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Hanauma’s Friends Honor Cynthia Bond

The late Cynthia Bond

The park theater at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve has been renamed Cynthia M. Bond Memorial Theater, and the Friends of Hanauma Bay made it official Aug. 28 when the sign went up over the entrance.

The sign honors the dedicated public servant and Hawaii Kai resident who worked long and hard to get the park’s visitor center complex up and running. Bond, who died of cancer in 2008, worked for the project during her three-decade career in the city Department of Human Resources, and she continued supporting and protecting Hanauma Bay after she retired — as a park docent and as president of the Friends.

The visitor center opened in 2002, after Bond and her team met with community stakeholders more than 100 times to get the concept right. It was first proposed by her husband Robin of the parks department as a way to reduce reef damage by educating visitors about the park’s sensitive coral shelf before they went down the hill to explore it. Now retired, Robin Bond is back on the Friends board “to make sure all their work doesn’t move backward.”

“Quiet frankly,” planner Ralph Portmore testified before the City Council in July, “it would not have happened without her. (This is) a highly fitting way to memorialize that reality.”

Under Mayor Jeremy Harris’ Vision program, Cynthia Bond also championed such East Oahu landmarks as the Pinky Thompson Canoe Halau, the Wailupe Park pedestrian bridge and the gateway entry signs for Hawaii Kai and Aina Haina.

“Cynthia was a wonderful woman,” stated fellow Hanauma volunteer Fred Barnett after the council’s renaming resolution passed. “It is time that all of us must make sure that the theater is maintained and given proper respect.”