P1 Compact flies With lightning speed not seen during the past two years of US Congressional hearings, both the House and the Senate approved identical versions of the Compact of Free Association, paving the way for final termination of the last United Nations Trusteeship. The House passed the document by voice vote on December 13, followed by Senate action two days later. The Senate action finishes a nearly two-year review of the Compact by the US Congress. RepMar officials in Majuro declined to say whether they endorsed the latest version because copies of the new text have yet to arrive on island.
P10 Marshallese attorneys leave their mark What do Majuro, Jaluit, Ailinglaplap and Kwajalein atolls have in common besides being in the Marshall Islands? Each have produced at least one Marshallese attorney. After years of relying on expatriate lawyers, the Marshalls now has five attorneys who have graduated from law schools in the United States or Papua New Guinea. Johnsay Riklon, from Kwajalein, was the first to return with a law degree in 1982. Majuro’s Witten Philippo, Jaluit’s Alik Alik, and Rosalie Aten Konou and Christopher Loeak of Ailinglaplap followed during the past three years.
P24 Jemeluit reigns supreme The men’s fast pitch softball tournament at Delap Field saw the Jemeluit team come from behind to win it all. After dropping to the loser’s bracket in the first round of play, the Jemeluit players destroyed all comers and worked their way back into the lead to eventually take the championship. Jemeluit destroyed the Ghost Ghost in the final game, 11-5, for the championship win. Jemeluit won the championship in the sixth inning when Morson singled, Bojan singled, Atbi singled, Monen doubled and Linder got his fourth hit of the game, a two-RBI double, and Doctor cleared the bases with a single to right. Ghost Ghost lost by the seat of their pants when pitcher Freddy broke his 501s and had to leave the game. When he went home to change his pants, Jemeluit coach and owner protested and the Ghost couldn’t field a team to finish the game. You might say that this year’s champions won by the sat of the other team’s pants.
P1 Marshallese in Samoa: Veni, vidi, vinci! The headline says it all about the Marshall Islands wrestling team at the Samoa Games: They came, they saw, they conquered. They marched into the Samoa International Games as nobodies but they left kings of the mat, the talk of Apia. The team of Waylon Muller, Kenneth Kramer, Richard “Kuuj” Anjain, Freddy Chong Gum, Edward Adiniwn and Coach Andrew Bing took the Samoa games by storm, wrestling their way to six gold medals, a silver and a bronze.
P12 Turning point: For Amata, it came in 1972 It is often expressed that human experience is peppered with turning points. For some, beset with tragedy, a commitment is made to mourn. A health scare or brush with death may trigger a new lifestyle. And the march of international events, the experience of war, the onslaught of natural disaster, and even so pleasant an event as meeting a life’s mate over a browsing cup of coffee can have a far-reaching effect on one’s life. It was thus for Amata Kabua who, to my mind, reached a pivotal turning point in the early months of 1972. It was during this period that he brought into focus the realization that the future of the Marshall Islands lay not in continued association with the other districts of Micronesia but in seeking a separate accommodation for the future political status of his people. I remember saying to then Senator Kabua (I was at his home) that I thought he was kidding. He assured me he was serious. Subsequent events proved that. President Kabua managed to not only steward the Republic of the Marshall Islands into being, but for the first 17 years set the course.
P1 Bush puts out the fire Like the movies, where the good guys always show up at the last second to save the day, US Ambassador Clyde Bishop marched into President Litokwa Tomeing’s office Tuesday bringing news that the deadline was postponed for the escrow account with more than $22 million for Kwajalein landowners. Within minutes, President Tomeing and Ambassador Bishop signed a letter to Bank of Guam instructing the bank to maintain the money in the account. The action by Tomeing and Bishop prevented the money from returning to the US Treasury Department on Wednesday this week. “It’s a big relief for everyone,” said Minister in Assistance Chris Loeak. “It gives us an opportunity to work on the land use agreement.”