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Kauai Banker Edward Kaleianaole Robinson

Born at Waimea, Kauai, in 1905 of Hawaiian and English ancestry to parents Oliver and Ottillia Hart Robinson, Edward Kaleianaole Robinson was educated at Waimea Elementary School and at Saint Louis High School in Honolulu.

He began his long banking career with Bank of Bishop and Company, a predecessor of First Hawaiian Bank, at its Waimea, Kauai branch in 1925.

Robinson’s first job was secretary, and soon after he was appointed teller. Then for 10 years, his job was to make the “outside run.”

On the “outside run,” he’d leave the Waimea branch — Bishop Bank’s headquarters on Kauai in those days — to deliver cash and pick up deposits throughout Kauai in a regular two-door sedan.

“We didn’t need an armored car in those days. Everyone could be trusted,” he recalled.

In 1945, Robinson was appointed assistant cashier in charge of the bank’s collection office. Ten years later, he became manager of First Hawaiian Bank at Waimea.

Following his retirement in 1970 after 45 years of service with First Hawaiian Bank, Robinson noted improvements in banking over the years: “Data processing has made things much easier for branch people. I remember some rough days in the past — days when we’d work until 5, take a break for dinner and come back ‘til 11 or midnight just so we could get our statements out on time. Before computers, our staff used to spend half of every day just posting deposits and withdrawals from the previous day. And there was no such thing as overtime. ”

Robinson reminisced about his father, a policeman and later, a bookkeeper, and said, “He had his own hukilau net. In those days, he’d sell a whole basket of akule for only a dollar.”

Among Robinson’s prized possessions was a deed showing that his grandfather had purchased a parcel of Waimea taro land that was dated 1857 and signed by Kamehameha IV.

Edward and his wife, Esther Robinson, made their home in Kekaha. He passed away in 1995.


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