Hotel unveils portrait of general
A portrait of former Army chief of staff Gen. Fred Weyand
, a handsome former warrior, was unveiled at the Hale Koa Hotel on Wednesday evening. Weyand, who served in Korea and later commanded the 25th Division in Vietnam, was a driving force to have the hotel built. He wanted to make it possible for service personnel in Asia and elsewhere to have a hotel room in Waikiki that they could afford for R&R with their families and loved ones.
Weyand credits his friend U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye for helping to make it happen. Inouye asked First Hawaiian Bank boss Don Horner to organize a reception for the painting unveiling, and, like a good soldier, Horner got right on it. Horner also was a fine emcee. If he gets tired of banking, he can always turn to that.
The first speaker was retired Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki, who was born in Lihue, Kauai. He served under Weyand in Vietnam as a first lieutenant. Shinseki boarded a plane in Washington, D.C., Wednesday morning and arrived here the afternoon of the event. He spoke of Weyand's accomplishments and flew back to D.C. the same day. Those Kauai soldiers are tough ...
Inouye was up next. He told how his friend Weyand would burst into his Senate office when he needed to talk about something. Inouye said building the Hale Koa was a priority for Weyand. Then Weyand spoke. He turns 91 this month, but he stood ramrod straight and spoke eloquently, including humorous incidents. He started out saying he was going to talk for about 10 minutes and that if anyone needed to go to the bathroom, now would be the time to do it. No one left.
COURTESY HALE KOA HOTEL
Fred Weyand, left, and U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye enjoyed the banter at a presentation in Weyand's honor on Wednesday.
He said Inouye once took him to see President Kennedy
, and the senator told JFK that "Weyand handles Congress for the Army." JFK replied, "I'd hate to have your job." But Weyand was more than serious as he talked about the first deaths -- seven dedicated soldiers -- under his first battlefield command in Korea. The old soldier's pain showed ...
Getting into the Hale Koa, Weyand said he was not the only one behind the project and named others who gave their support. He said Inouye's "fingerprints and hand prints" were all over it. The hotel was built in 1975 with PX funds. It didn't cost taxpayers a dime. The second tower went up in 1995. All of the rooms are the same; no suites for generals. The rates are determined by rank. Privates pay the least and generals pay the most for the same room. Before winding up his talk, Weyand praised John Jefferis, the hotel's GM for the past 13 years, a former soldier for 20 years. Jefferis and his staff were at their best at the reception. Before guests moved on to the food-and-drink area, Danny Kaleikini gave the blessing, speaking and singing in Hawaiian. Danny said he served in the Hawaii National Guard as a young man and thought of making the Army his career ...
COURTESY RIC NOYLE
At age 88, Robert Spicer remains active, working, running and training with weights.
Psychologist, 88, gets 'older worker' award
Psychologist Robert Spicer
, the youngest 88-year-old I've had the pleasure of knowing, has been selected one of 50 of America's "Outstanding Older Workers" as part of the national "Experience Works, Prime Time Awards." Now in its 10th year, the program strives to raise awareness of the contributions made by older individuals and to break down barriers associated with the hiring, training and retention of older workers. The honorees have been invited to Washington, D.C., for events and celebrations Oct. 3-6. Robert's hanai daughter, Jana Hall
, will make the trip with him. Sen. Dan Inouye
, closing in on 83, will greet the fellow octogenarian.
Robert is Hawaii's eldest working psychologist. His Hawaii clinical psychologist number is 003, issued in 1957, the third issued in the then-territory. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Colorado in 1958. Besides his work, Robert runs three times a week and trains with weights three times a week at Clark Hatch, where he holds the Lifetime Fitness Award.
He was born into a modest but happy Canton, Ohio, family and joined the Army at 23 in 1942. Robert rose from private to captain and earned five battle stars fighting in the Pacific. Bob's outfit trained here, and he decided this was where he was going to live someday. He was recalled during the Korean War and served as a psychologist ...
, who sold the Star-Bulletin in the streets of downtown Honolulu during World War II, writes of people, places and things in our Hawaii. E-mail him at email@example.com