In 1982, when I was only 12, I made an audio tape of my grandfather, Noel, recounting some family history, including a story about his trip through Canada with the Hawaiian delegation on the way to the YMCA conferences.
It's been a learning process for me to get the recording off the cassette tape and into a digitized format that I can share, but I'm finally finished with it.
So, below is a YouTube video link of Noel telling the story, plus a transcript of the recording. I hope you find it interesting.
Noel: "In 1931 when I came over to America, when we arrived in Honolulu, about 30 young Hawaiian boys got on the boat. They were going to the World Conferences of YMCAs in Toronto and Cleveland. And so, I being by myself, I joined them. And, they were singing Hawaiian songs and everything on the boat from Hawaii to Vancouver.
"And, when we got to Vancouver, I stayed at the same hotels they stayed at. We were invited to a basket-- a baseball game and we sang at intermission -- at half time we sang Hawaiian songs in the stands.
"And then, we traveled on the same train, the Canadian Pacific into the Rockies, and I traveled with them. And we sang in the First Class section to amuse the First Class people on the train. And we got into the observation cars, you know, with the glass roofs.
"And then, when we got to the station for Lake Louise, we got off there as guests of the management, and we stayed one night at the Chalet at Lake Louise. In return for that, we sang on the terrace at sunset."
Haley: "And by then, you knew all the Hawaiian songs."
Noel: "That's right. And then the next day, we all piled into a bus, and they took us the 40 miles to the Banff Springs Hotel. And we stayed overnight there and in return for that we sang on the terrace of the Banff Springs Hotel.
"And when we continued, then, we had a special car on the train for us all the way to Toronto."