Puka Puka Parades, June 1946, vol. 1 no. 3
Article about one of the three original honorary members of Club 100, Leslie Deacon
The Club 100 takes pride in dedicating this issue of the club organ to Leslie F. Deacon, the third member of the ORIGINAL three honorary members of the Club 100.
L. F. Deacon, secretary of Castle and Cooke, Ltd., and a half dozen other well-established corporations in Hawaii, was born in San Francisco on May 26, 1896.
In 1911 he was graduated from Berkely [sic] High School, and soon thereafter was employed by the Southern Pacific Railroad.
In 1917 after the United States declared war on Germany, he volunteered and later was sent to France with a medical unit of the U.S. Army, receiving his honorable discharge in May, 1919.
On February 10, 1934 he came to Hawaii, and on May 1st of the same year joined Castle and Cooke, Ltd., where he has been for the past 12 years.
Here is a champion of the youth of Hawaii! To many of you who have not had the pleasure of meeting Les personally, I recommend that the next time you see and recognize him, stick your hand out with a greeting and introduce yourself. I am ready to guarantee that you will like him immediately, and he will remember you from the first meeting so that when he sees you on the streets the next time, he will call you by your first name. His memory for names, even those tongue twisters, is phenomenal. I have heard him call out dozens and dozens of AJA names, even names of boys he met years ago.
For a man who hails from California, who has been in the islands for only 12 years, and who is only 50 years old, he has shown an unusual interest in the welfare of the young men of Hawaii of all racial backgrounds. Off-hand I cannot think of any other individual of his standing in the community who has so many mixed-group friends, except, possibly, Mr. Hemenway, Delegate Farrington, and Col. Turner. I have walked with him many a time, and have always been astonished at the number of people he knows. His aloha for the boys, especially AJA’s, is genuine. He enjoys and takes pride in working for them, and he treasures their friendship highly.
To come down to specific incidents of his interest in the 100th, I would like to point out a few facts. The writer was fortunate to be able to correspond with Les throughout the time he was away. Each Saturday afternoon for over three years he kept me posted on the happenings in Hawaii. In practically all of the letters there were mentioned incidents of his concern of some member of the battalion or his family. He was our contact man with
Delegate Farrington, and whenever dark clouds began hovering over the welfare of our outfit or its members, he brought this to the attention of our Delegate for help. No one asked him to do all this. His genuine regard for the boys and his open mind and democratic views kept him going. His weekends were always taken up with welfare work in bettering conditions here in Hawaii so that those boys coming home would find a better Hawaii.
Ask Suehiro, Akamine, Kajikawa, Nakata, Morikawa, and a few of the other boys who were here before the bulk of the 100th returned, of Les Deacon’s continued interest in our behalf. When the Club One Puka- Puka first started, and got permission to use our present club house premises, Les took it upon himself to look around and collect all available furniture gratis. Yes, most of the furniture in the club house came through his effort.
I have time and again read letters and cablegrams to Washington and to the various government agencies here in the islands where Mr. Deacon was plugging for us. His ways are quiet, he avoids publicity; that is the reason why so many of us are not cognizant of the great amount of good he has done for us.
He lives with his mother, an elderly, charming woman who has done a marvelous job of bringing up a son who is an idol to many of our boys.
If you are ever in need of some cheerful words and some laughs, go into Castle and Cooke, ask for Mr. Deacon, and tell him you have come in to hear his latest story. If you do not come out smiling, and if you are not impressed with his narrative ability, then it is time you saw a psychiatrist.
As this paper goes to press he will have started the second half of his first century. He became 50 on May 26th. Lots of luck to you, “Pop”, and the Club 100 joins me in saying smooth sailing, and Aloha to a grand guy and a damn valuable HONORARY MEMBER.