Precious Legacies

He Did It Again!
by Mavis Chu Chong

Growing up at UCC-Judd Street church brings back fond memories of good times that can never be replaced.

I remember having the best Sunday school teachers like Mrs. May Look, Mrs. Hazel Young, Mr. Pedro Choy, and best of all Mrs. Margaret Young. Sunday school started off in a garage that now sits our imu area. Every Sunday, dad used to gather all the neighborhood kids and they all followed him to church - as if he was the Pied Piper. One Sunday, I looked over my shoulder and counted twelve children in all marching down Liliha Street to church. It was a wonderful sight to behold. The only thing missing was a flute that dad didn’t know how to play. He did it again!

Christmas time was the best because Santa Claus would surprise us as he came down the road to the garage (our classroom) now the imu pit. My younger sister was so scared of him, she cried and hid not knowing it was dad all along. He did it again!

Later, Sunday school classes were held in the torn down McKenzie Hall (mansion) where the Administration Building now stands. We did so many different activities there. One time, I remember setting up the Haunted House in the basement. The laundry chute incident was the BEST! Two guys – Rodney Yee and Richard Young tested out the laundry chute. (I won’t tell you how, but it made us all laugh, and the laundry chute worked!) Saving bones after deboning the pigs from the Luau were used to decorate the Haunted house, too.

As a member of the Youth Choir directed by Mrs. Barbara Matsumoto and pianist Mrs. Buzzy Chang, we, along with about 60 something delegates from our church went to the West Coast for CONFAB in 1971. We worked and practiced hard as we sang to spiritual, sacred, contemporary, Hawaiian, Samoan, and Maori songs and danced the hula, coconut Samoan dance, and Maori stick dance to various churches on the Mainland. It seemed as if we sang and danced for our supper at the different churches. We made lasting friendships on that trip and still continue our friendship with the Youth groups from San Francisco. It was the first time we kids left the “rock”. The only one missing was our dad, but when we came home from that wonderful trip – our house was spotless! It was like coming home to a Hotel! He did it again!

I played volleyball for UCC. The coach was Mr. Herbert Lum (Herbie). Practices were difficult but the games were more stressful. My mom never saw me play but dad was always cheering me on. It was fun and UCC’s volleyball team was the BEST!

Luau was the highlight activity of the Year. One year it was held on my birthday. Mom said that I was lucky so many people attended my birthday party, even though I didn’t invite anyone. I miss the luau under the BIG TENT. After smelling like a PIG all day, it was nice to go home that afternoon and scrub all the smell off and don a pretty muumuu with fragrant leis and flowers to mask the scent. Seeing everyone in their colorful prints really was beautiful after days of intense labor. Dad always sold the most luau tickets every year. (Check your records, Luau Committee.) He was so happy to greet the people he sold tickets to. He always bought the leis for Aunty Joan Lindsey and Aunty Genoa Keawe, the head entertainers. I often watched him present the leis with a thankful smooch. He always thanked them and appreciated their coming to kokua. He did it again!

After retiring from Pearl Harbor, dad helped clean toilets and cleaned the candles and other odd jobs at UCC. He was also the wedding director and was a “Stand-in Father” for many brides who needed one. At night, he would take his “billy club” and sometimes his grandsons would tag along to check the doors and secure the church. (I’m sure mom was worried, but Dad had faith that the Good Lord was watching over him.) He did it again!

Dad left too soon. We miss him dearly everyday. His love for his family and for the Lord gives me strength to persevere and continue his work. He always said, “Hard work never killed anyone, you just get a little tired.” My dad, Henry C. H. Chu, is now with the Gracious Lord and he is happy to serve the Lord at imu time in Heaven with all his favorite buddies like: Harry Chung, Sylvia Chung, Ruth Pang, Alfred Young, George and Ann Ching (my god-parents), and Clarence Hohu, to name a few that comes to mind. Dad reminds me of the verse: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified: do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 He did it again!

Additional comments: Mavis became a member in 1965 and has been a member for 50 years. When reminded that she is a special guest for our November Surprise Luncheon, this is what she wrote:

“Wow I feel so ancient, like a dinosaur, has it been that long? I received my first and only Bible on July 19, 1964 from Nellie Lum. That's the only Bible I have been using. Even took it with me when I lived in Japan. Kinda marked up but that's okay.”