Many families spent “A Day with Duke” at the Bishop Museum Sunday.
Central to this special family day was the museum’s Duke Paoa Kahanamoku exhibit. It features an opportunity to “ride” a replica Duke surfboard, take photos with the legendary man, and to try to replicate Duke’s 1920 Olympic record in the men’s one-hundred meter freestyle swim with an upper body pedal exerciser.
“We’re trying to encompass the entire life of Duke,” said exhibit designer Michael Wilson, “what made him great, what made him famous, why he was what he was. In many ways, Duke was the ambassador, not just of aloha, but of Hawaii. He represented Hawaii from the transition, the Kingdom of Hawaii, to the State of Hawaii. Hawaii was best represented by Duke.
“Olympian, surfer, sheriff and media mogul, movie star, outrigger canoe paddler, everything that makes Hawaii great,” he said. “Duke was a part of it and was excellent at it.”
Moses Goods, the museum’s cultural educator, performed an excerpt from his Honolulu Theater for Youth production called “Duke.”
“In terms of how to start telling his story, the challenge was Duke was probably the most humble man you can ever read about, so it’s hard to tell his story from his point of view because he would never brag about himself,” Goods said. “He did all these accomplishments and amazing things, but he would never say ‘I did that,’ ‘I did this.'”
“A Day with Duke” also included live music, film screenings and food trucks. The Duke Paoa Kahanamoku exhibit is so popular, it’s been extended through February of next year.