Combine sugar and melted butter, mix well. Add eggs, vanilla, and baking powder, mix well. Set mixture aside.
Cut up pineapple, cherries, and dates, add raisins and coconut. Add 1 1/2 cups sifted flour. Mix well. Add nuts and remaining 1 1/2 cups sifted flour. Mix all fruit and nuts so fruit is separated. Add batter to fruit and nuts, mix well. Place mixture into 3 loaf pans lined with aluminum foil.
Place pans in cold oven on center shelf. Place pans of water above and below cakes. Bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours at 275 degrees F. NOTE: DO NOT PREHEAT OVEN.