NMI honors legendary Carolinian chief

ABOUT 300 people joined the annual commemoration of Chief Aghurubw Day on Managaha, Saturday, according to lead event organizer Kodep Ogumoro.

He said this year’s celebration also marked the beginning of partnerships with health agencies, including the Non-Communicable Disease Bureau and the Mother and Child Health Bureau, to better serve the Carolinian community.

Both bureaus contributed sports equipment, including soccer balls and basketballs, for children. The goal is to promote an active and healthy lifestyle, Ogumoro said.

The event on Saturday started at 10:30 a.m. with a Mass officiated by Rota parish priest Sid Ogumoro.

In his remarks, Carolinian Affairs Office executive assistant John Tagabuel recounted Chief Aghurubw’s contributions to the Carolinian community.

Chief Aghurubw set sail from Satawal in the Western Carolines over 200 years ago, to seek refuge on Saipan for his people after a major typhoon devastated their islands.

When he died, his clan buried him on Managaha which is now a sacred place for Carolinians.

To honor his achievements and leadership, a monument was erected on Sept. 18, 1970 on Managaha.

Tagabuel urged Carolinians to continue to speak their local language and to practice their culture. “It has been our challenge — we are losing our culture.”

The commemoration also showcased cultural activities that included the Refaluwasch Warriors, who performed a traditional dance, mwaar-making and coconut-leaf-weaving.

Ogumoro thanked the CAO for providing funds for the event. “We worked with Carolinian Affairs Office to really helped push and promote the event this year.”

He also thanked Jambalaya/Saipan Sea Ventures and Tasi Tours for bringing people to and from Managaha.

Among those who joined this year’s commemoration were Reps. Ivan Blanco and Donald Barcinas.

“It’s a very monumental occasion to honor the legacy of Chief Aghurubw,” Blanco said. “You can see many people coming here, celebrating the occasion. I’m very happy to be part of this.”

The celebration was organized by the Chief Aghurubw Foundation, the Refaluwasch Advisory Council and the Office of the Executive Assistant for Carolinian Affairs.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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