This oral history interview is a project of the Historical Committee of the Outrigger Canoe Club. The legal rights of this material remain with the Outrigger Canoe Club. Anyone wishing to reproduce it or quote at length from it should contact the Historical Committee of the Outrigger Canoe Club. The reader should be aware that an oral history document portrays information as recalled by the interviewee. Because of the spontaneous nature of this kind of document, it may contain statements and impressions that are not factual. A full transcript is available below the video.
An Interview by Barbara Del Piano
April 7, 2017
BDP: We’re here in the Board Room of the Outrigger Canoe Club, it’s April 7th, 2017, and I’m Barbara Del Piano (BDP), a member of the Outrigger’s Historical Committee. And one of our projects is to interview longtime members and those who have made important contributions to our Club. Today it is my great pleasure to interview Tim Guard (RTG). Aloha, Tim.
RTG: Aloha Barbara. Nice to be here.
BDP: Tim, before we get into your affiliation with the Outrigger, can we get a little background? Where were you born?
RTG: Certainly. I was born in Honolulu at Kapiolani Maternity Hospital in 1940. I’ve been a lifelong resident of the islands. I spent some time away in college and in the military. I was in the United States Navy. But my business career has been Hawaii working for Dillingham, working for myself, and now presently and for the last 35 years for an iconic company named McCabe, Hamilton, and Renny.
BDP: What kind of business is that?
RTG: We’re part of the logistics network that gets trade from the west coast to Hawaii. We’re a stevedoring company. Many people don’t understand that term, but basically our personnel, our long shoremen, have the basic mission of loading and unloading ships.
BDP: I see. And when did your family come to Hawaii?
RTG: Well, it’s an interesting story. My dad’s side, he came as a youngster in the late 1800s with his father, my grandfather, Reginald, who had been hired by Captain Matson to be his port agent in the town of Hilo. And they came from the Bay Area. And when Grandpa Reginald got adjusted to life in Hilo, he realized that Captain Matson was a bit of a skin flint and wasn’t paying him enough money, at least in his estimation. So he took a couple of other jobs as well; one as a Presbyterian minister, and another as a meat cutter for the Hilo Meat Company that was owned by the Shipman family, a very well-known family on the Big Island. My dad was born in the 1890s, attended Punahou, graduated from Punahou, went to work for McCabe in 1913, and literally died at his desk 58 years later.
BDP: Wow. That’s …
RTG: My mom’s side of the family; she was a gray lady, but she worked for the American Red Cross, and she came to Honolulu in the mid-1930s and my dad and Edith met and were married and I’m the sole child of that marriage.
BDP: I see. How interesting. What part of the island did you grow up?
RTG: On what would be called the Eastern side, Portlock Road.
BDP: Portlock Road. And I assume you went to Punahou?
RTG: I did. For twelve years. Even though their best efforts were to get me out of there, but they succeeded when I graduated.
BDP: And were you involved in any sports when you were at Punahou?
RTG: Not for the school.
BDP: Not for the school.
RTG: I just didn’t connect with the organized sports in that fashion. However, I was very competitive as a swimmer and as a surfer.
BDP: I see. And I assume that you’re married, and what can you tell us about your wife and how you met?
RTG: Yes, I’m married to the beautiful Devon Guard. I met her … Golly, it’s been 40 years. We’ve been married for 39 of those 40 years. She caught my eye immediately. She was a very attractive and well regarded model in town; a fashion model. And she did television work and a number of other things. The first time I saw her I was smitten and that’s the end of the story. Or the beginning.
BDP: And you have children?
RTG: Not by this marriage, but two step-kids and two kids by my first marriage.
BDP: I see. And do the children belong to the Club?
RTG: Do they?
BDP: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
RTG: My son Matthew does, yes.
BDP: I see. And when and why did you join the Outrigger?
RTG: Well, my dad loved the Club. It was in its old location down in the middle of Waikiki and we were always down there. In fact, Sunday dinners were almost a routine and he knew that I wanted to be a member, and on my 12th birthday, he gifted me with my membership in the Outrigger. So I’ve been a member since I was 12 years old and if you do the math, that means I’ve been a member for about, it would be, almost 65 years.
BDP: Oh my, that’s a long time. And did you surf?
RTG: Oh, yes. I was an avid surfer. An interesting story; my dad knew of my desire to learn surfing and he said, ‘Son, we’re going down to the Outrigger,’ on a Saturday afternoon, ‘There’s a gentleman that I’d like you to meet.’ So we went down and as I recall, we met under the hau tree between the Outrigger and the Moana Hotel and that’s when I was introduced to Duke Kahanamoku and he gave me my first experience on a surfboard. He took this huge plank that looked like an aircraft carrier and without any effort at all carried it down to the water and I must’ve looked like a little frog on this huge board and we went out and we probably surfed for an hour or two and it galvanized my feelings about surfing. The neat thing about that is five years later, I was the junior champion of Hawaii.
BDP: Oh, the junior champion surfer of Hawaii.
RTG: Surfer of Hawaii.
BDP: Oh my, that’s quite an accomplishment. And did you paddle?
RTG: I’ve paddled since I was in my early teenage years and I think I’ve paddled in every division that exists between the age of 14 and super senior men.
BDP: Did you paddle the Molokai?
RTG: I’ve paddled it 19 times.
BDP: Nineteen times?
RTG: Nineteen times.
RTG: And also, four times on a craft called a surf ski. So if you threw that into the mix, I’ve been across that channel under human power 23 times.
BDP: Twenty-three times. Wow. Did you do any paddle boarding?
RTG: I did. I was a paddle boarder as well and I guess my significant accomplishment there was that I won the junior division, in fact, I think I was the only junior in the Catalina Channel to Manhattan Beach Race back in the early 60s. That was a really endurance test. That was a 34 mile paddle board race.
BDP: Oh my goodness.
RTG: Let me just say it wasn’t any fun.
BDP: How about kayaking?
RTG: And kayaking. Kanaka Ikaika series for many years and as I mentioned a moment ago, four times across the Channel on a surf ski.
BDP: Wow. Did you do any coaching?
RTG: I have. I was head coach back in the 70s and complementing that I was Club captain for two or three years.
BDP: That’s a big job, isn’t it?
RTG: It’s become more so, believe me. With the number of crews, the number of paddlers who are involved, it’s a real, major undertaking.
BDP: How about the Winged “O”? Were you by any chance invited to join?
RTG: Yes, I was. I was admitted into the Winged “O” society, if you want to call it that. I don’t remember the exact date. It seems to me it was back in the mid 80s. And, of course, what a wonderful group of people to be recognized as being part of, dating back to guys like Dad Center and the Duke himself and all of the early heroes that we remember fondly as little kids. They were our inspiration and our guiding light.
BDP: Well, aside from sports, did you get involved in any committees?
RTG: Yeah, too many to recollect. Served 12 years on the board and-
BDP: Twelve years.
RTG: -and a year as President of the Club.
BDP: And the President. What year were you President?
RTG: It’s on the wall over there somewhere. I don’t recall. Probably 1987 (1996), I would guess. Sometime around that.
BDP: I see. Did anything especially exciting happen when you were President?
RTG: The good thing is that no, nothing really exciting happened. I say that because we had a great general manager by the name of John Rader.
BDP: Ah, yes.
RTG: And John, what a gentleman he was. He was one of the truly great Club managers and he was with us for many years and he happened to be Club manager when I was President and he made my role as President seem almost superficial because he was so on top of things and did such an excellent job.
BDP: Yes, he was great, wasn’t he? So sad to lose him. Well are you still involved in any committees or any part?
RTG: Indirectly. My big role right now is I’m an ex-officio member of the board of directors of the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation. I’ve participated with ODKF for many, many years. I served 12 years on their board of directors and two terms as president of ODKF and I think played an instrumental role in getting the Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame started.
BDP: Oh, that’s tremendous.
RTG: And I’d add parenthetically that I just learned yesterday that I’m being inducted this year into the Waterman Hall of Fame.
BDP: Oh, how wonderful is that?
RTG: That’s pretty cool because all my heroes are in there.
BDP: Do you spend much time at the Club these days?
RTG: No, not as much as I used to. Business is a calling. I have a couple of other things that I can tell you about. But that and family take up a good deal of time. I get down here probably three or four times a week. I like to swim, I like to relax, I like to visit with my pals in the bar and hang out. But not like I used to. Not as much as I used to.
BDP: Do you live close by now?
RTG: Fifteen minute drive.
BDP: I beg your pardon?
RTG: Fifteen minute drive away.
BDP: I see. Do you attend the Club social functions?
RTG: Yeah, generally so. The Luau’s a favorite of mine, for example.
BDP: Uh-huh. And how did you feel about the Club moving from Waikiki to Diamond Head?
RTG: I thought it was great. I thought it was a terrific move out of Waikiki. The congestion, the parking, the crowded conditions, it was obvious which direction things were going and I know that we left a lot of tradition behind and long history at the middle of Waikiki, but coming out here was a blessing. We have this beautiful Clubhouse, we have our own largely private beach in front of us, we have easy access to the ocean. You know, I think we have a site here hopefully that in perpetuity that many of us are enjoying currently and many are yet to come that will enjoy the marvelous facilities and the hospitality and the history of this Club.
BDP: What do you think the future holds for the Club when our lease comes up?
RTG: Well, that’s anyone’s guess, Barbara. In the ideal sense, and I’ve been part of the effort to work those negotiations with the Elks Club and our lease came up for renewal and we had to pay a hefty increase on the land rent and my memory doesn’t serve me exactly as to what date the lease expires, but until we secure our future by working some sort of an arrangement with the Elks Club, our future is uncertain forty years or so out. So for posterity, we’ve got to get that job done.
BDP: Yes, that’s very important isn’t it. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any stories to tell?
RTG: Oh, there’s stories I could tell but I’m not going to tell you them. Most of them involve pranks that we were involved in when we were little kids and the bane of the manager’s existence. We all took our leadership in that department from a wonderful guy by the name of Pat Wyman and I won’t get too far into that, but Pat was a naughty boy and he taught a lot of us to be similarly behaved, let me put it that way. But you know what it is, Barbara, what the Club is, is it really, and I’m sure you’ve heard this from many other people, it’s like a second home to us. I’d like to think that the majority of my close friends are members of the Outrigger. The sports that I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in and represent the Club, including all those crossings of the Molokai Canoe Race, service to the Club as a board member and President and my involvement with ODKF and the Waterman’s Hall of Fame. And there was another thing I’d like to recognize and that’s the great employees that we have.
They are wonderful people and I just heard that Marilyn (Kali) was interviewing Domie (Gose) and Domie’s a treasure. He did and continues to do so much for this Club. So it’s a family of members and longterm employees who … We’re all, I think, united in a common purpose here. And that’s the perpetuation of our friendships and the sports that we compete and the Hawaiian lifestyle that we’re so fortunate to enjoy.
BDP: Isn’t that true? Isn’t it amazing that a man from South Carolina would be the one to found this Club?
RTG: I didn’t know that.
RTG: To be honest with you. South Carolina?
BDP: I believe it was South Carolina. Alexander Hume Ford.
RTG: You could tell me that he was from some foreign country, I wouldn’t know the difference. I thought he was just Mr. Ford.
BDP: Did you ever have a chance to meet him?
RTG: Now come on Barbara, I’m not that old.
BDP: You’re not that old. Okay, I’m sorry. I guess I’m the only-
RTG: You tried to slide that one in. I know what you were doing there. I caught you on that. Ah-ha, I caught you.
BDP: I’m the only one left I think that does remember him. Oh, gosh. Okay, well thank you so much Tim for participating in this interview. I’m sure it will make a wonderful addition to our archives. So I guess we’ll sign off for now.
RTG: Well, if I could add one more thing.
BDP: Oh, please.
RTG: I just want to … You’ve been the hub and spokes of the Historical Committee for many years and I regard the Historical Committee as a Club treasure. You’ve done a wonderful job of keeping records, locating memorabilia, exhibiting trophies, keeping the history of this organization alive for future generations to share. And if there’s a standing committee more important than the Historical Committee, I don’t know which one it would be. You guys are the best.
BDP: Thank you very much. We appreciate that and we try our best. It’s really important.
RTG: No, trying’s not even in your lexicon. You do your best.
BDP: Thank you so much, Tim.
RTG: Thank you.
Outrigger Canoe Club Honors
1988 Elected to Winged “O”
2017 Elected to ODKF Waterman Hall of Fame
2020 Elected to Life Membership in the Outrigger Canoe Club
Service to Outrigger Canoe Club
OCC Board of Directors
1977 Coordinating Director, House
1991 Coordinating Director, House
1992 Coordinating Director, Long Range Planning
1994 Vice President, Activities
1995 Vice President, Operations
Building & Grounds Committee
Long Range Planning Committee
Canoe Racing Committee
Canoe Surfing Committee
Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation Board of Directors
2007 Vice President
2008 Vice President
2015 Director, Emeritus
2016 Director, Emeritus
2017 Director, Emeritus
2018 Director, Emeritus
2019 Director, Emeritus
2020 Director, Emeritus
Molokai Hoe Canoe Races
1965 1st Place
1969 2nd Place
1970 3rd Place
1971 2nd Place
1972 6th Place
1973 4th Place
1975 1st Place
1976 7th Place
1977 1st Place
1978 4th Place
1979 1st Place
1984 3rd Overall, 1st Masters
1985 21st Overall, 2nd Masters
1987 9th Overall, 1st Masters 35
1988 13th Overall, 2nd Masters 35
1990 14th Overall, 1st Masters 35
State Canoe Racing Championships
1956 Boys 15
1958 Boys 17
1960 Senior Men
1976 Senior Men
1977 Senior Men
1981 Men Open 4
1984 Men 35
1985 Men 35
1990 Men 35
1991 Mixed Masters
1992 Men 45
Macfarlane Regatta Championships
1955 Boys 15
1956 Boys 15
1958 Boys 17
1965 Senior Men
1972 Senior Men
1976 Senior Men
1977 Senior Men
1978 Men 35
Makaha Surfing Championships
1957 1st, Junior Surfing Division
1957 1st, Junior Paddleboard Division
1957 1st, Senior Paddleboard Division
1983 1st, Men 40-44
1984 1st, Men 40-44
Swim Mileage Award
1987 1,000 Miles
Winter Tri-Ocean Surfski Races
1987 6th, Masters A
1988 6th Masters A
1989 3rd, Masters Men
1990 3rd, Masters Men
1993 5th Masters Men
1994 5th Masters Men
January Surfski Race
1994 2nd, Men’s 50+
Bankoh Molokai Challenge
1987 6th, Surfski, Veterans Division
1988 4th, Surfski, Masters Division
1990 27th, Surfski, Overall
Club Cribbage Championship Tournament
2010 1st place with Ian Guard