This page spans the years from Garé's birth in 1917 to 1936 when she left the Hawaiian Islands for art school in Boston, Massachusetts.



Mommy Ethel


Frederick William Williams (born 1883 in Cifn Bychan, North Wales, England) was an architect. He immigrated to Australia where he stayed for a number of years before he settled on the Hawaiian Islands during World War One. Williams had a brother, Leonard, who lived in London, England.

Ethel Harriet Banning Williams (born 1885 in Buxton, England), referred to by Garé as Mum or Mommy, presumably was a typical housewife devoted to taking care of her family consisting of husband and two children.

Gwendolyn Carr Banning Williams was Garé's older sister born in 1907. Nothing much is known about her, but, apparently she was a painting artist, and she lived to be at least 83 years old (this is the last written evidence of her age from one of Garé's letters).



The House
The Lilly Pond
By the pond at the 4th Birthday party

Garé with her first boyfriend
Circa 1921
Garé as a swineherd in the back garden


Garé with friend Lehua Kanahanahuli

Circa 1929



Her mother wrote: Many times have I watched them all at play, and it was a pretty sight to see her little tousled sunny head among their dusky ones. But color was the only thing that separated them. They are gentle and innocent. Garé talked their 'pidgin' as fluently as they, and understood their legends better.
Later in life she wrote: In appearance, Garé is tall and slender, though healthily rounded. Her hair is a halo of spun gold, her eyes a mist blue with a straight, level gaze that can melt into a twinkle instantly. Though gentle and gracious in manner, Garé has a ready wit and appreciation for the humorous. She is an accomplished horsewoman - having spent many hours of her young life scampering the Island wildnesses - and is a swimmer of merit...

Statements from friends:
While Garé's diversified talent includes dress design, landscapes, decorative design, portraits, animals, birds, etc., her real love is to portray things of the Hawaiian Islands ...
The Hawaiian children were her beloved playmates, and they all loved her ...




At age 4 Garé was allowed to send a Halloween postcard, which she had made by herself, to a neighbouring doctor whom she liked very much. The good man kept it only to consent to have it added to Garé's scrapbook many years later. Garé drew on both sides of the card and the inner side is rendered to the left. This drawing constitutes Garé's first 'published' artist work of thousands to come...


Miss Louisa Palmer



A Good Woman
Little Margaret started in the 5-year old, exclusive Hanahauoli (originally: Hanahau'oli) Elementary School in Honolulu in 1924. She was given the nickname Garé because the class had another Margaret present and Garé lost the 'battle' of the name. Miss Louisa Palmer served as head principal for the school starting the very same year and Garé must have liked her very much, because she kept a newspaper clipping announcing Palmer's retirement many years later, onto which she affectionately wrote A Good Woman.

A Brief Resumé
In a brief resumé from 1939 Garé wrote about herself: Garé attended Hanahauoli School to 6th grade, then to Panahou Junior for 3 years, then the Senior Academy for 3 years ...

School Highlights
In another resumé typed in her early scrapbook Garé wrote the following under the headline School Highlights (the texts have been shortened and slightly edited - Editor's remark):
At Hanahauoli School - a school built for the children of missionaries in the early days, now one of the Island's most exclusive schools - Garé had a great chance, for the youngsters were allowed to express their individual tastes and desires. It was there that her extraordinary ability was first noticed by those outside her own immediate circle ...
B. One of her teachers, Miss Caroline Curtis, wrote the following to Garé's mother:
... I wonder if you realize what rare sympathy and joy your little daughter possesses. Her radiant personality seems to me to far overweigh the physical handicap
(Garé was born without most of her left forearm - Editor's remark). It is a great thing in life to rear a child with so much 'sweetness and light'. I congratulate you!
A. In High school (Punahou Academy) Garé began to show real evidences of her great talent. Bert Gregory, her art teacher, wrote of her as follows (in acknowledgement of a hand-blocked Christmas card):
... The block was simply grand and I can see how you continue to progress. I am very happy to have started one of our future artists, and when you have an exhibition be sure to let me know. Aloha!
B. Painting was not the only form Garé's artistic talent found expression in. While in Punahou, she, with two school mates designed the costumes for A Spring Day - a Dance Fantasy in an Hungarian Wood, presented by the girls' physical education department. Garé also designed the cover for the program.
C. Of her graduation from Punahou, her mother wrote:
... Garé had worked very, very diligently on this graduation program ... so it was thrilling when it was announced that she was one of four in a graduating class of 98 students to win
Special Honors for High Scholarship. Were we the proud parents?




In the summer of 1927 Garé was credited several times in a school play titled Ye Blue Knight. A small program was issued and in it she was cast as both a Lady and a Monk as can be seen here at the folder's left inner page. But she also designed the front cover showing a knight's shield which shines through the paper as well. This was Garé's first published artwork!


The Oahuan

Meeting the first Hawaii Clipper



This paragraph is partly built on Garé's own memories mixed with comments from letters from different people:

From her earliest teens, Garé has put her talent to practical use. Wood blocks of subjects typical of the Islands, which she loves, have been designed into lovely cards of greeting. among them are the dusky Hawaiian surf riders, and 'outrigger' canoes; gulls flying, grass huts, and the incredible island fish.

While at Punahou, Garé achieved distinction as Chairman of the Art Committee in charge of publishing the Oahuan, 1936 year book. The theme was the P.A.A. (Pan American Airways - Editor's remark) Clipper, which landed on its first transpacific flight. Garé's drawings (among others) decorated this edition, which was so admired that copies were bought up and mailed to New York and other main offices of the P.A.A.

Garé designed the large name plate listing all the 10 best swimmers of the Thurston Meets for the past 20 years. This was mounted on a block of wood and attached to Griffiths Hall, Punahou Academy.

Of the two bronze plaques, designed by Garé for the Girls' Thurston Swimming Meet, the instructor, J.W. Mahoney, wrote in the Honolulu Advertiser in February, 1935: ... The etched plaques show in relief a young swimmer. The polished surfaces stand out in fine contrast with the darker background. This is the best piece of etching ever done here!

In September 1935 Garé held her first art exhibition consisting of 24 paintings at the Assistance League Club in Hollywood, California. In the following years she maintained her own annual art exhibitions at different galleries in the Hollywood area. They were all successes with both guests, notabilities, and critics.