See Dai Doo Society

Serving Hawaii since 1905

The Society was established by immigrants from the See Doo (Sidu ) and Dai Doo (Dadu ) districts of Zhongshan county in Guangdong, on May 10, 1905.
The founders were 18 men, including Chow Ching, then president of the Liberty Bank and the Won Hong Yuen Company; Fat Hee, the retired "Rice King of Kauai"; and Chan Luke, formerly associated with Sun Yat-Sen and his efforts against the Manchu Dynasty. By November 11 that year, a charter was obtained, and the Society was incorporated on February 21, 1907.

Meetings were originally held in a wooden building belonging to a Mr. Ting Hu on River Street. In 1910, members contributed $5,000 for the purchase of the Wong Siu Kin School building at 285 N. Vineyard Street to be used as the Society's first official headquarters. By 1915, the administration of Chan Luke replaced the building, deemed inadequate for the growing  membership, with a two-story wooden structure. In 1926, President Kim Ak Ching, who later became president of the American Security Bank, foresaw the need to strengthen the financial structure of the Society. Previously, the majority of Society‚Äôs income had been used to care for its elderly members and for worthy communtiy causes. However, during his presidency, a policy was adopted to set aside a fixed amount of money on a monthly basis to establish a building fund. Under this policy, the Society was able to accumulate sufficient funds to finance a new building for its expanding membership. In March 1950, a building committee was formed with Chinn Wa as chairman. The committee located a 10,000 square foot site at 1513 Fort Street Mall, and purchased it for $43,000. On December 10, 1950, the See Dai Doo Society building, which had cost $82,000, was formally opened. The two-story building had a Chinese architectural influence and served a dual function. The first floor consisted of six store spaces and five office spaces that were rented out to provide income for the Society. A large hall that was used for Society functions made up the second floor.

In 1961, the building was condemned by city government to build downtown office buildings. With the proceeds of the condemnation, plus a healthy building fund the Society had accumulated, a three-story building was erected on the corner of Kukui and Fort Streets at 1300 Pali Highway. This new building, the current See Dai Doo Society headquarters, has a basement parking structure, shops for rental on the first floor, professional offices on the second floor, and a social hall for Society functions on the third floor. It was formally opened on November 4th, 1962 with ceremonies that included a performance by the Royal Hawaiian band.

Today, the building is notable for the distinctive Chinese pagoda on its rooftop.