E. K. Fernandez is a man whose life has been jam-packed with “firsts.”
At the turn of the century he promoted the “first” giveaway, offering a camera a week to attract customers to his photo supply business.
He brought to Hawaii the “first” English motion picture camera and showed the “first” talkies in the Islands.
He pushed through the Legislature a measure allowing, for the “first” time, motion pictures on Sundays (providing they were educational and Biblical in nature).
His “first” Sunday motion picture? Something with Charlie Chaplin titled “Tillie’s Punctured Romance.”
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AS A candidate for the Legislature he had for the “first” time as part of his campaign his image projected on a heavy vapor of steam.
In 1905 as a first baseman he played on the “first” Hawaiian baseball team to tour Japan.
He also produced the “first” all-American circus to tour the Orient and brought the “first” ice show to Hawaii.
The “first” merry-go-round ever in the Islands was his creation—introduced in the 1920s at the Maui Fair.
And finally, included in his many circuses and carnivals and fairs throughout the years, E. K. Fernandez has introduced for the “first” time acts which have become world famous.
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BUT MOST and foremost in the mind of this master of the “first” are the children.
“Children are still my best friends,” smiled E. K. “be their friend and they’ll be yours.”
This is why E. (stands for Edwin) K. (stands for Kane) Fernandez is the 1963 “Father of the Year” in the field of entertainment.
Fernandez and his wife, Rose Alice, have eight children, 18 grandchildren and 113 great grandchildren—in addition to educating his eight, he put through school four nieces and nephews and is now financing the education of a Japanese student at the University of Hawaii.
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HIS FIRST child started school in 1911, making it 52 consecutive years now he has had one child or another under his educated wing.
“We cater to children in this family,” said Fernandez. “It’s the only way we can enjoy life.”
(Sunday Star-Bulletin and Advertiser, 6/9/1963, p. A16)