Tag Archives: Hawaii

Highlighting the Pau Hana Years

by ʻUluʻulu Project Assistant, Sidney Louie


ʻUluʻulu has recently completed digitizing the broadcast videotapes of Pau Hana Years, the popular Hawaiʻi Public Television series produced by the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education and the Hawaiʻi Public Broadcasting Authority. Branded as the television show “for and by the senior citizens of Hawaiʻi,” the series, hosted and produced by Bob Barker and later Charlotte Simmons, aired on KHET-TV for 16 years beginning in 1966 through its final episode in August 1982. Celebrating the older population of individuals and in groups and communities, the program profiled kupuna who told their life stories, showcased their talents, engaged in lively activities, and shared their cultural knowledge. 

Nearly 200 episodes are now available online. Shot on location across several islands, these episodes cover a wide range of special interests, such as baking Portuguese bread in a traditional brick oven at Makawao, Maui; planting kalo in Keʻanae, Maui and Wainiha, Kauaʻi; cattle ranching in Waimea, Hawaiʻi; celebrating the Molokaʻi homestead with a hoʻolauleʻa at Kalamaʻula; and participating in a hukilau at Kualoa, Oʻahu. The studio interviews are  just as lively. Some memorable episodes include Hawaiian music performances by legends Alice Namakelua, Charles K.L. Davis, and Ray Kinney, Hawaiian quilt displays by Deborah Kakalia, and a slightly boozy cooking demonstration by Chef Titus Chan and special guest Julia Child. Most importantly, the program captures the lives of a generation born at the turn of the 20th century under political and economic challenges. The series recorded their stories of personal struggles and achievements, preserving them for the next generation of viewers.

Recently we interviewed producer Joy Chong-Stannard about her days working on set of Pau Hana Years

When did you work on Pau Hana Years, and what was your role there?

Joy: My work with Pau Hana Years began in the early 1980s and lasted for about two years. This was at the tail end of the show. I was just beginning my career as a producer/director/editor and worked with longtime producer Charlotte Simmons. She had previously worked with Bob Barker, the show’s original host and producer of the program. After he retired, Nino Martin, the Executive Producer for the Culture & Arts Division at Hawaiʻi Public Television, took over the reins of the program, and he selected a new host, big band leader Del Courtney. 

How and why did you consider the series ground breaking?

Joy: Pau Hana Years was a groundbreaking production for its focus on Hawaiʻi’s multicultural community of senior citizens. It gave them a platform to express their concerns as well as to celebrate their contributions to our island home.  Many of the people featured are now considered cultural legends in our state, and we are fortunate to have captured some of their talents and stories on videotape and film.    

How has Pau Hana Years helped you grow as a producer/director? 

Joy: Working on Pau Hana Years provided me a unique opportunity to build my skill set as a filmmaker and television director. Before I started on the project, the series was shot on 16mm film. Portable video cameras were just coming into play in the late 1970s, and we were able to shoot a lot more footage on a lower budget. I was able to work with this new technology that made access to editing much easier. And, of course, it allowed for shooting multiple takes if needed. We also taped many segments in the studio, including musical numbers that required innovative sets and lighting on a very limited budget. We also used multiple cameras to capture the performers. 

(L-R) Larry Sichter, Joy Chong, Charles Peck, Charlotte Simmons, Nino J. Martin.

What were some memorable moments working on the show? 

Joy: During my time with the program, I was able to meet with many of the older generation living on the neighbor islands as well as some musical legends like Del Courtney who, for many years, performed at the Monarch Room at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. My first documentary that I directed and edited featured a farewell to the iconic old Halekulani Hotel before it was renovated into a luxury resort in the mid-1980s by its new owners from Japan. Capturing the memories of the older generation who used to patronize the House Without A Key restaurant at the hotel and from the many local musicians who performed there gave me a unique insight to that time and place that was Waikiki before the tourist boom that we are witnessing today. 

I find it somewhat ironic that, with the baby boomer generation nearing retirement, and the increasing population of older people in our state’s demographics, we don’t have more programs devoted to the older generation. Pau Hana Years was surely ahead of its time.

You can view video clips of Pau Hana Years here. To request specific episodes, please contact ʻUluʻulu Moving Image Archive. The Pau Hana Years digitization project was generously supported by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

50th Anniversary Tribute to Earth Day!

This essay and the accompanying digital video theme page were written and curated by Sidney Louie and Haunani Haia as part of their Spring 2020 Library and Information Science course called LIS 658 Archival & Special Collections Management. Sidney and Haunani are graduate students in the LIS program at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and are also Archive Project Assistants at ‘Ulu‘ulu.

“A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.”  – John James Audubon

When Earth Day was founded on April 22, 1970, environmental issues of pollution, depleting natural resources, and endangered species pervaded the news.  This global movement mobilized earth’s citizens to advocate regulatory legislation within their national and local governments.  Building the next generation of environmental stewards, educators developed curriculum and activities for community transformation.  Fifty years later, environmental protection issues are still being discussed with newer practices of sustainability, climate action, zero waste, and restoration.  

With a threat like the COVID 19 coronavirus pandemic, we are forced to re-evaluate our responsibilities to environmental sustainability. In the midst of this pandemic and enforced lockdowns across the planet we see the effects of less pollution being caused and the earth breathing again. Our connection and impact to the world is more powerful than anything else on earth. Today we see fish returning to the canals of Venice; views of the Himalayan Mountains in India which havenʻt been seen clearly visible in almost 30 years; and clean, clear skies in the U.S. and China. Although our fight for the environment is not over; a crisis like this helps to clear the fog of economic and social development. We all must do our part in protecting the earth and the environment for generations to come. 

The conservation efforts chronicled and recorded by our local filmmakers and videographers are available to view in ‘Uluʻulu’s collections in our Earth Day Theme Page.  These videos represent the wide breadth of Hawaiʻi’s natural resources. They show our interaction with the environment, reflecting Native Hawaiian culture with respect to indigenous plants, animals, land and water.  

May Earth Live : A Journey Through the Hawaiian Forest

The clips that we post are only about 10% of the full-length footage. So, if you find yourself wanting to know just how the rest of an interview or segment went in one of the clips, request the full-length video on the  “Ask an Archivist” button located at the bottom of every page on our website. If you click on that button, you can fill out the form.  Please indicate the title  name and number.  From there, we’ll be able to assist you in getting the full-length footage streamed directly to you.

Aloha!

This blog has been set up to document and disseminate information about the first
phase of the Henry K. Giugni Archives Project. I have been brought on as a
consultant to develop and write a report to act as a blueprint and guide for the
creation of the Archive. 

My report will include a survey of moving image materials throughout the State of
Hawai`i, recommendations on physical requirements for a new space, cataloging
practices, handling and preservation, best practices for digitization and metadata,
personnel needs, equipment and technical needs, and the dissemination of
materials to the public online.

A summary of the report will be published here at the end of September, 2009.

Please feel free to comment on my postings and leave your opinions about the
work being done on this important project.

For more information about me and what I do please visit the
Film & Media Archive  that I manage at Washington University in St. Louis.

Mahalo,

David Rowntree
Consultant for the HKG Archive