also wrote the music for popular cartoons. “If I had any favorites, it would have been the days I worked for Hanna-Barbera,” he says. De Mello says he wrote background music for Magilla Gorilla and The Flintstones and background and theme songs for The Jetsons and Ricochet Rabbit.