By Kawika Grant
Outrigger has a century-long tradition of giving its canoes Hawaiian names associated with the original Club site in Waikiki and its current Club site at Diamond Head. This includes the land and waters surrounding each location. In the earliest years, the canoes were named for the valleys seen from the Club.
Beginning in the 1940s, the names for the canoes were provided by Auntie Eva Pomroy, a much-beloved part-Hawaiian employee of the Club, who also blessed all of the canoes. The last canoe Auntie Eva named before she died in 1989 was Ka Leo o Ke Kai. No thought was given to who would name the next canoe. As it turned out, on the day of the canoe blessing ceremony, there were not one but two canoes to be blessed. No second name had been chosen and the kahu was left waiting while another name–any name–was frantically sought there on the beach.
Overlooking all this confusion from his usual seat at Corinthian Corner was Cline Mann, a part-Hawaiian past-President of the Club whose knowledge of Club history and his profession as a surveyor made him extremely knowledgeable about our location and surroundings, including nearby waters. Cline was furious by the random selection of a name on the beach for the second canoe, and outraged at the choice he thought was totally inappropriate. He railed at the lack of meaning and connection to the Club, and spent the next hour writing out on cocktail napkins a list of names he felt were more appropriate.
Cline did not name canoes per se. What he did was draw on his intimate knowledge of the Club to compile a list of names he thought representative of OCC, based on this one simple premise – our canoe names should be reflections of the Club and its history so that wherever OCC paddlers would go they would take a part of the Club and its history along with them when they paddled. Those names constitute Cline’s List.
For the superstitiously disposed, Cline’s dislike that day for the hastily chosen second name was borne out several months later when the canoe was cut in half by a catamaran off Waikīkī Beach during an open men’s practice. Since then Cline’s List, approved by the Board of Directors at the time in its entirety, has been the primary source for almost all of our canoe names, a period spanning almost thirty years. Cline’s List is principally place names associated with the Club, its location and surroundings, including nearby waters, all of which reflect Cline’s knowledge of Club history. Here is Cline’s List:
Names Associated with the Club’s Original Waikīkī Beach Site:
- ‘Āpuakēhau (Mist Trap): Name of the fresh water stream and pond beside which OCC’s first permanent structure was built in 1910 (The pavilion seen in many early photos of the Club).*
- Helumoa (Chicken Scratch): Name of the huge grove of coconut trees that stretched the length of Waikīkī from Beach Walk to Prince Kūhi‘ō Beach. King Kamehameha V who owned the grove had a residence within that part of Helumoa abutting the ‘ewa side of Prince Lunalilo’s residence at Kaluaokau.*
- Kaluaokau (Sleepy Hollow): Name of the land upon which the first Club was situated, the Waikīkī home of King Lunalilo, later willed to Queen Emma, from whose estate the Club leased the property until 1964.*
- Uluniu (Coconut Grove): Name of the Waikīkī residence of King Kalākaua and Queen Kapi‘olani, located within Helumoa on the Diamond Head side of Kaluaokau; Also, the name of the swim club organized by the OCC Women’s Auxiliary directly adjacent to the Club.*
- Kalehuawehe (Blooming Lehua, commonly referred to today as Castle’s): Name of Waikīkī’s best and most renown surfing area, Diamond Head of the old Club site and across from the current Club site.*
- Māmala: (Uncertain) Name of the waters fronting the old club (and the new) encompassing the area inside a line running from Diamond Head to Barbers Point.*
- Moana (The Ocean): The vast Pacific, our ocean. Also the name of the hotel adjacent to the Club which was a good neighbor and staunch friend over the decades until the Club’s relocation to Diamond Head.*
Names Associated with the Diamond Head Club Site:
- Kaimana (Diamond): The name by which the land and beach area at the foot of Diamond Head were commonly known in the late 19th century. The word derives from early malihini visitors to Lē‘ahi who mistook volcanic glass they found there for diamonds.
- Kainalu (Breaking Sea): Name of the former Castle Estate now shared by OCC and the Elks Club.*
- Kāneloa (Uncertain): Name of the land division forming the western portion of Kapi‘olani Park. (Name not recommended for a Club canoe.)
- Kapi‘olani (The Vault of Heaven): The park where the Club now resides; Also, its royal namesake.
- Kāpua: (Uncertain) Name of the land segment within Kekio upon which OCC is built; Also the name of the freshwater stream which formerly entered the ocean at this spot; Also the name of the channel originally carved through the reef by Kāpua Stream’s freshwater outflow which gives OCC its access to the sea.*
- Kekio: (Uncertain) Name of the land division forming the eastern portion of Kapi‘olani Park which which Kāpua is located.*
- Lē‘ahi (Ahi Point): Diamond Head.*
- `Elemakule (Old Man’s): A surfing spot popular with Club surfers.*
- Inoa`ole (or Waihi’ole) (No Name): A surfing spot popular with Club surfers.
- Kaiwi (The Bone): The channel between O’ahu and Moloka’i.
- Kākela (Castle’s): A surfing spot popular with Club surfers.*
- Kaluahole (Tongg’s): A surfing spot popular with Club members.
- Pola Laiki (Rice Bowl): A surfing spot popular with Club surfers.
- Pu`eone (Sand Bar): A surfing spot popular with Club surfers.*
*Names have been used as of 2017.
Interestingly, although Cline included on his list nearly all the significant place names around OCC at its Waikīkī and Diamond Head locations, he did not include the area of Waikīkī itself as a potential canoe name, memorializing the site where the Club was born, a curious omission. Following Cline’s own criteria for canoe naming, Waikīkī (Spouting Water) would be an excellent choice, embracing as it does the central core of what Outrigger Canoe Club became and is today. To be noted, Club member Gay Harris built a six-man canoe which he named Waikīkī in 1952 and kept on the beach at OCC.
James Castle’s Kainalu estate had previously belonged to Colonel George W. Macfarlane, King Kalākaua’s Chamberlain. In keeping with the tradition of the day, he may very well have given his own residence on the beach there a Hawaiian name. Cline was intrigued with the possibility because, surprisingly, he did not know if the Colonel had named the property or not. He promised to look into it but became ill and the question was never resolved. If Colonel Macfarlane did name the property (which includes the Club’s current site), it would be worth considering as a Club canoe name. Cline apparently thought so.
Other Recent Names
Here are ten names given Club canoes not from Cline’s List and their history:
- Alapaina (Ironwood Road) Proposed by Kala Judd in response to the City & County of Honolulu’s decision to cut down the ironwood tree alley into Kapi‘iolani Park because the trees were allegedly too old, diseased and a safety hazard. The proposal was also in line with Cline’s emphasis on historical names having an association with the Club – in this case, the beautiful ironwood lined road linking the old Club with the new.
- Cline As with Henry and Auntie Eva, there was an overwhelming desire in the Club to remember Cline Mann with a canoe. He would have hated the idea and been the first to object. He was adamantly opposed to any Club canoe being named for a member, no matter who they were. He may not have been around to voice his displeasure at a surfing canoe being named for him, but… !! Is it possible that Cliner – the irascible curmudgeon that he was – has been showing his pique for this outrage by taking his revenge on his canoe ever since?! Consider this: Of all our surfing canoes, the Cline has been damaged more often and more severely in the breaks fronting the Club than any of our other surfing canoes, so much so that it has had to be replaced multiple times. Most of the damage has been inflicted at or near the surfing spot named Sand Bar which just happens to be the spot where Cline’s ashes lay at rest. Or are they at rest?!… at least not when the Cline is out there catching waves. Draw your own conclusions! If that’s you out there making pikikia, Cliner – stop doing that!
- Henry Keawe Ayau No question here. The Canoe Racing Committee was unanimous in wanting to honor Henry after his tragic death with a canoe bearing his name. Read more about Henry in his Winged “O” Profile and his Oral History.
- Hōkūloa (Morning Star) This canoe name originated at the request of Walter Guild, who wanted a name for the new class six-man racing canoe his Fiberglass Shop had just created. The bright morning star that heralds the coming of a new day was suggested as appropriate for ushering in a new generation of racing canoe – Hōkū Ao. Walter agreed. When the Club purchased a hull of this new class it seemed only fitting that it be given the alternate Hawaiian name of this same star – Hōkūloa.
- ‘Iwalani (Frigate Bird) As with the Henry, the Club wanted to honor a cherished member of the OCC ‘ohana by naming a canoe for its beloved Auntie Eva Pomroy. ’Iwalani subsequently became a two-time winning canoe in the Moloka’i Hoe – 1987 and 1988.
- Kai Li’oli’o (Sparkling Sea) The Club’s Golden Masters women asked that a canoe be named in honor of Muriel Macfarlane Flanders. Rather than naming the canoe ‘Muriel’, it was proposed using the Hawaiian equivalent of her name, a Celtic name meaning ‘Sparkling Sea’. Alice Guild was asked if she thought her mother would approve. Alice responded – “Absolutely”! Read more about Muriel in her Oral History.
- Ka‘iulani Royal princess – the daughter of Archibald Cleghorn and Princess Likelike. She grew up at ‘Ainahau – Cleghorn’s estate across the street from the original Clubhouse. Given the name by Auntie Eva, Ka’iulani was OCC’s winning canoe in the 1980 Moloka’i Hoe.
- Kaulele (Take Flight) The first canoe name given after the passing of Auntie Eva, a tribute to her by the Canoe Racing Committee, and very much in her spirit of canoe naming.
- Lōli‘i (Carefree) While Cline included on his list the names of the famous properties to either side of the old Club site (Helumoa and Uluniu), he did not do so for the new Club site… exactly! He did include the property on the Diamond Head side – Kainalu – but let the property on the ‘ewa side to to be described by the generic name commonly used in the 19th century for the entire land and beach area at the foot of Lē‘ahi – Kaimana. The beach on the ‘ewa side of the Club is still called that today. Both the land and the beach however, share another name specifically associated with the beach home of Allan Herbert, one of the Club’s founding members. Herbert eventually turned the property into one of Waikīkī’s earliest hotels, made famous by Robert Louis Stevenson – one of its earliest guests and most vocal advocates. Herbert turned management over to his hotelier friend George Lycurgus (later of Volcano House fame), and it was Lycurgus who gave the hotel and beach its name – Sans Souci. It may be that Cline omitted the French name from his list as unsuitable for a Club canoe, but the Hawaiian equivalent of the French – ‘Carefree’ – certainly is: Lōli‘i.
- Manu ‘Ula (Red Bird) Name proposed by Stew Kawakami to revive the memory and spirit of OCC’s first glass canoe Moloka‘i Hoe winner Twice! – 1977 and 1978. Tommy Conner’s early ‘work-in-progress’ canoe personified the OCC ‘Hiki No’ spirit Stew was seeking to evoke.
Auntie Eva Canoe Names
As of 2017, the Club still had six canoes named by Auntie Eva:
- ‘Eleu (Lively). Originally a surfing canoe, later given to a six-man glass racer.
- Hokuwelowelo (Comet).
- Ka Leo o Ke Kai (The Voice of the Sea).
- Kaoloa (Long Spear or Javelin).
- Lē‘ahi (Diamond Head).
- ‘Onipa’a (Steadfast. The motto of Queen Lili’uokalani and several other royal ali’i.
Earlier, fiberglass canoes Auntie Eva named for the Club:
- Aukai (Seafarer). The second fiberglass canoe OCC entered in the Molokai Hoe and paddled by the second crew in 1975.
- ‘Ehukai (Sea Spray).
- ‘Ekahi (Number One).
- Holomalie (Run Softly).
- Holomua (Run Ahead).
- Hunakai (Sanderling).
- Kaiolokea (White Rolling Sea): This was OCC’s first fiberglass canoe, a 28-foot surfing canoe designed by Toots Minvielle and built by George Downing. It was named and blessed by Auntie Eva Pomroy on April 7, 1957. Its success led to Downing’s making a fiberglass mold of Waikiki Surf Club’s full-size koa racer Malia, sister canoe to OCC’s Leilani and Kakina, which became the standard glass racing canoe in Hawaii for the next two decades.
- Kaiholo (Running Sea).
- Kawelea (Barracuda). The first fiberglass canoe OCC raced in the Molokai Hoe, 1963, finishing 4th.
- Kaiolokea (White Rolling Sea).
- Kialoa (Racing Canoe).
- Kilakila (Majestic).
Although none are on Cline’s List, he would have endorsed their re-use because of their previous association with the Club.
The Royal Mottos
Auntie Eva’s choice of Queen Lili‘uokalani’s royal motto ‘Onipa‘a as a Club canoe name was a propitious one. Still in use after more than a quarter century ‘Onipa‘a has enjoyed a long and rich competitive record, including Moloka’i Hoe champion! Given well before Cline’s List came into being, Cline never commented on the use of this or any other royal motto for a Club canoe name. Still, the monarchs who used the three most famous mottos all have an association with Club history through the land on which the Club has stood, and historical associations always loomed large in Cline’s view of Club canoe naming. The three most famous royal mottos are associated with the Kamehameha dynasty – Kamehameha IV, his wife Queen Emma, and King Kamehameha V; with King Lunalilo; and with the Kalākaua dynasty – those of King Kalākaua, his wife Queen Kapi‘olani and his sister Queen Lili‘uokalani.
Names derived from the mottos are:
- Ho‘oūlu (Advance), from the motto of King Kalākaua. The full motto is: Ho‘oūlu Lahui – Advance the Nation.
- Kulia (Strive), from the royal mottos of King Kamehameha IV, Queen Emma and Queen Kapi’olani. The full motto is Kulia I ka Nu’u, Strive for the Summit.
- ‘Onipa’a (Steadfast), the motto of Queen Lili’uokalani, as well as King Kamehameha V and King Lunalilo. Molokai Hoe champion in 1986.
The retention of former canoe names over time is an integral part of historical canoe naming. Cline’s focus was on place names, but all Club canoes, bearing place names or not, are a part of Club history, and preserving a canoe’s name is to enhance that history through continued association of the name with the Club… and retaining within it the mana accrued to it from all those who have paddled in it across the years.
As of 2017 the following racing canoe names have been reused for either continuity or out of sentiment:
- `Iwalani (three)
- ‘Eleu (two)
- Kapua (two)
- Lē‘ahi (two)
- Mamala (two)
- Manu ‘Ula (two)
For surfing canoes, there have been:
- Cline (four)
- Pu’eone (three)
- Duke (two)
- Dad (two)
- ‘Elemakule (two)
Prime candidates for retained names are those canoes that have carried Club crews to significant victories such as our Molokai Hoe and Na Wahine O Ke Kai champions. Besides all three of our koas, these are:
- ‘Iwalani (Molokai Hoe 1987 and 1988 and Na Wahine 1992).
- Ka’iulani (Molokai Hoe 1980).
- Mamala (Molokai Hoe 1998 and 1999).
- Manu ‘Ula (Molokai Hoe 1977 and 1979 and Na Wahine 1979).
- ‘Onipa’a (Molokai Hoe 1986)
When Jenifer Bossert was Club Captain (2009-2012) and in the process of buying two of Tiger’s new ultralight canoes – a three-man and a six-man – she asked for names different than those on Cline’s List to be used to reflect the different nature of these canoes from the traditional Hawaiian six-man racers – something reflecting the vision its designer John Puakea had for this canoe. He envisaged a canoe that would skim over the ocean waves, evoking the image of a seabird. To name Club canoes after seabirds was not that great a departure from Cline’s place naming philosophy. Hawaiian seabirds have always been a part of Outrigger’s connection with the sea, and the Club already had, after all, one canoe named for a Hawaiian sea bird: ‘Iwalani – the frigate bird – the namesake of Auntie Eva, and the Manu ‘Ula – the Red Bird.
A list of Hawaiian seabirds was drawn up, and Jen and the Canoe Racing Committee picked the first two names for OCC’s new era canoes. The three-man canoe was named Manu O Kū – the white tern – the bird that nests in the trees fronting the Club, and ‘A‘o was selected for OCC’s first ultralight six-man racer – the shearwater which, of all the many Hawaiian seabirds, is the only one endemic to the Islands. Since then, Koa’e – the tropic bird – has been chosen from the seabird list for the Club’s second six-man ultralight.
Hawaiian Sea Birds
- A`a (Red-footed Booby, the Brown Booby or the Masked Booby). This was the name of Prince Kuhio’s personal canoe which hangs in the Bishop Museum.
- `Ake`ake (Stormy Petrel)
- `A`o (Newell’s Shearwater)*
- `Ewa`ewa (Sooty Tern)
- `Iwa (Frigate Bird)*
- Koa`e (Tropic Bird)*
- Manu O Ku (White Tern)*
- Moli (Laysan Albatross)
- Noio (Hawaiian Noddy)
- `Ou (Bulwer’s Petrel)
- Pakalakala (Grey-backed Tern)
- `Ua`u (Hawaiian Petrel)
- `Ua`u kani (Wedge-tailed Shearwater)
*Names have been used as of 2017.
The name of the second canoe blessed on the beach on that fateful Club Day in May 1989 and witnessed by Cline Mann, was Pupu‘uho‘oleloa which means Quick As A Flash. The name was taken just prior to its blessing off a paddle leaning up against the beach stand. The canoe was destroyed shortly thereafter (September 1989) in a collision with a catamaran off Waikīkī. Cline knew the name was wrong for the canoe and OCC. The minute he heard the name, he immediately began composing his list to make sure such a mistake would not happen again. He was a man possessed of a deep and certain knowledge of the Outrigger Canoe Club, its history, and its place in history. And he had an unwavering and true love for and understanding of what is Hawaiian, what is Hawai’i, what is Outrigger Canoe Club, and what is pono. For the past quarter century our canoes have been named from his list – starting from before his passing in 1996 and ever since, in fulfillment of his vision – that our canoes reflect our Club’s history and its purpose in their names, that our paddlers will take with them wherever they go.