Welcome to the United Church of Christ - Judd Street
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PRECIOUS LEGACIES: Luau Memories

Additional memories are printed in the August Mercury newsletter. The present and past editions of the Mercury are available on the church’s website.

Our Luaus…we came a ‘L – O – N – G’ way since 1957
UCC-Judd Luau Archives; Herb Lum, Historian and Archivist

In the beginning, we would drive around the Kahala residential area hoping to find coconuts on the trees or fallen on the ground for us to gather as much of the 300 coconuts needed to make our haupia. They then husked then cracked in half (must know the unique way of way to do this) to have them ready to be grated by “motorized grating machines” (invented by a member of our church) they are then uniquely squeezed to provide us the milk to make our haupia!! We also had to have the milk frozen-stored in four large tubs for a week at a member’s market place freezer then having them defrosted a week later to make our notoriously ono haupia.

Our first imu was located on the front lawn…site of our present sanctuary. Then at a couple more areas on our campus before settling at our present location. Do you know that we’ve done such a project consecutively longer than anyone…??? (57 years!),,,kalua 14-19 pigs in one imu each year?!

We started our luau with sit-down (3 seatings each) luaus in 1957 under a large E.K. Fernandez tent that covered much of our parking lot. Ticket was priced at $3.50 for adults and $1.75 for children (believe it or not). Co-Chairpersons were Mr. Richard Lee and Mr. Sheong Hee with Mr. Clarence Hohu of Kaumakapili Church as their able advisor. Each seating had a capacity of 525 patrons. There was a large stage that allowed for “top notch” Hawaiian entertainment for the diners.

In 1985, after 38 years of “under-the-tent,” sit-down luaus, we began our “takeout” only luaus.” We are grateful for Edison Chong and Wendall Chu to have consented to co-chair our last 25 luaus in such an efficient manner! Much thanks to them for their dedication on this annual event…THANKS AGAIN!!! –EDISON AND WENDALL!!!!

We have the largest, longest and best luau in town!


SN Lum, Kitchen Crew for Workers’ Meals

These three men were the “infamous” juice makers (under the tent): Tom Amimoto, Clyde Pang and Alfred Yee—the 3 musketeers.

Additional related side comment from another observer; Somehow, that ice cold juice was always “really good,” especially when you had to run around for 3 and sometimes 4 seatings serving the guests.


Stanneth Yuen, Grounds Co-Chair and Missions Committee Representative

…watching my father (Dennis Yuen) in the imu pit and seeing him cut the pig.


Sit Down Luau Recollections

Gwendolyn Yuen Nishimura. Luau Volunteer for Many Many Years

Before memory fades, a few recollections of the annual original sit-down Luaus from 58 years ago that ended in the 1990’s. As my specific details relating to my late father Kenneth C. W. Yuen and the pineapples for the Luau were fuzzy. I began asking others familiar with him as to their recollections. In the process, the pineapple history remained imprecise, but so many wonderful memories of the hard work, good times and experiences of the original eat-all-you-want sit down luau was shared.

Herb Lum recalled driving to somewhere at the Dole Cannery Iwilei site to pick up and transport the pineapples which were obtained at a discount as my father was an employee of the Dole Pine Company. My mother remembered the pick-up location was at the Isleways pier directly across of the barges. The pineapples from the Dole Lanai plantation were offloaded from the barges that transported from the island by my father who was the crane operator at the dock. Herb Lum also recalled that the late Alfred Yee created the original pineapple cutter wager corer resulting in 10 wedges. (It will still be used for our 58th Annual Luau). The pineapple with the crown was very festive and attractive witting on the long tables under the large tent in the parking lot.

Although today’s take-out Luau pineapples still must be cut and cored, there are no more coconuts to be gathered. Herb remembered having to drive around looking for coconuts. Over 200 coconuts were needed then.

S. N. Lum recalled the late Aunty Genoa Keawe’s band and halau who would frequently come and perform. Aunty Genoa would end with her signature song with a sweet note that was held for an incredible time. There was always a tremendous applause at the end.

Finally, Benson Young had a humorous memory to share of an early Luau preparation.


Benson H. W. Young, Longtime Luau Worker

My funniest memory of a past luau many years ago—was when the church sent a crew to the Waimanalo U of H Ag station--in which live pigs were to be picked up and then transported to the slaughterhouse. It would be less expensive than the dressed pigs. However, it turned out some of the pigs staged an escape and had to be chased down and rounded up. Dressed pigs for all Luaus since then.


Anita Barend, Haupia Co-Chairperson

My first memory of our church luau is one of going along with my parents (Gus and Bette Lum) to make the haupia. I was about 8 or 9 years old, so some quick math says it may have been the first two years of the luau. Since we kids were so little, we could “clean up” by getting the leftover haupia on the pans to eat. Clean up, I did! Then, my stomach told me “NO MORE!”


Connor Asato, Former Imu Fire Lighter

When uncle almost killed us (Connor Asato, Aaron Tom, and Wayden Chu) in the imu pit while lighting the fire…
Luau Committee Comments: We are glad that you are all still around to help us out.

Member Directory Updates

United Church of Christ-Judd Street will be celebrating our 100th anniversary in 2015! Founded on September 15, 1915, as the “Second Chinese Congregational Church” with 65 charter members, UCC-Judd Street’s church family has grown over the years to 264 members. We are beginning the process of updating our membership files for our 100th anniversary Member Directory and we need your help! If you are a member of UCC-Judd Street, and you Pray, Participate and/or Pledge with us, please fill in this form with your current information. We are asking that each individual member (not one per household) return a completed form, even if your information has not changed. Please be sure to check the appropriate box if you want your information included in next year’s member directory.

Forms can be mailed to our church office, or better yet, bring it with you to our Sunday worship service. There will be a place to leave your info sheet.  If you have any questions, please contact Donna Chang or call Joy Kesler in the church office at 536-8418. Thank you!

Membership Status Response Form