From Fishponds to Blaisdell Center

When people first learn of this research, one question they inevitably ask…why are you pursuing this?

It is those that this Memorial was dedicated to, our war heroes, that this project is all about.

Here’s how this came to be.

I first learned of NBC’s memorial history (and I prefer to call it NBC, not Blaisdell Center, and definitely not HIC) in early 2010 while researching historic fish ponds in Honolulu.

Fishpond at Old Plantation, current site of Blaisdell Center
Fishpond at Old Plantation, current site of Blaisdell Center

I came across an article from the 50’s about the ponds at the Ward estate’s Old Plantation, and it referenced plans to construct a war memorial municipal auditorium there. I knew that’s where the NBC is today, so I looked into it and quickly learned that NBC had indeed been dedicated as a war memorial. Having attended events there since childhood, and from a military family, I was ashamed I hadn’t known that. So naturally, I had to learn more.

By 2012, I was convinced NBC was a forgotten war memorial and I realized I couldn’t live with myself if I did nothing. The goal was to find the missing memorial plaque and see NBC formally re-dedicated as a war memorial. It took another year before I got enough nerve to start contacting relevant agencies. In the meantime, a friend and I continued to research the subject.

Today there’s several of us working on this project, and we’re looking for more, especially since yours truly now resides on the mainland.

Our main priority now is oral history collection. Those who remember are elderly. But another priority is education…besides being an important part of Hawaii’s history, it’s just plain wrong to forget a memorial. We hope this website will help on both fronts.

TH