Thanks For The Memory

1963 , O'ahu, Hawaii (Other)

A holiday on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu.

It is Christmas. Stuart Day is sitting on a sofa, reading a paper as his wife arranges Christmas cards on the sideboard. Laurie Day hands him a card from a friend in Hawaii with an image of hula dancers. The card triggers memories of a holiday to the Hawaiian island of O’ahu. There follows a flashback sequence in which Stuart Day recalls events of the holiday. The film concludes with a return to the present. Stuart Day retrieves a cigarette case from his pocket with an engraving of the Hawaiian Islands on its front and shows it to his wife. He then passes the card back to Laurie Day, who places it prominently on the sideboard. Sequences from the Hawaiian holiday include: shots of a reception as passengers disembark down a gangway in Honolulu, in this case it is not as the Days arrive in the city but as a group including people from an American charity arrive in Honolulu; residential streets in Honolulu; Waikiki beach and the Banyan Courtyard at the Moana Surfrider Hotel; a demonstration of hula dancing; a distant shot of the private beach of Doris Duke; fishing for a Luau feast on a beach; the activities of a lone spear fisherman; tropical flowers and trees; scenery in Nuuanu Pali; churches in Honolulu; and Lei Day celebrations on the streets of Honolulu as well as in the grounds of the Wallace Rider Farrington School. The Hawaiian holiday sequences conclude with shots of volcanic eruptions and molten lava at night. Commentary is provided by Stuart Day, who begins by recalling the welcome that he, his wife and other passengers received after their ship had docked in Honolulu. He recalls the hula dancing and the gift of Leis [flower garlands] and describes a more grandiose ceremony and the procession shown on onscreen that had been organised for a charitable United States organisation, the Shriners, which supports a local hospital for children in Honolulu. The commentary remarks on the ready availability of Lei from street sellers and recalls the part played by their New Zealand born friend, now living near Waikiki, in organising the hotel accommodation. Stuart Day contrasts the gardens found in Honolulu with those in Britain, musing on the jobs that a gardener in Hawaii would not have to bother with. Subjects briefly referred to in relation to Waikiki include: the proximity of the hotels on Kalakaua Avenue to Waikiki beach and the sight of ‘surfriders’, riding waves almost to the beach; the weekly radio broadcast of ‘Hawaii Calling’ from the Moana [Surfrider] Hotel; surfing; and weekly displays of hula dancing and fashion. Stuart Day briefly points out the private beach of the millionaire Doris Duke; and describes fishing activities encountered along the coast. Subjects covered in the trip to Nuuanu Pali include: a brief comment on the battlefield site in this area that established Kamehameha as the ruler of the Hawaiian Islands [in the late eighteenth century]; and the choice of Honolulu as the capital of Hawaii, even though the island of O’ahu is not the largest island, due to the existence of Pearl Harbour. With images of Honolulu on screen, Stuart Day also comments briefly on the history of the island and its colonisation; its discovery by Captain Cook; the plebiscite that established the island as an American annexation rather than a British colony; the different ‘races’ that settled in Hawaii and mixed with the indigenous population; the introduction of mother hubbards [women’s clothing] by missionaries in the 1820s for the native population; sights at one of biggest Lei Day celebrations, held at the Wallace Rider Farrington School. The commentary is broken up by a musical score.

Featured Buildings

The home of Laurie and Stuart Day, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire Customs Shed, Honolulu Moana Surfrider [hotel] Kalakaua Avenue Waikiki beach Private beach of Doris Duke [millionaire, Woolworths], beyond Diamond Head Nuuanu Pali First Chinese Church of Christ, S King St, Honolulu Kawaiahao Church, 957 Punchbowl St, Honolulu Central Union Church, 1660 S Beretania St, Honolulu Atherton Chapel, Central Union Church, 1660 S Beretania St, Honolulu King Kamehameha statue, 417 S King St, Honolulu Ali'iolani Hale, 417 S King St, Honolulu [King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center] Wallace Rider Farrington School

Featured Events

Ceremony organised to welcome the American Charitable institution, the Shriners, to Honolulu Weekly radio broadcast ‘Hawaii Calling’, broadcast from the banyan courtyard of Moana Surfrider Hotel Weekly Hula Dancing display; fashion model display; sponsored by Kodak Luau feast Lei Day celebrations [May 1], Wallace Rider Farrington School Lei Day celebrations, [unidentified location]

Keywords

Hawaii; Honolulu; Hawaiian shirts; Leis; Waikiki beach; Surf; May Day celebrations

Other Places

Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire; Honolulu; Waikiki; Nuuanu Pali

Manifestations

Thanks For The Memory

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