MARSHALLS MOURN LONGTIME SENATOR DEBRUM -  December 22, 2006

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MARSHALLS MOURN LONGTIME SENATOR DEBRUM

By Aenet Rowa

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Yokwe Online, Dec. 17) – Long-time Marshall Islands official and Kwajalein representative, Senator Justin deBrum, passed away early this morning, December 18, Marshalls' time. According to word from Majuro, he had chest pains late last night while at home and collapsed. He was rushed to the hospital where he died.

On Tuesday, December 19, RMI President Kessai H. Note expressed his deep condolences on the passing of the late Senator Justin deBrum. President Note visited with the family of the late Senator late Sunday night after receiving word of his death in Majuro.

"The Late Senator deBrum will be remembered for his commitment to the development of the Marshall Islands," the President said Monday morning. "He is a long time national leader and a good friend."

According to the release from his Office, President Note is expected to declare a State of National Mourning with all flags to fly at half-mast.

President Note said that the nation mourns for the Late Senator. "The Marshall Islands mourns the passing of a great leader; we will always be indebted for his selfless service to our nation."

A declaration for a State of National Mourning will be declared after discussions with the Nitijela (Parliament) and the family of the Late Senator deBrum.

The period from December 20, 2006, through December 26, 2006 has been declared a time of national mourning in the Republic of the Marshall Islands in observance of the death of the Honorable Justin deBrum. The long-time Senator and Government Official passed away December 18 in Majuro.

Executive Order No. 2006-05, signed late Tuesday afternoon following consultation between the President’s Office, Office of the Nitijela and the family of the late Senator, states that flags will be flown at half-mast during the period of observance..

The Senator's sudden death is a "great loss to the nation." His career as a government liaison, elected representative, and agency official spanned many years.

Since 2004, deBrum represented Kwajalein as one of its three Senators. Previously, he was the Ujae representative in the nation's parliament. Under the former Administration, he was appointed the Minister of Education and served until 2000.

In earlier years, deBrum served as Republic of the Marshall Islands Representative to the U.S. Army Kwajalein, General Manager of the Marshal1 Islands Development Authority, and REPMAR's Chief Secretary's Representative. In the non-government arena, he held the position of Kwajalein Negotiation Commission Secretary.

The late Senator is survived by his wife Miriam, 8 children and 12 grandchildren.

His body was laid in State at the Nitijela Chamber for the people in Majuro to pay their respects -- "ilomej" -- with him. It was planned for his body to be flown to Kwajalein for a couple of days for the Kwajalein ilomej.

"Senator deBrum was a leader of the highest caliber and his absence will be keenly felt by us all," said RMI President Kessai Note.

 

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