Wendell Brooks Jr. was voted to Life Membership in the Outrigger Canoe Club at the Annual Meeting on February 29, 2016. He joined the Outrigger in 1977 and has contributed so much to the Club that he was awarded the Club’s most prestigious honor.
A true kamaaina, Wendell’s ancestry in Hawaii goes back to his great great grandfather who came from Germany to settle in the islands in 1869. His grandmother was born in Honolulu in 1881 and was about twelve years old at the time Liliuokalani was overthrown in 1863. His grandfather graduated from Harvard Law School, practiced law in Hawaii, and later became a judge. Wendell’s mother, who was forty percent Tahitian, was born in Los Angeles, raised in Tahiti, and came to Hawaii in 1934, where she met and married Wendell Sr.
Wendell grew up in the family home on Diamond Head Circle and attended Punahou School. He joined the Outrigger in 1977 where he became life-long friends with Peter and Tom Balding and Jack Mattice. He hung-out at the Club long before he joined, accompanying his mother who was a member.
Wendell cherishes one very vivid experience when, as a teenager, he was at the Club on the fourth of July to watch the Macfarlane Regatta. A young crew member didn’t show up and in desperation, he was asked to paddle. He agreed and was thrilled when they came in second. Then to make it even more exciting, the winning canoe had touched the buoy and was eliminated, boosting Wendell’s crew into first place. Wendell never tires of telling the story, the first and only time he competed in a regatta and boasts of being undefeated. Actually, the sports Wendell enjoyed most were water skiing at Keehi Lagoon and sailing from the Waikiki Yacht Club.
After attending Oregon State College and the University of California, Wendell followed his father into the real estate business where he had an extremely long and successful career. His first position was with Bishop Trust; he then went on to develop large scale real estate projects including the 3,500 acre community, Mililani Town, the 5,000 acre Sea Ranch in Northern California, and the 1,400 acre resort, Wailea, on Maui.
For fifteen years, Wendell co-managed Chaney & Brooks Company, one of Hawaii’s largest property management and commercial brokerages. He also served as Chief Investment Officer for Kamehameha Schools (Bishop Estate) and was responsible for the Trust’s six billion dollar portfolio and real estate assets. Wendell has managed many large companies, and has provided services to clients in Hawaii, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines, and the mainland U. S. A most impressive resume to say the least! But only a partial one. He is now a real estate and business consultant.
Since joining the OCC, Wendell has shared his vast knowledge with the Club, first serving on the Building and Grounds and Finance Committees. He has been a member of that committee on and off throughout the years and continues to this day. His forte being in the realm of budget and finance, he has made invaluable contributions in these areas, helping to guide the Club through difficult times. Wendell has served three terms on the Board of Directors, working his way up through various positions and until serving as President in 1995.
Farsighted, knowledgeable, and possessing good judgment are some of the qualities that Wendell possesses and has generously shared in the many positions he has held on the Board or the various committees on which he has served.
Quiet and unassuming, Wendell says he was very surprised when he was approached by Historical Committee Chairman Tay Perry and quietly informed that he had been nominated for this most esteemed honor of Life Membership. He considers it an honor to have received the distinction.
Aside from his active participation on the Long Range Planning Committee, Wendell continues the long tradition of Sunday breakfast on the Koa Lanai with his “old buddies,” although the number has dwindled over the years. Nevertheless, each week it proves to be a special event.
Board of Directors
1991 Coordinating Director Buildings and Grounds
1992 Assistant Treasurer, Coordinating Director Buildings & Grounds
1993 Treasurer, Coordinating Director Finance
1994 Vice President Operations
1996 Assistant Treasurer, Coordinating Director Long Range Planning
2003 Coordinating Director Finance
2004 Coordinating Director Long Range Planning
2005 Coordinating Director Buildings & Grounds
2006 Coordinating Director Long Range Planning
2007 Coordinating Director Long Range Planning
2008 Coordinating Director Long Range Planning
2019 Coordinating Director at Large
2020 Coordinating Director Historical Committee
2021 Coordinating Director Member Relations Committee
Long Range Planning Committee
1951 1st Place Boys 17
OCC Cribbage Tournament
2015 1st Place with Wendell Brooks III