Hal Henderson was voted to Life Membership in the Outrigger Canoe Club at the Annual Meeting on February 29, 2016. Hal joined the Outrigger in 1946 at the age of 13. For the last nearly thirty years he has been constantly involved in some manner of Club operations.
Hal and his brother Charlie grew up on Noela Drive along with other Club members such as Peter and Tommy Balding and Bonnie Purvis (Eyre). Hal recalls great times walking with neighborhood pals up the Diamond Head trail and climbing the ridges in the front of the crater rim, much to the dismay of their parents.
Hal joined the Outrigger as a junior member in 1946 at the age of 13. He loved the ocean and soon learned to surf. He later paddled on various Outrigger crews with Sarge Kahanamoku as steersman. He spent a lot of time at the “Old Club,” as one of the kalohe kids who was frequently reprimanded by the Club’s manager.
Hal attended Hanahauoli School through the 6th grade before transferring to Punahou. High school years were spent at Deerfield Academy, a boy’s boarding school in Deerfield, Massachusetts. He attended Stanford University where he learned to play polo and played on the Stanford team for four years. (Hal was a natural for polo as a member of the Dillingham family who dominated the Oahu teams for years.) After college Hal served in the U.S. Navy after graduating from Officer’s Training School in Newport, Rhode Island. He then spent two years on active duty in Japan.
Hal has had an interesting career. After a year at Hawaiian Electric, he went to work for Oahu Railway and Land Company, which in 1962 merged with Hawaiian Dredging to form Dillingham Corporation. In 1964, he returned to Stanford for two years to acquire an MBA degree, then came back to work for Dillingham Corporation. He currently has a part-time job, Hal says, “just to keep the old gray cells working.”
During his tenure with the company, Hal spent time in Singapore and as Director of Corporate Planning before moving to London where he remained for twelve years. What was Dillingham Corporation doing in London, you may ask? They were partners with a Norwegian firm in a dry bulk shipping company. Dillingham sold its interest in the company in 1980 and Hal stayed on working for the Norwegian firm for five more years. While there he played polo and on the same team as Prince Charles.
Before his time abroad, Hal served on the Outrigger’s Building and Grounds Committee in 1973. After his return, he has not missed a year of service on either a committee or the Board of Directors. The Long Range Planning and Finance committees are two that have immensely profited from Hal’s business experience in property management and corporate development.
He has served three terms on the Outrigger’s Board of Directors, serving as Treasurer, Vice President, and taking on the demanding job of President in 2001. In each capacity, his contributions were outstanding.
After seventy years of being a member of the Outrigger, the Club remains an important part of Hal’s life. In addition to serving on the Finance Committee, Hal and his wife, Gloria, regularly attend social functions at the Club and frequently dine on either the Koa Lanai or Hau Terrace. Until two years ago, he continued to surf and still works out and swims regularly. The Outrigger has been fortunate to have Hal as a devoted member throughout the years, offering invaluable service to an organization dear to his heart.
Board of Directors
1996 Coordinating Director Buildings & Grounds Committee
1997 Treasurer, Coordinating Director Finance Committee
1998 Secretary, Coordinating Director Historical Committee
1999 Second Vice President
2000 Vice President
Buildings & Grounds Committee
Long Range Planning Committee