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Picture Brides Project

Aloha e,

AQ and the leadership of the ILWU spent considerable effort to make real the idea of equality among its members. AQ and former ILWU Local 142 President, Eddie Lapa would often take a noon swim at Ala Moana Beach Park. They would discuss union problems and concerns. We interviewed them at the beach and heard a remembrance about how cultural differences between ethnic groups needed to be recognized and understood.

In 1986 local historian Barbara Kawakami and Women’s Studies Professor, Alice Chai introduced us to their project on picture brides. They had collected stories and photos from a sampling of women who came to Hawai’i as picture brides, with marriages arranged by families in which the bride and groom only knew each other from exchanged pictures. The stories told by women from Japan, Okinawa, and Korea, contained a range of human emotions from sadness to joy and often humor!

You will find these and other stories on our website:

To support the Ah Quon McElrath documentary, you can write a checks to “UH Foundation” (noting “AQ McElrath Fund” on the memo line) and mail it to: University of Hawai`i Foundation, P.O. Box 11270, Honolulu, HI 96828. Or you can donate online at: .

Mahalo Nui Loa,

Chris Conybeare,

Executive Producer

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