Kailua collecting fading memories
By Eloise Aguiar
Windward O'ahu Writer
KAILUA Having organized and received some basic training, the Kailua Historical Society has begun collecting oral histories from dozens of residents whose memories will become the foundation of the organization's historic collection.
But the task is difficult, and witnesses to Kailua's earlier years get fewer with each passing year, prompting the group to seek more people to conduct interviews.
The society will hold an oral history training seminar for anyone interested in volunteering for the group at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Kailua District Park multipurpose room.
"There's a lot of older people, lots of memories and we need to hurry because some are losing their memories and their lives," said Joanne Flannery, society president. "Two we wanted to interview have died this year."
The group for the most part is self-trained, having purchased a book about oral history and seeking advice from a University of Hawai'i expert.
With 12 donated tape recorders from Radio Shack, society members have begun talking to people, she said.
The society was formed in September and has found a home base at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church.
The church has donated a work room and storage space that will allow a trained archivist to begin cataloging photographs and other collectibles, eventually making them available to the public, Flannery said.
The society also will start to assemble information about sports activities in Kailua.
Recognizing the important role sports has played in Kailua, the society has enlisted Al Minn, a noted Windward swim coach for 50 years, and his wife, Shirley, to be contacts for sports information.
Stories, trophies, memorabilia and photographs about surfing, sailing, canoe paddling, swimming and other sports are being sought for a possible sports museum.
The Minns can be reached at 261-5143.
For more information about the oral history training, call Flannery at 263-0090.
Reach Eloise Aguiar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 234-5266.
CORRECTION: To reach the Kailua Historical Society, call 263-0090. A wrong number was listed in an earlier version of this story because of a reporters error.