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This Day in History for August 22


The County of Hawaii pension board, of which Merrill Carlsmith is chairman, set up its new office in the county building next to the office of the industrial accident board, with Mrs. V.B. Harrel as secretary. Harrel began her new duties Friday.

A meeting of the board is planned for as soon as Carlsmith returns from a business trip to Kona, where he has been for the last few days. A number of pensions will be taken up for consideration. Harrel served as secretary at Puumaile Home for the past four years, and has had much experience in office administration work.


Groundbreaking for a new church and parking lot has been scheduled for 11:45 a.m. Aug. 30 by the Hilo Methodist Church on church property at the corner of Waianuenue Avenue and Kaiulani Street.

The new structure, to be built by the Isemoto Contracting Co. under a $73,850 contract, will seat an estimated 180 persons, said its minister, the Rev. Robert Fiske. It will be completed in about five months. The multi-purpose unit at the same general location has been serving as the sanctuary. It will be converted to educational use, Fiske said. A covered walkway will connect the existing structure with the new concrete block and lava rock church. …

For many years, Methodist work in the Hilo area was conducted exclusively with Korean people, Fiske said. The first congregation was organized on an informal basis on the Olaa Plantation in 1910 by a local preacher named Choi. It was carried on from 1914-18 by a Mr. Cho, also a preacher. In 1918, services were conducted by Kim Yee Jay, the first ordained Methodist minister in Hilo, at his home near Lincoln Park.

The following year, they were also hosted on the second floor of the old Aloha Hotel (recently occupied by Dot’s Babyland) at Haili and Keawe streets. In the 1920s, after the Rev. K.M. Lee came to Hilo, property at the corner of Haili Street and Kilauea Avenue was purchased and a church building constructed and dedicated there in May 1930 as the “Korean Methodist Episcopal Church.”…

In 1953, the move was made to purchase the present land as part of the Shipman Estate.


NASA Astronaut Guion S. Bluford Jr., an Air Force colonel who has spent 314 hours on two trips into space aboard the U.S. space shuttle, will be a featured participant in this year’s Space Pavilion at the Hawaii County Fair in Hilo next month.

Roger Ulveling, director of the state Department of Business and Economic Development, and Lloyd Sanborn, Hilo Jaycee chairman for the Hawaii County Fair, joined in announcing Col. Bluford’s participation.

“We’re very honored that NASA selected Col. Bluford to take part in this year’s Space Pavilion,” Ulveling said.

Bluford is presently in training for a NASA launch scheduled in 1990, and will be a featured speaker at the Space Theatre of the Space Pavilion each night of the county fair (Sept. 13-17).

This Day in History is compiled by Brandon Haleamau for the Tribune-Herald using newspaper archives. Whenever possible, the news accounts provided in this column were taken verbatim from the newspaper.


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