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Exchange Club of Downtown Honolulu Takes Election-Year Break

Wayne Yoshioka

The Exchange Club of Downtown Honolulu has hosted more than its share of political candidate forums since January.And, possibly out of election-year fatigue, it focused on a different topic today. 


The Exchange Club of Downtown Honolulu shifted its focus from politics and community issues to its individual members, namely, their bucket-list travel destinations.  Newspaper Columnist and author, Bob Sigall, moderated the discussion.


Credit Wayne Yoshioka
Bob Sigall

“One of my favorite trips was to a place 60 miles East and North of Shanghai in a city called the Suzhou.  It has all these gardens that were built 3-to-4 hundred years ago.  It models itself on the Venice of China and it was lovely.  Beautiful gardens, ponds, lakes, birds, plants and its 60 minutes by bullet train from Shanghai.”


Sigall’s favorite spot, which he had heard of before, was the Garden of the Humble Administrator.  The 35 club members attending the luncheon were seasoned travelers who visited nearly every Continent and tourist destination.   Jack Schneider went on an expedition to his bucket list location before retiring 6 years ago.  


Jack Schneider

"Top of my list was Antactica.  My wife fought me tooth and nail but she did go.  The scenery is incredible.  The air is crisp.  The wildlife have never really been in contact with people so they have no fear.  At least the penguins.  We did, I think late November, it’s their summertime and it wasn’t even really cold.  We had one day that  I would call a wintry day.”

Schneider also visited the Arctic, the Galapagos Islands and the Panama Canal.  His wife has Southeast Asia on her bucket list, a place where he served in the military.   Aileen Blanc retired about eight years ago and has two priorities.


Credit Wayne Yoshioka
Aileen Blanc

“I’ve never been to Rome or Italy.  I’d love to go to Italy to maybe get some shoes made that might fit my feet (laugh).  That would be lots of fun.  And, I’ve never been on a cruise.  Quite frankly, but I think part of the reason is, when I wanna go on a trip I wanna get there.  I don’t want to waste time. I wanna be there.”


Tom Strickland has been retired longer than he worked:  a 25 year career at the Naval Research Facility and 27 globetrotting.


Tom Strickland

“I’ve done so much traveling that it’s getting difficult now to find things to do that I haven’t done.  But, I think number one is to go to the mainland and buy a small Class B RV and tour the U.S., primarily the western states and the national forests.”


Meanwhile, Sigall has about 20 destinations on his list, topped with a place he’s never been before.


“I’d like to go on a Mediterranean cruise.  I’d love to see Venice, Florence, maybe some of the Greek islands.  I’ve not been to Israel.  That would be on my bucket list.”


But, all those trips will have to wait.  The Exchange Club of Downtown Honolulu hosts a Congressional District One candidate, July 19th.   Wayne Yoshioka, HPR News.

Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka is an award-winning journalist who has worked in television, print and radio in Hawaiʻi. He also has been on both sides of politics as a state departmental appointee and political/government reporter. He covered Hurricane Iwa (1982) as a TV reporter; was the State Department of Defense/Civil Defense spokesperson for Hurricane Iniki (1992); and, commanded a public affairs detachment in Afghanistan (2006). He has a master's degree in Communication from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and is a decorated combat veteran (Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and 22 other commendation/service medals). He resides in Honolulu.
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