The Democrat said she’s humbled to be elected Guam’s first female governor, if unofficial results stand. Jerick Sablan, [email protected]
About $250,000 worth of preparations are in high gear for the inauguration of Guam’s first female governor, and organizers said the four-part festivities will be a celebration of both island heritage and new leadership.
Former Sen. Lou Leon Guerrero will be sworn in as governor, and Joshua Tenorio as lieutenant governor, at 4 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2019 at Plaza de España in Hagåtña.
There won’t be a strike-of-midnight swearing-in prior to the public inauguration, according to Sinajana Mayor Robert Hoffman, co-chair for the 13th Inaugural Festivities Committee.
About 2,000 people are expected to attend the two-hour ceremony, which will include a celebration dinner and live entertainment.
If rain is in the forecast, the inauguration ceremony will be held at the University of Guam Calvo Field House instead, Hoffman said.
The 35th Legislature, meanwhile, will hold its first session at 9 a.m. also on Jan. 7 and the inauguration ceremony for senators is at 10 a.m., according to Joe Mesngon, member of the committee organizing the legislative inauguration events.
The inaugural festivities will be rich in symbolism and will pay tribute to the role of women in CHamoru society coupled with some modern interpretation of traditions, Hoffman said.
“It’s going to be historic event in so many senses, because there’s going to be deep symbolism behind every movement, everything that’s going to be given, everything that’s going to be said, has purpose and meaning,” Hoffman said. “And it’s going to be something that’s a mix of both of their personalities and both their upbringings, so I think people are going to be in for a beautiful celebration.”
The four major inaugural events are expected to cost around $250,000, which Hoffman said is paid for by sponsorship, and not by public funds.
Food catering alone will cost about $30,000, he said.
Hoffman said not only is Guam going to witness the swearing in of its first female governor, but also its first openly gay lieutenant governor.
“It’s going to highlight both of their backgrounds,” Hoffman said. The people of Guam “are going to see a peaceful transition. They’re going to see history, and I think that alone is something that people will remember.”
Ceremony will broadcast live on PBS
Leon Guerrero, a registered nurse, is Bank of Guam president, chief executive officer and board chairwoman. She earlier said that she will step down and relinquish her interests in the bank before taking her oath as governor. Tenorio, meanwhile, is a former courts administrator.
The ceremony will also be broadcast live on the PBS channel for those who won’t be able to come to the events in person, according to Hoffman, the newly elected vice president of the Mayors’ Council of Guam.
Previous governors, including Gov. Eddie Calvo, when he was first elected into office, held their inauguration also at Plaza de Espana.
Mass to kick off events
Kicking off the 2019 inaugural festivities is a 9:30 a.m. inaugural Mass at Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica in Hagåtña on Sunday, Jan. 6.
Monsignor James Benavente will officiate the mass, while Father Mike Crisostomo will deliver the homily, Hoffman said, since Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes will be off-island at the time.
The following day, Chief Justice Katherine Maraman will swear in Leon Guerrero while Presiding Judge Alberto Lamorena will swear in Tenorio, Hoffman said.
Presidents, governors and other dignitaries from the CNMI, Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia, as well as other regional and federal officials, will be in attendance.
“It will be an island-wear event,” Hoffman said.
The mayor said local agencies will be working with federal agencies to secure the area for the inauguration.
Road closures, off-site parking
Roads to and from Plaza de Espana will be closed by noon. There will be off-site parking, including the Lou and Josh Transition Office parking lot and the Hagåtña Pool parking lot, plus two other locations to be announced later.
From there, people will be shuttled by buses to Plaza de Espana, Hoffman said.
People can start going into the plaza at 2:30 p.m.
Flag-raising at Adelup
On Tuesday, Jan. 8, Leon Guerrero will lead a flag-raising ceremony at Adelup.
Shortly after that, the new governor will swear in the members of her Cabinet.
The inaugural ball will be held on two nights, Friday, Jan. 11 and 12 at Dusit Thani Guam, and all the $100-per-person tickets have all been sold out, Hoffman said.
Reporter Haidee Eugenio covers Guam’s Catholic church issues, government, business and more. Follow her on Twitter @haidee_eugenio. Follow Pacific Daily News on Facebook/GuamPDN and Instagram @guampdn.
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