Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Vice President Alik Addressed Commemoration of First Issued Stamps

Palikir, POHNPEI (FSM Information Service): October 29, 2008 - Vice President Alik L. Alik gave a remark on behave of the Nation at a ceremony that commemorates the first issue of two stamps on October 17, 2008 at the FSM Central facilities, particularly commemorating the lives of two very important and prominent men in the history of FSM.

The two important and prominent men whose stamps were commemorated are His Majesty, Nahnmwarki Ioanis Artui of Sokehs and the Honorable Dr. Elliuel Pretrick.

These points and facts were reflected in the Vice President's remark; The good doctor's career as the central figure in our nation's efforts to ensure the health and safety of our citizens, or his leadership in bringing our youth into the international arena of the world Olympics, Dr. Pretrick was, and will always be remembered as a true statesman. He never was elected to political office. He never aspired to wealth or power. He only lived to serve, and serve he did.

Dr. Pretrick, --- through this stamp that we are commissioning today as a memorial to his devoted life of service, you too are carrying a message to the citizens of our nation. It is a message about love of country and it is a message about love of people.

But most importantly it is a message about inspiration. It is a message which will be carried by the mail to all points of our federation and across thousands miles of open ocean to our many people who live far away on distant shores. By this stamp we can and we will challenge all of our citizens, both here and abroad, that they can, through hard work and dedication, become statesmen and stateswomen as well - maybe not in the cause of health services alone, but in any other fields of public service where our country needs assistance.

Our constitution reminds us of the importance of culture to our way of life as Micronesians. Yet, when we think of customs and traditions, we usually think in historic terms --- the way that things used to be. But Nahnmwarki Artui was a very special kind of traditional leader. He served as chairman of the Pohnpei council of paramount chiefs for many years.

Nahnmwarki Artui was not an elected official during the final days of the trust territory government, but he was well known and deeply respected by all who served in public office during that era of our history. When called upon to address the challenge of raising the hopes of his people for self-government, the nahnmwarki boldly stepped forward to meet that challenge, serving in each of the constitutional conventions for his country, for his state and for his municipality.

When Nahnmwarki Artui spoke, people listened for his voice was the voice of wisdom and reason.

During those turbulent years at the end of the trusteeship, the elected leaders of Micronesia were racked with the unsettled question of where to locate the capital of our new nation. Chuuk was considered. Yap was offered as well. In fact almost all the former districts of the TTPI were fiercely competing for that prestigious designation.

Nahnmwarki Artui spoke softly to the politicians of that time, but his message was loud and clear. Palikir, in the kingdom of Sokehs, is the place to host our new headquarters. It has room to build. It has room to grow.

Nahnmwarki Artui did not live long enough to see much of that dream come true, but Palikir, is now the vibrant home of our national government.

The two stamps commemorate the lives of two very important and prominent men in the history of our nation. It is with great pleasure, but also with a feeling of true reverence and deepest respect that we are officially declaring their issuance.

The ceremony ended with all Post office officials and dignitaries signing the programs issued to the audience for reference.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356