Natatorium Lifeguards from 1942

Natatorium friend Noe Bell tells us that this lifeguard photo was taken on June 26, 1942. Noe’s father, Hiram N. Goldstein, is the handsome gentleman on the left in the back row, standing on the wall.

Territorial Lifeguards 6-26-1942 Who’s who in this photo? Tell us in the comments!

Natatorium Lifeguards Identified

We know a couple of the other folks in the picture: The beloved Walter Napoleon is in the middle of the front row in jeans, T-shirt and a cap. He was superintendent of the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium and of the territorial beaches and also captain of the territorial lifeguards.

Standing next to Walter, the only woman in the photo is Nana Veary. She was matron of the Natatorium and Mr. Napoleon’s secretary. Mrs. Veary became a noted Hawaiian spiritual teacher and author of Change We Must: My Spiritual Journey. She was also the mother of Hawaii Music Hall of Fame singer Emma Veary.

Miguel Baez conferred with retired lifeguard, Clifford Chillingsworth who pointed out that to Nana Veary’s right is Tommy Zahn and in the front row, far left is Steven Kauwili.

Another retired lifeguard, Ralph Wallwork, wrote to us to say that next to Tommy Zahn is “Ah Fook” Walter Ah Mow, Sr. and that agile-looking young man in the back row on the right side is David Kaleikini. Ralph recalls that David also worked as the coconut tree climber in the Kodak Hula Show.

Brandon Valdez’s research suggested that the really big fella on the far right of the front row is Beachboy, William “Ox” Keaulana.

Mystery Lifeguards of the Natatorium

Other than that, we don’t know much about the photo. Naomi Napoleon Weight, daughter of Walter Napoleon, remembers that the lifeguard third from right in the front row was named George Laikupu.

We don’t know the others. We don’t know the occasion on which the photo was taken. And we don’t know the meaning of Natatorium R.C. on Mr. Goldstein’s shirt and those of his two colleagues standing on the wall.

Help Us Identify the Mystery Lifeguards

But keep the comments coming! We sure would like to identify more people! If you think you know any of the lifeguards or have any other clues about the photo, post a comment or let us know at .

And we’d love to see your old Natatorium photos or hear your stories about what was and what could be again. Mahalo!

Categories: Friends of the Natatorium, History, Images, and Uncategorized.


  1. Judith Strauch Diess

    I have a picture of Auntie Emma from 6 years ago.. She was living on Maui. Friends with my Bro in law’s family.

  2. Judith Strauch Diess

    Auntie Emma told me she actually lived at the Natatorium with her mom as a child.

  3. Donna

    Judith, that’s true! We’ll be posting a link to an oral history that Emma Veary taped with Leslie Wilcox about this period (her family living in the Natatorium). So much history! Let’s keep working to save the War Memorial.

  4. Brandon

    The lifeguard nicknamed “Ox” could be “Ox” Keaulana, one of the Waikiki Beachboys.

    A picture in a book The Surfboard: Art, Style, Stoke shows “Ox” Keaulana –

    Several pictures from an album cover of Duke Kahanamoku Presents: A Beachboy Party show a man named Ox:

    There is a reference to “Ox” Keaulana in the book Chicken Soup from the Soul of Hawai’i –

    Two more references to “Ox” or “Ox” Keaulana (you may need to do a search on the page for “Ox”:

    Another reference:

    Lastly, there is a reference to a William “Ox” Keaulani (misspelling?) here:'O+He+'e+Nalu+and+the+Surfing+Borderlands+of+Hawai'i&source=bl&ots=uKl2OjVo2v&sig=WW9VqoEp4ZOjPG3jD4M_8VHT2i0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dlKCUaaIIKWdiQKvl4CwCA&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=ox%20North%20Shore%20Reign%3A%20The%20Hui%20'O%20He%20'e%20Nalu%20and%20the%20Surfing%20Borderlands%20of%20Hawai'i&f=false

    • admin

      Hey, thanks Brandon. Awesome research and references. Would Ox Keaulana be related to Brian and Buffalo Keaulana? If so, I can ask Brian to look at the photo and confirm. Aloha!

  5. Brandon

    Aloha! I’m sorry, but I don’t know if Ox is related to Brian or Buffalo Keaulana.

  6. Miguel Baez

    I have a friend named Clifford Chillingworth who retired from the City & County of Honolulu Ocean Safety Division, who was a lifeguard from 1956-1981. So I showed him the Natatorium photo taken in 1942. He thinks that to the right of Nana Veary (female) is Tommy Zahn and that the last person to the left front row is Steven Kauwili.

  7. ralph wallwork

    I Think the guy top the other end of Hiram Goldstein is David Kaleikini he was my captain when I worked under him at Bellows Air Force Base in Waimanalo.And the guy that’s standing next to tommy zahn is ‘Ah Fook’ Walter Ah Mow Sr. Also if I stand correct, David Was also the coconut tree climber at the Waikiki Kodak Hula Show over at the Kaimana beach. I also know Clifford Chillingsworth I worked as a Lifeguard from ( 1962 to 1994 )We were working under William Smith ( Bill ) was our directer till he retired…. Alexander J. Adams was the Captain at the time also Then there was Aloha Kaeo who took over as captain after Adams left. ( THEM WERE THE TIMES )……..

    • admin

      Thanks so much to everyone for these insights and memories. Love connecting faces with those famous watermen’s names.

  8. Julie Checkoway

    Hey, Donna, et. al., I’m pretty sure that the blond fellow on the far right is Bill Neunzig. Neunzig, a native of New York (Queens, specifically), swam for Mike Peppe’s Buckeyes at OSU, and met Halo Hirose and Keo Nakama at the 1938 Louisville, Kentucky Nationals. Neunzig, a champion backstroker, along with Hirose and Nakama, the latter two mere neophytes in the world of swimming at the time, were chosen by Yale coach Bob Kiphuth to travel with a hand-picked All-American team for a tour of Nazi Germany in 1938. After returning, Neunzig moved to Maui, where he took a job at Wailuku Sugar Company (Maui News 2-15-39) but was really there to join Soichi Sakamoto’s “3-Year Swim Club.” Neunzig, the powerhouse club’s only “haole,” and one of two backstrokers (another was the versatile Jose Balmores) was a valuable contributor in relays and medleys. I didn’t know he became a lifeguard at the Natatorium in the early 40’s, but I do know he swam in Honolulu as late as 1946, and first traveled with the 3YSC as a member in 1939 when he joined Benny Castor, Hirose, Balmores, and Keo Nakama, traveling to the Detroit AAU’s and aiding the Maui team in earning its first national championship. If I’m right, it’s interesting. I can send pics for you to compare with. Cheers, Julie Checkoway

    • admin

      Julie, nice to hear from you! And what a fabulous mini-history insight you’ve provided. Love the part about Neunzig’s ruse to work at HC&S when he was really just there to swim in the irrigation ditches. Ha ha. I’ll have to share your story with Sono Hirose, Halo’s daughter, who is a good friend. I’d love to see some comparative photos. The photo came from a member of the Froiseth ohana who thought his grandfather Gene was on the left and grand uncle, Wally Froiseth was on the right. You feel confident in your ID? I’d love to see other photos to compare.

  9. Donna

    Julie, if you have info on the photo, you can email to me and include a blurb and we can make a post out of it. Or I think you can post it to our flickr stream. Aloha, Donna

  10. Greg

    That is definitely NOT Tommy Zahn, not even close. Please do a Google image search to confirm if you like 🙂


    • admin

      Greg, thanks for letting us know. Any thoughts on the true identity?

  11. Brittney Keaulani Manzano


    Ox Keaulana is related to buffalo keaulana Ox keaulana is my great grandpa. Bruce Keaulani is ox’s son, Imua keaulani is bruce daughter and i am the daughter of Imua. I dont know much of my Hawaiian ancestors but i believe Ox is Buffalos son? Im going to need to double check with my grandpa, but my grandma did change our family name from Keaulana to keaulani.

    • Keaulani

      No, “Baffalo” is grandpa “Ox’s” brother. Technically Hanai Brother. Grandpa “Ox” kept the change of Keaulana to Keaulani because of the meaning of its nature. “Keaulana” meaning Stormy Weather and “Keaulani” meaning Heavenly Weather. That’s why when you search the name “Keaulani” a few people will have that name.

      But rest assure that Keaulana and Keaulani are related, because of grandpa “Ox” and “Baffalo”

      • Paka

        Ox was moose’s brother moose was buffalos father Brian and rusty are buffalos boys Bruce and bobby are Ox’s boys all keaulanas all same blood line

        • dlching

          OK, so to recap: Ox (Keaulani) and Moose are brothers. Moose is Buffalo (Keaulana’s) father. Buffalo is Brian and Rusty’s dad. Ox is Bruce (Keaulani’s) dad and Bruce’s daughter is Imua and Brittany is his granddaughter?

          • Briana-Erin Keaulani

            Ox, Buffalo and Moose are brothers. Brian and Rusty are Buffalos sons. Bruce and Bobby are OX’s sons. Bruce has 4 children name Myron, Ingrin, Marques and Sharnell. Myrons kids are Donovan, Amber, Kekoa and Mahea. Ingrins kids are Christian, Micah, Brittney, Briana (ME), Shilene, Raeleen and Keelan. Sharnells kids are Izaya, Zion, Zayden, Shannon Jr. Alohilani and Kamea. Bobbys kids are Riana and Marissa. Family tree is still growing. But this is a small recap of my Great Grandpa Ox.