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.
Mary-Jane listened. She saw that our position made sense. And she got involved. She not only supported us in the legislature, but also became a Friends board member herself, serving for five years. The cause of preserving a sacred war memorial and a place of such importance to generations of ohana was deeply meaningful to Mary-Jane. For the rest of her life, she was a committed advocate and a trusted adviser. Her husband, Mick, was also an avid supporter until his death.
Mary-Jane’s memorial service, at 11 a.m. on Sept. 1 at the Hawai’i Yacht Club, will be especially poignant for us. It was there that she and Mick hosted many of those early Friends of the Natatorium board meetings.
Mahalo and fond aloha to Mary Jane, from all of us!