The History of Hawai‘i From Our Files: HONOLULU’s Third Annual Photography Contest

HONOLULU Magazine emerged from predecessor Paradise of the Pacific, which began in 1888, fulfilling a commission by King Kalākaua. That makes this the oldest continuously published magazine west of the Mississippi with an enviable archive worth diving into each month. Here’s a look back at July 1981.



More than 5,000 photos are submitted for HONOLULU’s third annual photography contest. And, the magazine notes, “Unlike last year’s contest, whose day of judging ended in turmoil and dispute [one judge walked out of the contest and another called the winning photograph ʻabsolute schlock’), this year’s judging … went much more smoothly.”


Entries include photos of a lion dance and fruit stands in Chinatown, sunset in Hāna and a portrait of a woman and child practicing hula. The winning image, called “Swan Lake,” is taken by Maui account executive Leslie Atarah Van Grove on the grounds of the Hyatt Regency on Maui. “I was just there, I guess, at the right time at the right place,” she tells HONOLULU. “There’s kind of a double entendre because of the way I feel about the photograph. … It’s very romantic, like Tchaikovsky.”


July August 2021 History Of Hawaii Covers



Learn more about the evolution of covers in HONOLULU Magazine and Paradise of the Pacific: 125 Years of Covers, available at



Find more photos from Honolulu’s past every Thursday on Instagram @honolulumag.