Hau‘oli Lā Hānau: Celebrating Local Company Anniversaries—April Edition

Every month, we celebrate the anniversaries of local companies and organizations. This month: A shipping mainstay, an artistic haven and iconic local juice.
Matson Lurline
Matson Lurline after World War II.
Photos: Courtesy of Matson


135th​Matson Navigation

On April 10, 1882, Capt. William Matson set sail from San Francisco aboard the three-masted schooner Emma Claudina, headed for Hilo laden with 300 tons of food, plantation supplies and general merchandise. It was the maiden voyage for a company that would grow to be a mainstay of Hawai‘i shipping. In addition to freight, Matson helped usher in the romantic “boat days” of Island tourism, with its luxury liners S.S. Malolo, Mariposa, Monterey and Lurline. Readers nostalgic for the old Lurline (there were actually five ships that carried that name) may be excited to learn that Matson has commissioned two new vessels for its fleet, one of which will be named Lurline to keep the tradition alive.

  Emma Claudina ship

The Emma Claudina was Matson’s first ship, named after Claus Spreckels’ daughter.


90thHonolulu Museum of Art

The Honolulu Academy of Arts was founded in 1927 by Anna Rice Cooke, opening its doors on April 8. It’s commonly known that the Cookes previously lived at that Beretania Street location, but did you know that, after donating the property for the museum, they tore down their original residence and commissioned an entirely new building in the revival mission style? The original permanent collection of 500 works has grown to more than 50,000, making the now-Honolulu Museum of Art the premier art institution of Hawai‘i.

  Anne Rice Cooke

Anna Rice Cooke, founder of the Honolulu Museum of Art.


65thHawaiian Sun

Hawaiian Sun started off simply, as a papaya farm, in 1952. They sold their papayas in jars, and then began offering canned papaya juice, and things grew from there. These days, the Kalihi-based company is four generations in, with a range of juices and foods that includes jams, jellies, candy and coconut milk. It still sources its guavas and macadamia nuts from Hawai‘i farms, and this past year introduced a new drink: black tea ginger.


40thLocal Motion

When surfboard shaper Robert Burns opened his first Local Motion shop in 1977, it was a single 500-square-foot shop in Kailua, selling boardshorts, T-shirts and aloha shirts—all designed by Burns himself. Today, Local Motion has grown into a bona fide Island chain, with nine stores on O‘ahu, Maui and the Big Island, which carry not only Local Motion gear (still Hawai‘i designed) but more than 50 other surf and skate brands.


Have an upcoming anniversary to share? letters@honolulumagazine.com.