Actor Jack Lord was best known for his starring role as Steve McGarrett, head of a fictitious police unit in Honolulu, in the hit television series “Hawaii Five-O.” The popular series aired from 1968 to 1980, one of the longest running police series in TV history. Hawaii Five-O was the first TV series filmed entirely in Hawaii, showcasing the scenic beauty of the islands to the rest of the world. Every week for 12 seasons, fans followed the Five-O team as they investigated “organized crime, murder, assassination attempts, foreign agents, felonies of every type.”
Born John Joseph Patrick Ryan in 1920 in Brooklyn, New York, he took Jack Lord as his stage name to advance his career in theater, film and television. Marie, his second wife, was his biggest supporter, giving up her career in fashion design to devote her life to him.
Love for Hawaii and Its People
After the series ended, the Lords remained in Hawaii because of their love for the 50th State and its people.
In a 1980 interview before the final season ended, Jack Lord said, “People say to me all the time, ‘Do you like Hawaii? And I say, ‘No, I love Hawaii.’ My wife and I really have a deep affection for this place.
“One of our great joys is that we’ve been accepted here by the Hawaiian people. This year, they invited me – a Caucasian – to be grand marshal of the Pa‘u Riders in the Aloha Day Parade. This is considered an honor, even for Hawaiians. It was the first time in the history of the parade that a haole has been so honored, and one that I shall treasure as long as I live.”
He died in 1998; she died in 2005.
Jack and Marie Lord Fund Helps 12 Hawaii Charities
In 2006, the Hawai‘i Community Foundation and First Hawaiian Bank announced the formation of the Jack and Marie Lord Fund, with assets valued at approximately $40 million, that would benefit a dozen charities which were personally selected by the Lords. St. Francis Hospice was thrilled and very appreciative to be among the named charitable organizations.
“The Lords’ relationship with the Hawai‘i Community Foundation goes back many years to 1988, when they originally established the Jack and Marie Lord Fund,” said Kelvin Taketa, Hawai‘i Community Foundation President and CEO. “Jack and Marie recognized Hawaii’s many pressing needs and the important role that private philanthropy has in meeting those needs and responded very generously.”
In addition to St. Francis Hospice, others benefiting from the fund are: Hospice Hawaii; Salvation Army, Hawaii Division; Eye of the Pacific Guide Dogs; Association for Retarded Citizens of Hawaii; Bishop Museum; Variety Club of Honolulu Day School (now known as Variety School of Hawaii); Hawaiian Humane Society; Hawaii Lions Eye Foundation; Honolulu Academy of Arts (now known as the Honolulu Museum of Art); USO of Hawaii; and Hawaii Public Television.
A Connection to St. Francis Hospice
It was the late Foodland founder Maurice “Sully” Sullivan, the first chairman of St. Francis Healthcare Foundation, who introduced Jack Lord to St. Francis Hospice. In addition to monetary donations, Jack Lord also donated personal and family items to the St. Francis Hospice Rainbow Thrift Shop that operated for a few years in Puck’s Alley, near the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
St. Francis Hospice has earmarked the annual gifts from the Jack & Marie Lord Fund for a unit named in honor of Jack & Marie Lord at the Clarence T.C. Ching Villas on the St. Francis Liliha campus.
Hawaii Five-O Lives On
Hawaii Five-O has a second life in syndication and in the reboot of the TV show that stars Australian actor Alex O’Loughlin as Steve McGarrett.
Glory Days of Pan Am
Pan American stewardesses of yesteryear took to the skies, leading glamorous, worldly lives.
The first Hawaii-based stewardesses were mostly Nisei (second-generation Japanese), many with college degrees and hired for their Japanese-speaking ability, to serve Japanese nationals traveling on the international routes.
During the glory days of jet travel, the stewardesses, single and attractive in their 20s, flew around the world on Boeing 707s in 12 days. Their around-the-world trips took them from Honolulu to such exotic, far-away locales as Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Rangoon, Calcutta, New Delhi, Karachi, Beirut, Teheran, Istanbul, Vienna, Frankfurt, and London.
The airline had strict standards of dress. Stewardesses wore red lipstick, red nail polish, their hair no longer than shoulder-length, pill box hats, gloves, stockings, high-heeled shoes, and girdles under their stylish designer Pan Am blue-gray uniforms.
Back then, flying was an elegant experience, when prime rib and rack of lamb were carved on carts, caviar was served in silver tureens, and cherries jubilee was the featured dessert course. Beverages were served in glasses and crystal, with entrees on fine china by Noritake. Passengers dressed in their finest attire, and the cabin crew spoke five languages.
With stopovers in foreign cities, there was always time for sightseeing and a lot of shopping. It was a time when the dollar went far; in Japan, it was worth 360 yen.
“Hong Kong was the place to order tailor-made suits, mahjong sets and jades. Bangkok had temple rubbings, Thai silk and princess rings. New Delhi had hand-woven Kashmir rugs; Istanbul had Oriental slippers and beautiful demitasse,” says Betty Santoki, rattling off the specialty gifts to bring back from each location. “Beirut, for gold jewelry and camel-skin hassocks; London, known for china and fine linen; Australia for sheepskin rugs; and Rio de Janeiro for crystal, turquoise and topaz jewelry,” she adds.
World Wings Keeps Us Together
Pan Am flew its last flights in 1991, but the fondness for “the most prestigious airline in the world” still exists.
“Pan Am brought us together, World Wings keeps us together,” says Mae Takahashi, who flew with Pan Am for six years and served as the World Wings International-Hawaii Chapter’s president from 2005 to 2011. “Our aim is to preserve Pan Am’s legacy and to strengthen the bonds of friendship that we made when we flew, while continuing Pan Am’s commitment to service and charity.”
World Wings International, the philanthropic organization of former Pan Am flight attendants, was officially chartered in 1959 and now has 2,400 members in 30 chapters in the United States and Europe, as well as affiliated members-at-large. The Hawaii Chapter received its charter in 1965 and has 92 members.
Hawaii Chapter Supports St. Francis Hospice
While the parent organization supports CARE, St. Francis Hospice became the designated local charity in 1990, when members found that many of their families and friends had received the care and services of St. Francis Hospice. The program touched even closer to home when one of World Wings’ own members was diagnosed with a terminal illness and needed hospice care. Saddened by the loss of a dear friend, there was solace knowing that World Wings was supporting a truly worthwhile cause.
“Not Your Ordinary Garage Sale”
Over the years, World Wings members collectively have accumulated a lot of stuff, and the idea for a “Not Your Ordinary Garage Sale” was born, featuring a varied assortment of their international finds, as well as jewelry, clothing, household wares, holiday decorations, sporting goods, books, toys, DVDs, CDs, Pan Am memorabilia, and more. The first garage sale was held in 2006 in a school cafeteria; garage sale committee members were amazed by the long line of bargain-hunters waiting for the doors to open. Over the years, the garage sale has grown in popularity and moved to a larger location.
Through its garage sales and other events, World Wings has raised more than $120,000 for St. Francis Hospice; $11,647 was raised from the 2014 garage sale.