On October 19, 1983, the County Council of Hawaii renamed the Civic Auditorium, the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in honor of their hard work and efforts to promote athletics.
The Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo is a major multi-purpose complex used for various community event, such as college and high school basketball games, pageants, and graduation ceremonies.
The Civic Auditorium was named after two outstanding people, Ung-Soy "Beans" Afook and Richard "Pablo" Chinen.
Ung-Soy Afook was born on October 14, 1901, in Hilo, Hawaii where he lived as a young child. At age six or seven, Mr. Afook realized that he was interested in and performed well in various kinds of sports. These included baseball, football, track, swimming, and his favorite sport basketball. During his high school years, Mr. Afook decided to become an athletics coach. He became head coach for the Hilo High Vikings basketball program in 1950. During his 15 years of coaching there, his teams won 13 consecutive Territorial Basketball Championships.
Richard Chinen was born February 13, 1919, in Hilo, Hawaii and grew up in the Waiakea district of Hilo. He became a physical education instructor and promoted sports in the community. In fact, he organized the Pony Baseball League in Hilo. Although Mr. Chinen supported other sports, boxing was his favorite. His contributions to the community as a coach, champion boxer, manager and promoter are outstanding.
A two-day celebration of George Lanakilakeikiahiali'i Nā'ope, iconic kumu hula and resplendent showman renowned the world over, was held Nov. 6-7, 2009, at Hilo's Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium, where the Merrie Monarch Festival that he helped to found got its start. His cremated remains were wrapped in kapa and placed in an 'umeke at the front of the Civic, and legions of 'ohana, haumāna, and friends danced and sang in honor of him. Merrie Monarch Hula Festival is an international Hula competition in Hilo, Hawaii. The festival starts with the Ho'olaule'a on Easter Sunday at the Civic Auditorium and ends with a parade and final evening competition on Saturday. Hula and Hawaiian events are held around Hilo town during the week of the festival to allow visitors and locals to experience the beauty of Hula dance and hear the wonderful Hawaiian melodies and chants.
Jerry performed here on
5/20/90 Jerry Garcia Band