Day By Day: 1936

Wednesday, February 26th: The Coolidge arrives in Honolulu; Chaplin lunches with George Bernard Shaw. 

According to ship manifests for the SS Coolidge, only one day was spent in Honolulu before the ship (including the Chaplin party) continued on to Yokohama. This was Chaplin’s second visit to Hawaii. He vacationed here with Edna Purviance in 1917.

CC waves from the ship. Valet Frank Yonemori is on his left.
Between Charlie and Paulette is her mother (& chaperone), Alta Goddard.
The couple are welcomed by Hawaiian swimmer, Duke Kahanamoku.

At 12:30 that afternoon, Chaplin had arranged to meet George Bernard Shaw for lunch at Lau Yee Chai, a Chinese restaurant in Waikiki. Shaw had arrived at Honolulu a couple of days earlier aboard the SS Arandora Star. They had arranged to meet at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and then go to the cafe together. Shaw arrived at the hotel by car. Not finding Chaplin waiting for him, he walked up and down the floor impatiently. Finally, he hailed a taxi and left word that he would meet Chaplin at the cafe. Unbeknownst to Shaw, Chaplin had been at the hotel all along. He had been strolling with Paulette and her mother in the hotel garden when Shaw arrived.

Here’s the rest of the story from the San Bernardino Sun:

Charlie eventually strolled out of the hotel, his white hair crisply unruffled, and entirely at ease. After inquiring his way to the cafe, he leisurely made his way there, and sat down with Shaw without offering any apology for his tardiness. 

“Where’s your family?” inquired Shaw, referring to Paulette Goddard and her mother, accompanying Chaplin on a South Pacific cruise.

“Oh, they decided to visit the beach,” Chaplin answered.

After the luncheon Chaplin left to join Miss Goddard on the beach. 1

Reporters who later talked to Shaw agreed that his usual cold-steel wit and sarcasm had come off second best against Charlie’s nonchalant treatment. …

Earlier today the English and American funnymen met aboard the steamer Arandora Star in Honolulu harbor, where Chaplin arrived today on the President Coolidge

Shaw was going through his daily exercises. Chaplin, passing by, waved at him and shouted greetings. Then he said to those about him: 

“Isn’t he cute?”

The venerable wit interrupted his “daily dozen” to wave cordially back at Chaplin. 2

Chaplin and Shaw in Honolulu.

Stay tuned for more in my Day By Day: 1936 series.

1They must have spent time with Duke Kahanamoku since a photo exists of the three in a boat on Waikiki Beach. 
2San Bernardino Sun, Feb. 28, 1936

Other sources:
Ship manifests for SS President Coolidge via
“Second Visit of GBS To Hawaii” by Edwin North McClellan, 1954

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