Memories of the first 100th Inf. Clubhouse

Author: Ruth Kunishige
Puka Puka Parades, September 2005, #05/8

Ruth Kunishge recollecting her husbands fond memories of the formation and early years of the club.

Susumu (my husband) saw the front page of the morning newspaper with Dr. Denis Teraoka, president of the 100th Infantry Veterans Club, informing the public of the clubhouse’s need for repairs. Dr. Teraoka was our family dentist for over 40 years. Susumu said to me he is going to make a donation. He felt he should help when they asked.

Susumu then related to me some of his fond memories as a member of “Club 100,” which was the first time I heard him talk about it

While Susumu was stationed at Camp Shelby, he was asked to join a club. The purpose of the club was after the boys were discharged from the army, they would have a place to meet their comrades. The monthly dues would be $2.

After Susumu was discharged, he met his friend who was staying at the “clubhouse.” It was at the former Nuuanu Gakuen (Japanese school), which is where Foster Garden is now located. There were some veterans renting classrooms for bedrooms. Each person paid $7.50/month for the unfurnished space. Some of the boys who stayed there were Mikio Kamei (Co. A and Susumu’s roommate); Cherry Kunieda; Yoshitsugu Nishimura (Co. A); Nakano, who was working at Lewers & Cooke lumber yard; Nikaido (Co. D); a fellow by the nickname “Jesus” (Co. D), (Suehiro cannot remember his first name). Naoji Yamagata was in charge of the clubhouse.

They improvised and devised things to provide for their own comfort. One of the members brought a 55 gallon drum and set it up outside of the building. Some of the members brought scrap lumber to use as firewood for hot water. The mop utiliity [sic] room was converted into a shower room, so they all had hot water for their showers.

In the early 1950s, Club 100 (as it was then called) purchased two lots on Kamoku Street. This was the beginning of their clubhouse dream. The building plan was drawn by Onodera Architect and the general contractor was done by Charles Winsted, who was well-known in his field. The company that Susumu was working for installed the ceramic tile in both restrooms. He was proud that he was able to take part in the construction of the clubhouse.

When the building was completed, volunteers were needed to build the tile walls along the three boundary lines. Susumu and Goro Sumida helped by working on Saturdays. Susumu can’t remember who else came and helped. Goro Sumida is proud the walls he helped build are still standing.

After Susumu retired, he became an active member of Company A. He was asked to be their treasurer and he filled this position for 20 years. Takahashi asked if Susumu would like to join the golf club. He was very happy to meet new friends. Not very many members are left, but he is one of the die-hard players—no improvement—but he looks forward to his golf days, and I was told not to make any appointments on that day.

This is one of the reasons why the 100th Inf. Bn. Vets, clubhouse means so much to him. It has given him a good, useful and happy life with his comrades.