Fall 2010 - Feature
47th Annual Father Bray Football Classic
Larry Cundiff, Sr. ’55
Members of the Cundiff family gathered at the pre-game reception: left to right, Patti, Larry ’55, Erin ’15, Heidi, Travis ’13, Rob ’82 and Tyler ’11.
Headmaster Dr. Val Iwashita ’67 congratulates the 2010 Father Bray Classic honorees: Alfred Wong ’48, Ray Hatate ’49, Larry Cundiff ’55, Tommy Oye ’55 and Ken Yonamine ’55.
Ray Hatate ’49Ray Hatate ’49 is proof that a person’s good deeds lead to rewards in life. After graduating from ‘Iolani School where he played football under Coach Father Bray, he attended Huron College in South Dakota, yet didn’t know what he wanted to major in. He saw a notice on a bulletin board posted by a stranger who was seeking blood donations for his father who needed a transfusion. Hatate answered the call and met the stranger named Carl Edd. Carl was a physical therapist who graduated from the University of Iowa. Meeting Carl Edd opened doors for Hatate who eventually transferred to the University of Iowa where he met his wife, Lillian Ikeda, and returned to Hawaii to become one of the first physical therapists here. He maintained a private practice for 31 years, and also was an athletic trainer at ‘Iolani under Coach Eddie Hamada ’46. He and Lillian have been married for 54 years and have a son, Mark Hatate ’76, and a daughter, Dana Matlin, and five grandchildren.
Tommy Oye ’55
Ramond Tanouye ’55, left, catches up with classmate Tommy Oye ’55.
Alfred Wong ’48
Alfred Wong ’48 stands with wife Laurie and grandson Erik Willis.
Ben Almadova ’51 greets friends at the Father Bray Classic reception.
Ken Yonamine ’55As a student at ‘Iolani, Ken Yonamine ’55 played baseball and football. He and his family have been involved with baseball ever since, returning to coach over the years. Yonamine graduated from the University of Hawaii with a degree in engineering and then served in the army and retired as a full colonel. He went on to a 38-year career with the Honolulu Board of Water Supply and retired as the Head of Land Division. He was an ‘Iolani intermediate baseball head coach and also assisted his son, Dean ’83, who was the previous ‘Iolani varsity baseball head coach. Originally from Olowalu, Maui, Yonamine currently coaches his grandsons who play in the Manoa Baseball League. He and his wife Helen have two other sons, Mark ’87 and Todd ‘88, and seven grandchildren.
Humble in Life
By Ray Hatate ’49I recently visited the National Memorial Cemetery at the Punchbowl and read the words on Father Bray’s gravestone.
May 26, 1879 – January 9, 1953
Private, Foot Soldier
Hawaii National Guard
I played baseball and football under Father Bray, but there was not a word about his role as Coach Bray at ‘Iolani School. I couldn’t help but think, “Humble in life an humble in death.” The plain marker reminded me that how an individual lives his life is the real monument he leaves behind.
In 1947, ‘Iolani played Kapaa High School in a post-season football fame on the island of Kauai. The Raiders lost the game – 14 to 13. It was a tough loss. To add to the pain, we discovered someone had broken into the lockers at the stadium and cleaned out our wallets.
Coach Bray learned of the incident and called for a team meeting later that day. He told us to line up and he asked each person the same question.
“How much money did you lose?”
“Twenty dollars, sir,” I said when my turn came.
Without hesitation, he pulled out a 20 dollar bill from his pocket and handed it to me. He reimbursed all 30 players in cash – no questions asked.”
In 1948, I played baseball under Coach Bray. Back then, the school was on Judd Street and the team usually held its afternoon practices at Lanakila Park. We walked about a mile from Judd Street through Liliha to get to the park. After spending hours under the hot sun, we headed for a Quonset hut at the park where we stored our gloves and shoes for the next practice period. Then we shuffled back to ‘Iolani.
One night, someone broke into the Quonset and stole our equipment. When Coach learned of the burglary, he called us together and told us to go to Honolulu Sporting Goods and replace whatever we had lost. He would foot the bill – no questions asked.
In the mid 40s and early 50s, eight teams (Farrington, ‘Iolani, Kaimuki, Kamehameha, McKinley, Punahou, Roosevelt and St. Louis) formed the Interscholastic Football League.
In 1947, just before the St. Louis game, Father Bray, who served as a chaplain in the Army National Guard, assembled us in the stadium’s locker room for the usual pre-game pep talk.
“Boys,” he said, “I’ve been offered a promotion in rank to full colonel in the National Guard. If we beat St. Louis, I will accept this promotion. But if we lose this game, I’m not going to accept it. Now, go out there and play your hearts out!”
‘Iolani lost 18 to 7.
To our relief, Coach did finally take the promotion. What a load off our shoulders.
The memory I will always hold in my heart came at the end of every body-aching late afternoon scrimmage. As I left for home, Father Bray never failed to say, “Good night, son.”
Comments from Readers
Thank you for sharing insights from the life of a man I have never met, but whose influence I felt from the privilege of playing for his equal, Coach Eddie Hamada.