On Duke Kahanamoku’s 60th birthday, August 24, 1950, the Outrigger Canoe Club celebrated with a day of volleyball, canoe races, swimming and other ocean activities that Duke participated in. That evening, more than 500 members attended a steak fry and entertainment in honor of Duke’s birthday.
Bob Fischer, on behalf of famed artist and Outrigger member Bill Erwin , presented Erwin’s portrait of Duke in oils and on black velvet to OCC President Wilford Godbold. The portrait hung in the old Club for many years, and is currently on display in the General Manager’s Office.
The painting is signed by Erwin who was one of the major velvet Hawaiian style painters. He was a student of and protege of Edgar Leeteg. His work is often compared to that of Tyree.
It measures 20 x 24 inches and in painted on Cantoni’s Italian Velveteen.
An article in the Honolulu Advertiser captured the presentation of the portrait to Duke: