Diamond Kekona plays ukulele in London, 1919.


Diamond Kekona, one of the five Hawaiians with “The Bird of Paradise” playing a two-year contract.

It’s a far cry from Piccadilly Circus, London, to Honolulu, but the faithful reproduction of a former life in the Hawaiian islands as depicted in Richard Walton  Tully’s “Bird of Paradise” is charming Britons who seek a welcome change from fog and storm.

Diamond Kekona, a Honolulu lad, son of Richard Kekona, has written a letter to his family telling of his success with the company. Taking the part of one of the cane cutters in the play, Kekona writes  he received $50 a week. The other Hawaiians in the show include Lily Moa, a hula dancer; John Moa, William Kamoku, Joseph Puni and John Kolomoku.

Diamond Kekona is one of the tenor singers, and he declares he has a two years’ contract with the show, which opened in London September 11. The Hawaiian men and women, for several are married, were pleased recently to receive a visit from H. G. Winkley of Honolulu, who told them all the news of their folks back home, and who went out with them on a sightseeing trip in London.

The Lyric theater is one of the  largest in London, and the advertising value of the play is possibly incalculabel. The scenery is a reproduction of Puna and Kilauea, Hawaii, and of Waikiki beach. One of the London music sellers has issued “The Bird of Paradise Waltz,” dedicated to Miss Dorothy Dix (“Luana”).

[For more on Diamond Kekona and the letters he wrote to his father, see  here.]

(Star-Bulletin, 11/29/1919, p. 24)


Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Volume XXVII, Number 8617, Magazine Section, Page 10. November 29, 1919.

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