140 year of Shriners

140 year of Shriners

Sunday, February 14, 2010

History of Shriners & Waikiki Moana Surfrider,

The "First Lady" was one of the first hotels in Waikiki and opened it's doors March 11, 1901 with 75 rooms. It cost $150,000 to build and was the most elaborate hotel of the time in the Hawaiian Islands. The first floor housed a billiards room, saloon, main parlor, library, office and reception area. It was built in the colonial style that was popular during the era.

The first guests of the hotel were a group of Shriners and paid a whopping $1.50 a night for their rooms. The hotel was eventually sold to the Matson's Navigation Company (who later opened the Royal Hawaiian Hotel), and expanded. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese forces Hawaii into martial law. Today it is hard to imagine the barbed wire stretched along the beach. Where the Royal Hawaiian was leased out to the US Navy, the Moana remained a guest hotel. It was however usually full with servicemen or people on the island due to the war.

In the late 1940's and 1950's the Moana became the "place to be" in Hawaii. Regularly scheduled flights from the USA made this possible for the "high society" of America.

The hotel was sold to the Sheraton Corporation in 1959. It has since expanded and just recently converted to a Westin Property.
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