Archives for Friends of the Natatorium

Star-Advertiser editorial supports governor on Natatorium

The Star-Advertiser editorialized Saturday morning in support of Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s plan to take back control of the War Memorial Natatorium from the city and county of Honolulu and explore alternatives to demolition. As the governor’s press secretary, Donalyn Dela Cruz, said in an earlier Star-Advertiser news story, “The governor believes it’s time for it to be fixed, or have a purpose.” The Friends of the Natatorium are deeply appreciative of the governor’s stepping up to finally and conclusively address an issue that’s been on and off politicians’ radar screens since the 1970s. We also very much appreciate the Star-Advertiser’s
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Categories: Elected officials, Friends of the Natatorium, News coverage, and Uncategorized.

Guest post: Happy 85th birthday, Natatorium!

Donna L. Ching, vice president of the Friends of the Natatorium, submitted this letter to the editor of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser marking today’s 85th anniversary of the opening of the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium. Eighty-five years ago, on Aug. 24, 1927, Duke Kahanamoku dove in to take the ceremonial first swim at the War Memorial Natatorium. In his wake came other Olympians, swimming celebrities and generations of keiki and kupuna swimmers. The Natatorium was the jewel of Waikiki and the pride of Hawai’i. It was the site of international swimming competitions. It was a place of relaxation and fun for
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Categories: Friends of the Natatorium, History, Statement, and Uncategorized.

Mahalo, Mary-Jane McMurdo, true friend of the Natatorium

You may have heard by now that Mary-Jane McMurdo, former Hawai’i state senator and longtime civic activist, died over the weekend at age 88. Sen. McMurdo was well-known as a champion of affordable housing, coastline and open space preservation, the environment, women’s health and women’s rights, among other important causes. We at the Friends of the Natatorium also remember her, most fondly, as one of our own. In 1986, shortly after the Friends group was incorporated, charter board member Joan Apo approached Mary-Jane to ask her support for our effort to save, restore and reopen the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium.
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Categories: Friends of the Natatorium and Uncategorized.

Welcome, new Natatorium Friends director Fred Wong!

Aloha and welcome aboard to the newest member of the Friends of the Natatorium board of directors: Fred Wong. Fred, a lifelong resident of Hawai’i, is a very youthful and energetic 86 years old. He brings the perspective of an active veterans leader to efforts to bring back a memorial that, after all, was built specifically to honor veterans and their comrades who died in war. A former technical sergeant in the Air Force, Fred served in the Asia-Pacific Theater during World War II. His last active-duty assignments were with the Hawaiian Air Defense System; he was an Air Force
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Categories: Friends of the Natatorium, Uncategorized, and Veterans.

Memorial Service at the Natatorium: Another perspective

The Hawai’i Vacation Blog is out today with its commentary on last weekend’s Memorial Day Service at the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium. The blog’s Alyssa Navares focuses on one important point by Gen. Gary L. North, the Pacific Air Forces commander who delivered the keynote address at the 24th annual event. Gen. North talked about the significance of the simple words “The War Memorial” on the Natatorium’s entrance, and the assumption after “the War to End All Wars” that there would never be a need for another such monument to fallen military men and women. An assumption that, sadly, we
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Categories: Events, Friends of the Natatorium, Memorial Day, News coverage, and Uncategorized.

More Natatorium Memorial Day photos!

The consensus: It was one of the best ever. The 24th annual Memorial Day Service at the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium. Just the right combination of solemn reflection, joyful performance and precision military pageantry. Just the right combination of revered older veterans and starry-eyed young dancers, singers and Pledge of Allegiance leaders. Just the right setting. Just the right weather. Just the right way to honor our nation’s war dead and veterans. And, especially, just the perfect way to commemorate the more than 10,000 from Hawai’i who volunteered for “The Great War,” World War I. They are the ones, after
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Categories: Events, Friends of the Natatorium, Hula, Memorial Day, and Uncategorized.

Photos from the Natatorium Memorial Day service (and mahalo nui!)

Mahalo to everyone who came out for the 24th annual Memorial Day Service at the Natatorium! We want to thank our engaging speakers, Gen. Gary North, VA health care executive Tom Driskill and centenarian Young Fun Choy (represented by his daughter, Jan). Thanks also to Aaron Ho, the Air Force Honor Guard, Chaplain Anthony Wiggins for his moving invocation and benediction, Olana Ai and her keiki hula dancers, and musicians (including Cyril Pahinui) who made the ceremony so special. And we especially want to thank all the veterans who came out to remember their fallen comrades with us. It was
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Categories: Events, Friends of the Natatorium, Hula, Memorial Day, News coverage, and Uncategorized.

Spread the word: Sunday, 10 a.m., at the Natatorium

The Memorial Day Service at the Natatorium. We all know what a wonderful, somber, yet joyous ceremony it is. Let’s make it a point today and tomorrow to let others know. Let’s make it a point to invite family and friends to join us there Sunday at 10 a.m. For details, point them toward today’s Star-Advertiser story. Or to our earlier blog post. Let’s bring our ohana together to remember and honor Hawai’i’s war dead and veterans. Sunday at 10 a.m. At the Natatorium. See you there. Mahalo.
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Categories: Events, Friends of the Natatorium, Memorial Day, News coverage, Uncategorized, and Veterans.

We remember: Memorial service at the Nat | Sunday, May 27

They stood up for us. Let’s come out for them. Come remember and honor our nation’s war dead, and especially those from Hawai’i, at the 24th annual Memorial Day Service at the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium. Sponsored by the Friends of the Natatorium, the observance will be held Sunday, May 27, at 10 a.m. (Note: That’s Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.) We’ll gather in Kapiolani Park, just outside the gate of the Natatorium. As always, it will be both a solemn and a joyful occasion. We will honor the ultimate sacrifice made by too many of our nation’s military men
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Categories: Events, Friends of the Natatorium, Memorial Day, and Uncategorized.

Memorial Day service: Save the date… and help save the Natatorium

You’ve asked what you can do to help. What you can do to contribute to the momentum for reopening the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium. Here’s what: Be there. Be there on Sunday, May 27, at 10 a.m. Be there for the Natatorium’s solemn 24th annual Memorial Day Observance. Be there because it’s important always to remember the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, and never more important than over Memorial Day weekend. But be there also because it’s important to show that this Natatorium is a sacred place, the official memorial to more than 10,000 from Hawai’i who
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Categories: Events, Friends of the Natatorium, Memorial Day, and Uncategorized.