[Yap State News Brief] State Remembers Former Speaker Joseph Ayin At Memorial Service

Resource: Yap State News Brief, 10/21/2013

The State Leadership and the people of Yap paid their last respects to the late Speaker Joseph Ayin at the Legislature Chamber on Friday, October 18, 2013.


The late Honorable Speaker Joseph Ayin, former Speaker of the Legislature of the State of Yap, passed away on September 26, 2013 in Sacramento, California, where he has resided with his family and friends after he served his term in the Third Legislature of the State of Yap.


The remains of the late Former Speaker was transported from the family home in Keng Village, Weloy Municipality by police honor guard/pallbearer at 10:00AM on Friday to the Yap State Legislative Chamber, where the remains of the late Former Speaker lay-in-state for almost three hours before it was taken to St. Joseph Church in Gachpar Village, Gagil Municipality for the Funeral Mass at 2:00PM, followed by the burial at the family gravesite in Leng Village, Gagil Municipality at 3:00PM that same day; at his burial, he was given 21-gun salute by police as the last tribute in honoring the late Honorable Speaker Joseph Ayin.


People across Yap State, including those who resided abroad in Guam, Palau, Saipan, Hawaii, the U.S. Mainland and elsewhere in the Federated States of Micronesia were made aware of the proceedings through radio “Live Broadcast” and “internet streamlining” provided by the State Department of Youth & Civic Affairs, Division of Media & Protocol.


During the ceremony at the Legislative Chamber, State leaders and family members shared condolence messages with the people that crowded the Legislative Chamber for the State Funeral on Friday.


Yap State Governor Sebastian Anefal was among the members of the State Leadership who delivered statements during the State Funeral ceremony at the Legislative Chamber on Friday. In his statement, Governor Anefal said:




Ko Pilung;

Matam, Walag nge gubin Chone Tabinaw;

Chairmen ko Pilung & Tamol;

Speaker & Distinguished Members, Yap State Legislature;

Chief Justice & Associate Justices, Yap State Court;

Yap Congressional Delegation, FSM Congress;

Lt. Governor & Cabinet Members; and

Distinguished Guests;

Ladies & Gentlemen,


“SSiroo ma kammagar gad.  Ufithik [e] kireban, gafgow nge athap rodad e renam nu waab ney, please allow me to make this short statement on behalf of the government and the people of the State of Yap.  Indeed, it is a distinct honor for me to stand before you once again in this solemn and sorrowful occasion to bid an important iconic figure, a true visionary statesman, a few parting words most especially on behalf of the people and collective state leadership of the State of Yap.


“In so doing, I would like to first of all express our sincere gratitude and appreciation and offer due recognition to so many former colleagues, friends, family members and relatives of the late Former Speaker of the State Legislature, some of whom have availed time to travel to Yap from afar to join us especially here this morning, for this solemn State Funeral Ceremony.  We are deeply honored with the presence of all of those who have joined us from the home front and from abroad.  Indeed, we are most grateful and sincerely appreciative of your gracing this significant and memorable occasion with your presence this morning with us.


“To the Family, I join the State Leadership by echoing its heartfelt appreciation in thanking the entire family of the late Speaker for allowing the government the opportunity to be a part of the process of paying tributes and final respects to a great man, a mentor and a true son of Yap.  Moreover, we also would like to thank you for permitting the government to mourn and bear the loss together with you as one government, one group of island people, and one family with one heartbeat under the umbrella of our Lord.


“As you may know, state funerals have traditionally been accorded to deceased state officials mainly with permission of the concerned family, or at the request of the family.  This is because it is our strong view that a funeral is not only a family matter with its own set of customary requirements, but a major function of our culture and traditions as opposed to a state funeral with its contemporary features that may not be readily acceptable in the village setting.  Nevertheless, the State Government is gratified and appreciative to play a small part in honor of and recognition for the countless contributions and personal sacrifices made by this dignified towering iconic man of wisdom for the people of Yap while serving in various functions of government for well over forty years.


“My fellow Yapese, we are all very saddened and sorrowful today by the loss of this fine man. In this congregation this morning with the presence of everyone in this Chamber, we can at least in a collective manner reminisce and get some degree of comfort off of each other.  In that spirit, I seek understanding, I seek cooperation, I seek friendship and unity as a people in the entire State of Yap during the mourning period and beyond.


“Truly though, this special person was indeed one of the founding fathers specifically of this great government of ours, the State of Yap, and generally of the wider Micronesian region. From the Trust Territory days to the early formation days of Yap State and the FSM, this man worked tirelessly alongside his able colleagues to achieve their dream of piecing together and salvaging from practical knowledge and practice a unique democratic state government with four branches giving due recognition and authority to our cultural heritage as a basis upon which our constitution was founded.  Even if the Constitutional structure engineered then was not perfect, it was and remains to be a negotiated product fashioned under competing factors between the old and the new that has withstood the test of time to this day.  As such, he was a man of great wisdom who had a fixed vision on what Yap should evolve to be one day.  Despite all other options he had in front of him, he personally elected to remain in Yap for the greater part of his personal life for which we should all be grateful because, as a public servant, he actually served the people and he served the people well.


“A true characteristic of him in most, if not all, of his entire leadership career had to be that of service.  To serve those around him was never at question by the man.  Indeed, I could not imagine the man ever doubted his capability to provide service in whatever capacity it may be for the people of Yap.  I think if there was ever a genuine Yapese “Jack of all Trades” it would have to be none other than him.  For over four decades, he stayed firm and true to his call of duty to serve his Yapese brothers and sisters the best way he knew.  He worked his way up the hierarchy from being a corpsman/medical aide/dental aide to serving in the Land Management Office, the District Community Development Office, the Field Trip Office, and finally as the temporary Assistant Clerk of Courts, before being elected to serve as an official and member of the Legislature. Moving from branch to branch or shifting from one level of government to another requires skillful, knowledgeable and dedicated personality.  To do this at the leadership level requires special people, and this great man was surely one of such individuals.


“In 1982, he was elected delegate to the Yap State Constitutional Convention where he was chosen as the President of the Convention.  It was during the Yap Constitutional Convention where I was appointed as Convention Secretary that I had the fortune and rare opportunity to be molded, tutored and supervised by this great mentor.  He taught me that government is like a piece of stone money with two sides to it:  the displayed side; and the hidden back side.  Their differences are the resultant deficiencies, which are someone else’s efficiencies.  In government and in real life, although no one man can please the whole world, the leader of the pack must call the shot based upon the best available information at his disposal at the time.


“For those of us in government who are left behind, we surely are missing him for he has touched aspects of our lives.  He has indeed left lasting imprints of him in many of our minds and it is in that respect that we must rededicate ourselves to service as an honor to the man.  If there is one thing he would have liked for us to do, I would imagine it would be to devote ourselves to what we do and, for those of us in public service, to live up to the demands of the job in government to successfully serve our people.


“As I bid farewell on behalf of the State Leadership to this beloved true son of Yap, I do so knowing full well that his legacies will forever remain with us and guide us toward the vision of a better State in the days to come.


“Sir, we all join together to bid you good bye and pray for God’s blessing to shower your path to eternal life. Ayin Tam, as I salute you all I can say is, Kam magar, magar ko nam [rodad].”


Speaker Falan of the 8th Yap State Legislature took the podium after Anefal and delivered his condolences on behalf of the body of the Legislature in Yapese main vernacular. Falan highlighted his good recollections of the Late Speaker Ayin, one who does not waste time but at the same time spend much time to think over matters before execution. One of Ayin’s best quotes to the Leaders has always been “Mu lemlem gow”. To paraphrase the saying might be to “let’s think it over”. Ayin’s presence in the Chamber during his prime time always means business.  He was involved in the inception of the current Yap State Legislature building, fixtures and features alike; the carved emblem seal of the Yap State Government mounted atop the Speaker’s podium was his idea, the canoe hanging from the ceiling in mid-chamber of the legislature represents the people of Yap’s means of both transportation and communication as well as the chamber set-up as is today. Speaker Falan concluded by asking the Chairman of Government, Health and Welfare, Senator Jesse Raglmar-SOBULMAR, to read out the Yap State Resolution No. 8-96, expressing condolences to the late Honorable Joseph Ayin.


In connection to the State Funeral ceremony, FSM President Manny Mori proclaimed a 3-day period of national mourning in honor of the late Honorable Joseph Ayin beginning on October 16, 2013, the day that his remains arrived in Yap from Sacramento, California. Following is the FSMPIO Press Release on the President’s Proclamation:


Press Release #1310-08

Palikir, Pohnpei – FSM Information Services

October 18, 2013


FSMIS (October 17, 2013): Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) President Manny Mori proclaimed a 3-day period of national mourning in honor of the late Honorable Joseph Ayin beginning on October 16, 2013.


The late Honorable Joseph Ayin was born on March 12, 1932 in Leng Village of Gagil Municipality in the State of Yap. He began his political career in his home State in 1963 when he became a member of the Yap Island Legislature. From the early days of his public service career, he rose to prominence by holding positions including the speakership of what was a District Legislature. He maintained this highest legislative role through the era of the Yap State Charter from 1980 to 1982.


When Yap State assembled a Constitutional Convention in 1982, late Honorable Ayin served as the President of the Convention and subsequently assumed the speakership of the First, Second and Third Legislature for the State of Yap, under a State Constitution. He retired in 1994.


The late Honorable Joseph Ayin passed away on September 26, 2013 in Sacramento, California. He had over forty years of dedicated public service.


The Presidential Proclamation partly reads, “this Proclamation carries the heartfelt condolences of the people of the entire Nation to the family, relatives and friends of the late Honorable Joseph Ayin, as we all join them in bereaving the loss of our countryman”.


During the national mourning period, the FSM National Flag will be displayed at half-mast “in honor of the departed leader”.



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