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Our History

Serving our community since 1931.

The Fort Shafter Hui has its roots in 1931 at Schofield Barracks. In November of that year, Mrs. Briant H. Wells (née Mary Jane Jennings), wife of the Hawaiian Division’s Commanding General, created the Hui O Wahine (in Hawaiian, a club or group of women) for officers’ wives at Schofield Barracks. When Major General Wells became Commander of the Hawaiian Department in 1932 and the family moved to Quarters 5 on Fort Shafter, Mrs. Wells brought the club with her and set about uniting the various other spouse clubs spread across posts in the Command.


The enlarged Hui was headquartered at the newly-completed Fort DeRussy Pavilion and was involved in community service projects from the beginning. The first Hui endeavor was a “tea room” - like a modern snack bar - set up next to the swimming pier and staffed by Hui members themselves. It was instantly both popular and profitable.


During that first decade, the Hui hosted bridge luncheons, family picnics, and even presented a three-act play in 1934. Other activities included golf, riding, swimming, dance lessons, and flower arranging. Mrs. Wells and her husband retired from Army life in 1935 and remained quite active in the social and business life of Oahu. They are buried together in Arlington National Cemetery.


In the weeks following the attacks of December 7, 1941, most Army wives and children in Hawai’i returned to the mainland. With few members left on island, the Hui disbanded. In 1946, with the return of something closer to normal life in Hawai’i, the Hui was reactivated. A year later, Schofield Barracks established their own club, the Hui ‘O Na Wahine (“club of the women”). In 1949, the Hui established the Thrift Shop as a service and a source of revenue to fund community projects.


In the ensuing decades, the Hui has continued our mission of service to community, enriching our members’ tours of duty in Hawai’i with friendships and cultural experiences along the way. We welcome members from all ranks and all branches, as well as civilian DoD spouses. In 2015, we changed our name to the Fort Shafter Hui to better represent the growing diversity of our ranks. We look forward to celebrating the 75th anniversary of our Thrift Shop in 2024, and the Hui’s 100th anniversary in 2031! 


Our founder, Mrs. Briant H. Wells.

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