Hacker marched things along

The Assumption School marching band parades through downtown Majuro on its way to a field day in Rita in the late 1950s. Walking with the students at left is Fr. Leonard Hacker, SJ, who established the marching band as a signature of the Catholic School from its early beginnings in Majuro. Photo: Clarence E. Takeuchi.

One of the great cultural achievements on Majuro in the 1950s was Fr. Hacker’s Marching Band. Fr. Leonard Hacker, SJ, was the Jesuit who built up Assumption Church and School after the war.

And the native of Buffalo, NY, who almost always wore khaki pants and shirt with sensible black brogues, somehow managed to get band instruments donated to the school. 
Every year, the band would march from the church through town to what’s now Rita Elementary School. Then the atoll would hold a Field Day with foot races, coconut husking competitions, food and a lot of fun.

These photos of Fr. Hacker’s Marching Band were taken in either 1958 or more likely 1959 by Clarence E. Takeuchi, a native of Hawaii who with his wife Sachiko worked on Majuro for the Trust Territory from 1953 to 1960. Their two sons, Floyd and Gary, were born on Majuro.

Floyd recently discovered his father’s negatives of photos made on Majuro in the 1950s. He had more than 80 of the negatives scanned. They’re running weekly on FB and in the Marshall Islands Journal.  

Read more about this and see more photos in the July 5, 2019 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.