Wood Craft

By Ben Wood

Saturday, November 17, 2001

UH TIM school honors
hotelier Bob Burns

Bob Burns, who began his ascent to the highest level of the world's hoteliers at the Kahala Hilton in the 1960s, was honored by 300 friends and UH Travel Industry Management officials Wednesday at the Royal's Monarch Room. Bob, who also taught at UH, received the TIM's Legacy in Tourism award. Chuck Gee, John Brogan, ex-Gov. George Ariyoshi, UH Prez Evan Dobelle, Tom Rohr, TIM Interim Dean Pauline Sheldon and TIM International head Ren Hirose spoke in praise of Bob. Others praised him in a video. Bob opened the hotel management door for women, placing many in key positions. Emcee Danny Kaleikini was hired by Bob at the Kahala, where he starred in his show for 30 years. He said Bob has a Hawaiian heart. Danny and Cathy Foy sang the "Hawaiian Wedding Song." Kit Samson's group with Gabe Baltazar, keiki hula dancers and pianist Paul Conrad performed. Bob was here with his wife, the former Janice Lam. He calls her "Lam Chop." Bob left yesterday for China to renovate a hotel with famed architect I.M. Pei ...

Ball raises $300,000

If Henry Akina's upcoming Hawaii Opera Theatre season is as successful as last Saturday's smashing Opera Ball, isle opera lovers are in for a treat. The smoothly paced ball, which raised $300,000 for HOT, was something for the sold-out crowd of 700 to remember. Chair Jill Friedman, Vice Chair Phyllis Lee and the Sheraton banquet team and chefs can take a bow. Carmen was the ball's theme. Quinn Kelsey's powerful rendition of March of the Toreadors had the guests shouting bravo. The UH student, a baritone, is in the HOT's Carmen cast. Also earning applause were soprano Lea Woods Friedman, Hawaii Opera chorus members, young and old, flamenco dancer Vanessa Chong and pianists John Robertson and Beebe Freitas. Guests danced to the music of Dr. T's band. During the evening, a veiled sexy, seductive, mystery Carmen, who had the charm and style of a Cathy Foy, flitted through the crowd. But that temptress couldn't have been our sweet, little Cathy -- or could it? Cathy chairs next year's ball ...

Surprise for Lani

Lani Fitzsimmons Kelly was totally surprised when she walked into a banquet room at 3660 on the Rise last Sunday and a crowd of more than 100 yelled "Surprise." She was so taken aback that "she started hitting me," said husband Mike Kelly, who planned the retirement party with 3660's owner-chef Russell Siu and his wife, Malia. Lani, a star in the United Airlines ticket office, was with UAL 37 1/2 years. Entertainment included singer-musicians Haumea Warrington and Mike Kaawa, followed by Pat Sylva and David Kauwili and then came the Hydrants, three firemen. Moani Gaddis, Kimo Mansfield and Mapuana Kalani danced hula and Kaai Kekaulike sang. Warrington's dad, Charley, got his cousin, Kelly, on stage and they sang Roosevelt songs. Both were All Star football players at RHS. Eben Kalaau gave the blessing and Ben Abraham was emcee ...

THE opening reception for Morton's of Chicago Nov. 27 at Ala Moana Center benefits the Symphony's youth education program. Call 524-0815 for $100 tickets ... Wednesday was the last night for the Hiram Olsen Trio at House Without a Key. Many friends said aloha ...

Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin in the streets
of downtown Honolulu during World War II, writes of
people, places and things every Saturday.
E-mail him at

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