First Speaker of the FSM Congress dies; FSM in official state of mourning

FSM President David Panuelo shares a moment with Bethwel Henry, the first Speaker of the FSM Congress. Bethel passed away this week. (Photo from the FSM President's Office)

Bethwel Henry, the first Speaker of the FSM Congress, and later the Postmaster General from 1988 to 2007, has passed away.

According to a release from the FSM President’s Office, Bethwel Henry was born March 3rd, 1934, in Mwoakilloa Atoll, Pohnpei State. 

The late official was known for his public service to the community. As Postmaster General, one of his accomplishments is ensuring that FSM postal rates are the same as U.S. domestic destinations.

“The FSM National Government has been remarkably fortunate to have been blessed with Bethwel Henry’s service to the nation and its citizens, for he represented the virtues that the nation stands for and believes in. Bethwel Henry spent every day of his life extending peace, friendship, cooperation, and love in our common humanity to everyone he encountered,” read a statement from the FSM National Government.

“The Government thanks Bethwel Henry for his many and noble deeds, and sends its deepest condolences to all of his friends and family in this time of mourning, and asks that the citizens of the Nation recall his good character, and reflect on his outstanding service to the people.”

FSM President David W. Panuelo has proclaimed an official period of mourning for the late official. 

A state funeral will be held for Bethwel Henry at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec 21.