Center for Labor Education & Research, University of Hawaii - West Oahu: Honolulu Record Digitization Project

Honolulu Record, Volume 10 No. 9, Thursday, September 26, 1957 p. 3


To The Editor
McKinley Explains Motives Behind $50 Million Cemetery

Editor, Honolulu Record:

It was with considerable interest that I read your good issue Thursday, August 29th, 1957.

As a friend of labor, having supported and advertised in the Los Angeles Citizen, our labor newspaper of Los Angeles for 22 years, I was considerably impressed by the well-wishers and advertisers in your Labor Day issue. May I proffer my heartiest congratulations?

May I suggest that your Publisher, Editor or a Reporter accept my invitation to a luncheon or dinner so that we might discuss the articles which appeared on the front page of your papers in connection with my attempt to do something nice for the Hawaiian Islands?

By way of explanation, may I say that in the development of a cemetery project, we do not wait for people to die. If we did we would starve to death. To the contrary, we sell what we call pre-needs. Thinking people buy life insurance and make wills in anticipation of death. Today, these same thinking people are relieving their loved ones of a burden when they make funeral arrangements and purchase their burial space in advance of need. Many years ago, you will remember that burial associations existed.

The associations waited for someone to die and then they assessed the members. Subsequently, a more progressive thought was injected into the business of life insurance and today life insurance companies are selling people insurance before they die. It might be interesting for you to know that James Roosevelt, my devoted friend, sold an $18,000,000 group Insurance policy to the Retail Clerks of Los Angeles for my Life Insurance Company which I controlled and for which I acted as President and Chairman of the Board.

If your Editor, Publisher or Reporter would show me the courtesy of seeing me. all of the statements that I make are factual and records will prove that.
Maybe I am too ambitious. Maybe I should go home, because it is my intention to give labor mote than the average wage' as I have always done and this is also a record if you look of investigate me in Dun and Bradstreet. One of the nice things that Dun and. Brad-street said about me was that I paid higher wages than any organization in the industry and that I kept my people longer and took better care of them.

We can only eat three meals a day, wear one suit of clothes and have transportation. Why shouldn't business men share with those who make possible the success of the business?

You will be interested in my participation plan whereby all those who are associated with me, because they do not work for me, they are my associates, participate in our profits.

Now that I've got that off my chest, let's face a few facts.

Even though built by slave labor, the pyramids were the only things that remained of a great civilization. From these pyramids, which are man's desire to perpetuate the memory of a loved one, we gleaned all of the information and data of that civilization. Everything else was obliterated.

The Taj Mahal, the Bok Singing Tower in Florida, the Clark Memorial in Hollywood Cemetery, California, all bespeak of man's desire to perpetuate the memory of a loved one. Isn't this a proper sentiment? Is it wrong for me to come to the Hawaiian Islands and attempt, even though I might be unsuccessful, to build a great Memorial Park? In Washington, D.C, we honor the memory of our great leaders.

We have a Washington Memorial, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson Memorials Do we create these memorials as a mockery? And do we criticize those who create them?

There are over 350,000 people in and adjacent to Honolulu and my honorable associate, Senator Herbert Lee, feels that he can create memorials for many thousands of people which would involve millions of dollars This money would not be put in my pocket because we would use that money to develop one project, create trust funds for endowment and eventually after many years make a profit for ourselves. My very distinguished associate, Toshio Kondo, has said that he believes he can create memorials for his peoples. Is it wrong for my associates to create fine memorials?

I don't mind criticism. I've had it all my life. The penalty of leadership and success is criticism, but I do think that you will be kind and gracious enough to call on me and get the facts so that when you print them, it will not be questions with no answers.

I know that I will enjoy seeing anyone that you send to my home or I will be very happy to come to your office, and, in closing, may I send my very best wishes and again congratulations on an outstanding Labor Day issue of the Honolulu Record.

Cordially yours, Maytor H. McKinley

P.S. You may feel free to print this letter.

Editor's Note: Either Mr. McKinley or his public relations representative did not read the
RECORD Aug. 29 carefully.

On page one of that issue we said, "Seeking the man (Mr. McKinley) himself for more information about Maytor McKinley and his $50 million or $70 million cemetery, the RECORD was directed to Harold Bock who handles public relations for McKinley."
Mr. Bock answered some questions, refused to answer others.

Ever since Mr. McKinley sent his radiogram to us; saying he was sending a letter to explain his "efforts" with facts and figures, we called Mr. Bock for the promised letter. Mr. Bock, Sept. 14, said Mr. McKinley was busy escorting his daughters around the Territory. He said it would be impossible for us to contact the mortuary operator and that such contacting should be done through him. We were referred to Mr. Bock by Sen. Herbert K. Lee, Mr. McKinley's legal advisor and associate here.

Last week, just before press deadline, Aug 18, Mr. Bock called to say that McKinley will not send the promised letter, nor would he make further comment.

Meantime, not from Mr. Bock, but from Mr. McKinley's Los Angeles public relations representatives—Associated Advertising Agency, Inc.—the. RECORD has been receiving communications.

The above letter with Mr. McKinley's Honolulu address was mailed Sept. 17 from Los- Angeles to us. The letter was dated Sept 16, and invited us to an interview. It asks us to extend the "courtesy of seeing me" for an interview.

Apparently it is difficult for Mr. McKinley to orient his public relations representatives 2,400 miles apart with his plans and programs.

Mr. Bock informed us that the proposed Hawaiian Memorial Park is in the survey stage, and nothing definite has been planned. Master planning awaits completion of the survey.

The Los Angeles advertising firm sent us a news release saying that Mr. McKinley, a a recent dinner party, explained to Honolulu funeral directors the general plan of the project. Glenn" Lundberg, consulting architect, "showed detailed sketches of the entire 80-acre memorial, development giving a detailed explanation of the chapels, floral center administration building, amphitheatre, cultural center, garden crypts, and numerous other structures soon to be built."

We hope Mr. McKinley will notify his Los Angeles public relations representatives that the RECORD has always wanted to interview him.

The "RECORD Sept. 20 communicated directly with Mr. McKinley. On Sept. 21, he acknowledged the letter and wrote:

"Have been ill for a few days and my doctor advises rest.

"Will call you when I feel better.

"Until then accept best wishes.

Cordially yours, (signed) Maytor McKinley

p /> I do not say that at odd hours a patient must be given the regular hot dinner or supper. Few people would expect this.
But what is so complicated about opening and heating a can of soup, making some toast, or preparing instant coffee or tea? Why cannot a night nurse do these simple things after the kitchen to closed? Is it just too much trouble?

It is only common humanity to feed the hungry. If our hospitals are too big, too complex, too impersonal to do these small kindnesses for the sick, something is very wrong.