We cannot let our 25th anniversary year end without paying special tribute to a man known as the Father of the Friends of the Natatorium.
Lin Pang stepped down earlier this year after 25 years as an officer and director of the Friends. He was elected vice chair at our very first meeting in August 1986.
“We would never have accomplished anything if Lin was not there,” says Joanie Apo, who met Lin at that first meeting and was elected herself as the Friends’ first executive director.
Joanie recalls Lin as the “peacemaker of the group,” the one who bridged the gaps between advocates of different strategies, the one who brought people to a shared vision and a common purpose.
“We would never have made it without his level-headedness, calm demeanor and good solid judgment,” Joanie says. “He was the one guy all of us could trust to keep things centered. He was our lifeline in all crises.”
Lin was also the Friends’ chief ambassador to the business community, and a master of the necessary logistics and coordination with city agencies that made our annual Memorial Day observance at the Natatorium and our other events so successful.
“Lin’s spirit, solid good sense and calm demeanor held the whole thing together,” Joanie says. “God bless Lin Pang.”
We all feel that way; that’s why present directors of the Friends of the Natatorium got together recently to honor Lin and his wonderful wife, Jeanette, for everything they’ve done for the effort to preserve, restore and reopen the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium. We know there’s a long way to go in this fight, but moments like this are a good time to stop and appreciate just how far we have come.
Mahalo and aloha, Lin!
You can thank Lin too!
Please leave your thoughts on Lin Pang and his legacy in the comments. And here’s another way you can honor Lin: As our 25th anniversary year winds down, consider a gift of $25 – or $2,500, or whatever you can afford – to support the work to which Lin has given so much time, energy and loving commitment. Here’s information on how to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Friends of the Natatorium. Please let us know that you’ve made your gift in Lin’s honor, and we’ll make sure to tell him. Mahalo to you and to all Friends of the Natatorium!