William “Bill” Cook was voted to Life Membership in the Outrigger Canoe Club at the Annual Meeting on February 28, 2005. Bill joined the Outrigger at age 12 in 1935 and was active in the Club for many years, steering canoes, serving on committees, playing volleyball and canoe surfing.
Prior to World War II, Bill coached the Junior and Senior men’s paddling crews with Duke Kahanamoku which remained undefeated from 1943-1948. The crew consisted of Bob Rotz, Don Denhart, Gilbert Carr, Bill Casey, Tommy Thomas and Harry Shupak. From 1963-1964 Bill headed the OCC Beach Services before the Club moved to its present site in 1964.
During the 1950s Bill teamed up with Lawrence Ackerman and for seven years was a Gold or Silver medal winner in the Territorial Volleyball Championships. He was also a member of the Club’s championship 1947 6-man volleyball team and won the 1950 Club Doubles championships with Ackerman.
In 1972 Bill joined the Canoe Racing Committee. For the next 16 crossings of the Molokai Channel during the Molokai Hoe, Bill was responsible for the paddlers aboard the escort boat. He also made four crossings with the OCC women in the Na Wahine O Ke Kai. In 1972 and 1975 Cook was given the Outstanding Contribution to Canoe Paddling awards at the Winged “O” Athletic Awards Banquet. During regattas, Bill was in charge of all the food and nourishment for paddlers.
In 1975 Bill became part of Cline Mann’s staging team for the Outrigger’s Honolulu Marathon Aid Station on Kahala Avenue. He worked in the Aid Station for 25 years.
Bill was instrumental in reclaiming the koa canoe Ka Moi from the Ulu Mau Village where it had been on loan for a decade. The beach boy canoe was remodeled to make it seaworthy again and paddled to the Macfarlane Regatta in 1978. Later it was hung in the Bar.
Bill also served on a number of committees, including the Board of Directors.
Board of Directors
1980 Coordinating Director Entertainment Committee
1981 Assistant Treasurer
Admissions & Membership Committee
Canoe Racing Committee
Judges of Election Committee
Public Relations Committee
1944 1st Place, Open Men 4
1945 1st Place, Open Men 4
1945 1st Place, 2-Man Canoe w/Harry Shupak
1946 Steersman, 1st Place OCC Senior Women
Club Volleyball Championships
1947 1st Place, 6-Man Volleyball Championships
1949 1st Place, Open 4 Men Championship
1950 1st Place Club Doubles Championships w/Lawrence Ackerman
Winged “O” Athletic Awards
1972 Outstanding Contribution to Canoe Racing
1975 Outstanding Contribution to Canoe Racing