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HTMC Beginnings: The 1910 Constitution

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This new series of articles is provided by the Books and Records Committee who have been working to organize the HTMC archives.

Beginnings: April 5th 1910

Upstairs at the Luciano Peña Memorial Clubhouse, there are three filing cabinets filled with the Records of the Club since it was organized in 1910.  I came across the Club’s Constitution in those cabinets and this article is about that Constitution.  

The Club was formally organized on April 5th, 1910 in “the rooms of the Chamber of Commerce” in Honolulu. Alexander Hume Ford is credited with starting the Club and he was the Corresponding Secretary at its inception.  A hundred charter members signed and paid $5 each in Club dues, a Constitution was adopted, and the Club was born! Delegates of the SIerra Club of California and the Appalachian Club of New England were on hand to welcome the Club into existence.

What I found at the Clubhouse was a twelve page document which included the Club’s Constitution. It was printed in the Club’s inaugural Bulletin in July of 1910. It begins with a title page listing the Club’s nine Directors and detailing the contents of the document. The first Club President was William Richards Castle Jr.  whose grandfather,  Samuel Northrup Castle, sailed  to Hawai’i in 1836  with the eighth company of missionaries from the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. He managed the financial affairs of the mission before resigning in 1851 to found Castle and Cooke with A. S. Cooke.

The second page of the document is a summary of the Club’s raison d’etre or reason for existence by Guy H. Tuttle, Club Historian.  

The following quotes reference trails and tramping (as hiking was called):

“Mountain trails on Hawaii and Oahu have been promised the club as well as a number of rest houses for campers.”

“Around Honolulu the Outing Committee Is arranging for regular week end (not a typo) walks, exploring parties, botanical outings and mountain climbing tramps.”

“An appropriation has been made to assist in preparing proper maps of all the roads and trails on the islands, and to secure information that will lead to the cutting of others that are necessary or advisable. These trails will be properly blazed with club markers so that no one may lose his way.”

“Mr. Wm Castle is about to construct a trail in extension of the one heretofore made by him to the head of Pauoa Valley. The new trail will skirt the southerly base of Konahau nui (not a typo) to the crest back of Maunawili, thence to the top of Mt. Olympus, thence down the ridge between M?noa and Palolo.”

“Mr. Chas Desky is constructing a club trail up to the Nu’uanu-Palolo cave.”

Pages three through eleven contain the actual Constitution of the Club. The Object of the Club was written as follows:

“To encourage the intimate acquaintance with outdoor Hawaii: 

1.  By promoting knowledge of and interest in objects of natural interest in the Territory and the ways and means of getting there;

2. By the construction and maintenance of trails and roads leading to the same and of rest houses incidental thereto; 

3. Through promoting interest in in travel, more particularly by foot, through the mountains of Hawaii;

4.  Through enlisting the cooperation of the people and the government in preserving the forests and other natural features of the Hawaiian mountains, and generally by publication and otherwise to convey information concerning the object of the Club, both to residents of the Territory and to persons residing abroad.

5. By acting in cooperation with other Clubs or Associations having similar objects, as well as with Government and other Tourist Bureaus, and to exchange privileges therewith.”

Next, the Constitution contains the original Standing Rules. Regarding Record keeping, the document states:

“Records of Mountain climbing in Hawaii shall be kept. Suitable medals, bars or awards may be presented to those who accomplish unusual feats in trail or mountain pioneering.”

After the Standing Rules  is a list of approximately 151 Charter Members including 22 women, 6 Junior  Members and 12 Juvenile Members, and a list of the five Club Committees and their members .  One charter member’s name caught my eye: Prince Kalaniana’ole. That’s Prince Jonah K?hi? Kalaniana’ole to be exact. Thirty nine years old at the time, Prince Kalaniana’ole  was a U.S. Congressman representing the Territory of Hawaii, a position he held for nineteen years.

The final page of the Constitution lists the five committees and their members. The five committees were: 

Publication Committee, Trails Committee, Outings Committee, Information Committee and Ladies Committee. Today none of our committees have these names.  Some  Committee Members have their place of residence listed with their name. These place names  include: “Kauai, Maui, Lanai, Hawai’i, Hilo, Kahana, Lahaina, Molokai, Honolulu and Puna”. 

The document finishes with a page of two advertisements: one for Sparkling water: “After the day’s tramp refresh yourself with sparking Sauebrunnen (this is a typo and should have read: Sauerbrunnen, a small town in Germany known for its acidic sparkling the water). The other advertisement is for the Honolulu Photo Supply Co and reads: “Before the day’s tramp, call on the Honolulu Photo Supply Co.”

Enjoy your next tramping outing and be sure to wish the club Happy Birthday on April 5th!