HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A park now stands as a shining tribute to the life and legacy of a former Honolulu Parks director.
In his first official dedication ceremony as mayor, Rick Blangiardi renamed Waipahu District Park as the Bill Balfour Jr. Waipahu District Park on Friday.
The city put up new signs, and planted a new Shower tree. Balfour loved the plants, so they honored him with a vibrant Nii Gold — a variation of the Wilhelmina Tenney which is the city’s official tree.
“I humbly say in Bill’s name and his incredible history and reputation — mahalo Bill. For all of the thousands of people who have yet to enjoy this park in years to come, that is a tribute to you,” Mayor Blangiardi said.
Balfour passed away in 2019 at age 87 following many years of dedicated service to the community.
After 40 years working in the sugar industry, he worked for Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris as the Director for the Department of Parks and Recreation.
Following that, he served several years as the Civil Defense Administrator under Mayor Mufi Hannemann, and later returned to DPR as an Executive Assistant for Mayor Peter Carlisle, the city says.
“Bill loved being outdoors amongst his workers and the facilities he oversaw to provide a personal, hands-on style of management,” Dee Balfour said of her husband. “The Balfour-Kalahui ‘Ohana are proud, honored, and humbled by this recognition, especially in an area known for its diverse, hard-working residents that share the sugar plantation heritage and Native Hawaiian historical significance.”