Duke Kahanamoku Statue in Waikiki

Duke Kahanamoku Statue in Waikiki

When you visit Waikiki Beach, make sure you take the time to find and admire the Duke Kahanamoku statue. You’ll find it just to the west of the Kuhio Beach Hula Mound on the beach side near the intersection of Uluniu and Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki. (See this Google Map.)

In case you don’t know who this outstanding Hawaiian surfer and Olympic athlete was, I’d encourage you to see my post on who was Duke Kahanamoku. Watch the video interview with this legend.

The last time I was on Oahu, I learned an interesting fact about how Duke Kahanamoku was named. As you know Duke is not a traditional Polynesian name.  In fact the letter D is not even in the original Hawaiian alphabet. Here’s what I learned from a plaque by the Honolulu Harbor.

When Queen Victoria’s second son, the Duke of Edinburgh, visited Honolulu on July 21, 1869, little did he know that his arrival would result in the naming of one of the world’s greatest athletes. On that same day, Duke Kahanamoku’s father was born at the residence of Princess Bernice Pauahi Paki Bishop, and was named “Duke” by the princess to commemorate the occasion. The Princess’ gift was duly passed down to the first-born son of the next generation.

Isn’t it interesting to find out what’s in a name?

  1. Hey Dave – that’s a fantastic idea. Andy told his mum about it today. We’re going to try to arrange to wave at her from the webcam as she watches in England.

    Thanks for sharing the idea in the comments!

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