On Christmas day, the club sponsored what it dubbed the 1st Annual Diamond Head Race, and the competition was fierce as competitors paddled surfboards or long paddle boards from Waikiki to Diamond Head and back. The list of winners from that first race reads like a Who’s Who in the history of surfing. They appear in the photo from left to right.
Rabbit Kekai (#1), George Downing (#2), Robert Krewson (#3), Herbert Bessa (#4), Edward Whaley (#5), Wally Froiseth (#6), Dorian Paskowitz (#7), Frank Freitas (#8), Blue Makua (#9), Russ Takaki (#10).
But there was more going on.
Three days before, on December 22, the club held its first Christmas Party. Earlier, I found a few photographs taken at the party in my dad’s collection of papers and photos. I’ve previously posted a batch of these pictures, including the ones here.
Then this week I ran across the handwritten sign-in sheets for the party. I love finding these remnants that make bring the past to life.
There were 102 men and 51 women on the list.
There are some who became legends. Blue Makua. Wally Froiseth. Bobbie Krewson. Rabbit. Dorian Paskowitz. Others were less well known outside of the community of watermen. Some you wonder about, signing in with names like Twinkle, or Brother. Some names are illegible. I noticed Francis Kennedy Jr., who went on to become chief negotiator for the Hawaii Fire Fighters Association and died in 2001 at the age of just 59. He must have been one of the kids at the party in 1948.
I hope some of you will look through the list and fill us in on those you recognize.
Just click on the page below to look through the whole list, which is divided into kane and wahine.