Category Archives: History

St. Andrew’s Priory 1900-1910

Ascension DayAs promised in the prior post, here’s a collection of photos from the dog-eared album of former Priory principal, Abby Stuart Marsh.

Most of the photos are of the Priory itself, but a few are at other spots.

My grandmother was raised at the Priory. She was a resident there from 1991 through to 1911, when she was married. Abby Marsh stayed in touch with her, and with my mother, for years.

From Wikipedia:

Raised in the Anglican faith, Queen Emma recognized the educational needs of the young women of Hawai?i and founded St. Andrew’s Priory so that Hawaiian girls would receive an education equivalent to what was traditionally offered only to boys. Her mission of establishing a girls’ school in Honolulu took her to England to seek the counsel of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Under his authority, the Sisters of the Church of England returned to Hawai?i with Queen Emma to begin their work.

The school opened on Ascension Day, May 30, 1867, under the direction of Queen Emma and Mother Priscilla Lydia Sellon of the Society of the Most Holy Trinity of Davenport, England. In 1902, the Episcopal Church of the United States assumed administrative control of the school. Until 1969, the Priory was run by the Sisters of the American Order of the Transfiguration.

Just click on the photo to see this collection of Priory photographs.

Throwback Thursday: The Priory (a teaser)

This is just a brief teaser to let you know what’s coming later today for Throwback Thursday.

Among my sister’s boxes of papers was an old photo album with pictures of Saint Andrew’s Priory here in Honolulu. My grandmother was raised at the Priory from 1891 through her graduation, and then until her marriage in about 1910.

Here’s just a sample of the photos. The caption: The Sisters’ Cottage.

Sisters' Cottage

Stored with the album is a handwritten note written by my mother, Helen Yonge Lind, describing “one old, somewhat-tattered photo album.”

Original owner was Abby Stuart Marsh, at one time Priory principal. Before she died, she sent this to my mother, Heleualani Ewa (Cathcart) Yonge. Miss Marsh and another Priory teacher, Miss or Mrs. Blue were my godmothers, my godfather was Bishop Restarick. I was born in 1914.

Miss Marsh retired to a place in New York that I beleive was connected to the sisterhood to which she belonged. She corresponded with me for a number of years before her death.She sent me several books authored by a relative of my father’s family, Charlotte M. Yonge of England.

I remember being in touch with Ms Blue maybe once or twice, but lost track of her. It seems to me she lived in Southern Oregon, perhaps Medford.

I have distinct memories of my childhood. We lived in the country and my mother brought us to Honolulu several times a year to pay our respects to the Restaricks, then we went to the “sister’s cottage” at the Priory to visit sisters Beatrice and Albertina.

My mother was raised at the Priory. Her father, Robert William Cathcart, somehow arranged for two of his daughters to be cared for by a nursemaid at the Priory under the supervision of the Sisters when Cathcart and his wife were away to California in 1891. Even after the parents returned, Cathcart left the girls at the Priory where they lived until they graduated.

I have an early appointment today and don’t have time to post the photos. But I’ll get them done and posted later today. Stay tuned.

Looking back at two of my parents’ big purchases

Here are a couple more old papers that I round in the past couple of days. Click on either one to see a larger version.

Top: A copy of my parent’s offer to buy their home on Kealaolu Avenue. In November 1942, they put $100 down on the full purchase price of $6,000 for a small home on a lot leased from Bishop Estate.

They lived there until their deaths. My mom, who outlived my father by just over two years, lived in the same house for 70 years. And now we’ve moved into a remodeled version of the same house.

That’s probably an unusual degree of continuity in this day and age. And there’s another measure of continuity–the telephone number.

In 1942, Honolulu had 5 digit phone numbers. Ours was 78194, the number shown on the real estate form. That’s the phone number I grew up with, the one I had to remember when I went off to school.

It was years later that the phone company moved to seven-digit numbers. It required us to insert “3-4” after the first number. So “78194” became “734-8194”. And that is still our home phone number today.

Their forever home


The paperwork on my dad’s purchase of a new 1947 Chevy Aerosedan from Aloha Motors.

Total cost: $1,964.11.

It looks like he was doing well enough to pay for the car in just two payments, a larger amount down and the balance on delivery.

I don’t remember this car, which was purchased just before I was born. About the time of conception, if I count the months right.

Aloha Motors

The old papers, cards, and letters keep turning up

I assumed that the boxes of old papers I found and sorted or stored after my father died back in 2010 were the end of his “stuff”. No such luck. Now that I’m going through the things my sister left behind, I’ve turned up more of my dad’s old, yellowed papers. Yet more letters, receipts, newspaper clippings, Christmas cards, birthday cards, and more, most dating back from around 1930 through the 1950s.

Here are a couple of items of interest.

So you think traffic and the high rate of traffic fatalities in Honolulul is a new issue? Think again.

Here’s a newspaper clipping, undated, although it appears to date from the years of WWII. It features a photo of my dad and other members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce painting what is described as a “death flagpole.”

“In cooperation with the city-county Traffic Safety Commission, the safety committee of the Honolulu Junior Chamber of Commerce is planning to erect on Richards and King Sts. a flagpole that will fly a black “death” flag whenever a traffic fatality occurs, as means of promoting traffic safety and keeping down Honolulu’s high rate of traffic deaths.”

During WWII

And here’s another history lesson. Did you know Hawaii once had a poll tax? I didn’t.

It was apparently a $5 tax, paid annually.


If you’re wondering what that $5 would be worth in today’s dollars, here’s the answer: $81.92, according to one online


And there’s a small historical side note to the poll tax receipt. It shows my parents were then living at 1018 Kealaolu. They rented there for a few years before buying a house another block down the same street.

You probably don’t recognize the address, but some 70 years later it was owned by Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, and was the scene of the now-famous mailbox theft.

It is a small world!

The hidden history of the Molokai Hoe (Molokai-Oahu canoe race)

The annual Molokai to Oahu canoe race, now known as the Molokai Hoe, takes place today. The race has come a long way from its beginnings back in 1952.

Only a handful of teams competed in that first race, including the Waikiki Surf Club, shown here.


What follows is a repeat of an entry first posted back in November 2009.

In 2002, my father was asked for his recollections of the founding of the Molokai to Oahu canoe race on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.

It became an opportunity for him to record some memories of that period in the history of Hawaii’s competitive surfing and canoeing.

I’ve found several drafts of his short history, each containing different details, names of people and descriptions of events.

The race was started as part of Aloha Week by the Junior Chamber of Commerce “Oldtimers”, a group of men active in the Jaycees who had aged out of the organization.

He recalls Harry Nardmark, the group’s first president, and several others, who threw themselves into organizing of a range of events, along with the members of the Waikiki Surf Club, which had a committee for surfing and canoeing which was headed by Wally Froiseth, assisted by George Downing.

“Toots” Minville had been talking about the potential for a Molokai-Oahu race for years, based on his experience of conditions in the channel.

His idea was picked up by the “Oldtimers”.

Toots was called in and he went to work in an effort to get organized clubs with outrigger canoes to participate. Outrigger and Hui Nalu were the only organized clubs at the time, other than the newly organized Waikiki Surt Club. Wally Froseth, the head of the canoe committee of the surf club, relished the idea of the event and was the first to volunteer and entry. Henrietta Newman, a resident of Molokai, also was interesting in competing but did not have a canoe to paddle–Toots went to work and obtained the use of an outrigger owned by Doris Duke Cromwell that was loaned for the event.

And so it went.

Canoe owners were reluctant to allow their boats into the race, fearing damage from the often treacherous conditions of the Molokai Channel.

The Outrigger Canoe Club declined to loan its equipment to others for the race, but George “Dad” Center, a prominent Outrigger member, personally offered his 40 foot Koa racing canoe, the “Malia”, to the Waikiki Surf Club.

There’s a funny story unrelated to the Molokai-Oahu race.

When my dad arrived in Honolulu in 1939, he needed a place to store the two surfboards he had brought with him from California.

He quickly found out that the only place on the beach was the Outrigger, but its facilities were available to members only. Membership at the time was $10, so he applied for membership and two lockers for his boards, a solid board shaped by Hoppy Swartz of Venice, California, and a 17′ hollow paddle board.

When I took the boards into the Outrigger Club area, a little dark skinned Hawaiian boy greeted me with, “Hey, haole, where you goin with the ‘Pineapple barge’?”

This little guy was Blue Makua, my first introduction to Waikiki. Blue must have been around 12 years old at the time (maybe younger).

Of course, Blue Makua went on to become one of the best known of the Waikiki beachboys.

In any case, it all makes for interesting reading.

A September 1953 editorial clipped from the Star-Bulletin or Advertiser lauded my father’s role in promoting surfing and canoe racing in the post-WWII years, among other things as a leader in organizing the Hawaii Surfing Association before the outbreak of WWII, and after the war being among the founders of the Waikiki Surf Club and the Hawaiian Canoe Racing and Surfing Association.

The editorial quoted from the 1953 season canoe program:

Lind’s indefatigable perseverance, organizing ability and great interest in preserving the art of canoe paddling has, with the help of many devoted members of the association, made possible the carrying on of the 1952 ad 1953 races.

He has been gone nearly six years,but he left his mark, didn’t he!