Clarence “Mac” Maki

Posted On November 17th, 2010 -


Age 86, of Honolulu, died in Arcadia Retirement Residence in Honolulu on October 21, 2010. He was born on June 13, 1924 in Kilauea, Kauai, and is survived by wife Edna; children David, Laura Chong (Norman), Rosalind Vance, Russell (Francine), and Anne Roberts (Craig); sisters Virginia Cuskaden and Ethel Funasaki; grandchildren Kai Vance (Sophie), Nicole Vance, Heather Takeshita (Wayne), Michael Chong, Cherie Roberts, Cameron Roberts, and three great-grandchildren.

Mac moved to Honolulu in 1939. He served in the Army from 1948-49. After his discharge, he worked for the City and County of Honolulu as a construction inspector. Then he moved into the Office of Information and Complaint, where he served as Complaint Officer under Mayor Blaisdell and Mayor Fasi. He retired in 1979. Mac worked in the movie industry from 1958-91, assisting on the sets of Blue Hawaii; Girls, Girls, Girls; None But The Brave, and Fists of Steel. He also worked on the TV series Hawaii 5-0, Fantasy Island, Magnum PI, and Jake and the Fat Man.

Outside of work, Mac was best known as a surfing photographer. In 1950 he designed a waterproof plastic housing for his camera, secured it to his board with suction cups, and paddled into the surf at Waikiki. For 55 years he photographed tourists, beachboys, celebrities, residents, and everyone else who surfed in Waikiki’s famous waves. Many of his photos appeared in the Advertiser and Star Bulletin, and three of them were grand prize winners in the Kodak International Newspaper Snapshot Contest (1957, 71, 74). Mac took his most famous photo on August 24, 1954, a shot of Duke Kahanamoku on his 64th birthday. The Advertiser printed the photo the next day, the last photo ever taken of Duke surfing. Recognized by surfers around the world, that photo has appeared in many books on surfing and is the cover photo of Duke of Hawaii by Joe Brennan. Mac’s photo collection today is a treasure of surfing history.

Mac joined Waikiki Surf Club and helped with the Makaha Inter-national Surfing Championships, which WSC started in 1953. He served as the contest director from 1959-61. Realizing that there were no divisions for young surfers in the Makaha contest, Mac founded Surf Club Hawaii and held an annual contest at Queen’s in Waikiki exclusively for children and young teens. Mac also shared his love of surfing by teaching hundreds of children and adults to surf during his many years on Waikiki Beach.

Celebration of his life will be in the Maunakea Chapel at Borthwick Mortuary on November 20. Visitation at 9:00 am and service at 10:00 am. Scattering of his ashes will be on November 21 at 9:30 am in Waikiki. “Love Never Faileth.”

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran