Marshall Islands High School closed this year’s graduation season with 199 fresh graduates, symbolizing the end of an important chapter in their lives, but one they will never forget. As top students Billhorn Neamon and Bertiako Sorimle, valedictorian and salutatorian respectively, stressed, “Once a gecko, always a gecko.”
Health Minister Kalani Kaneko accomplished his mission to redeem himself from his self-described worst delivered speech as a MIHS freshman class president by giving an honest but encouraging keynote that highlighted “back casting,” which means to look back.
In fishing, he said, a fisherman has to cast his rod backwards then forwards, thus illustrating the significance of history and recollection for the sake of the future. Kaneko also spoke about securing inter-dependence, keeping Marshallese cultuse and language, and holding onto one’s identity in the face of climate change.
The term “ukot boka,” which means the changing of tides, was also reiterated by speakers, families, and students themselves to signify one of the ultimate islander goals: to give back to their home.
Read more about this in the June 14, 2019 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.