Friday, June 22, 2012

STREET NAMES



Påle' Gil Street
in Santa Rita

This street is named after one of the old Spanish Capuchin priests of Sumay in the 1920s and 30s by the name of Father Gil de Legaria.  Here's a photo :


Chamorros could not pronounce final L, so they called him Påle' HIT.  The G in Spanish, when it comes before I or E, is pronounced like an H. 

Capuchin tradition is we don't use our family surnames; we are known by the town of our birth.  So Påle' Gil was from a town in Spain called Legaria.  So he was Påle' Gil de Legaria.

He was a very short priest, but very lively.  He was always on-the-go and very talkative; a real extrovert.  He was always getting something going.  I guess a live-wire.

Besides being priest of Sumay, he was at one time the priest of Malesso' and Humåtak.  When I was priest there, I used to give communion every Friday to an elderly lady in Malesso' in her 90s.  She was totally blind by then, and when her family would stir her from her bed because I had arrived to give her communion, she would ask "Påle' Hit!  Påle' Hit!"  I would pretend to be Påle' Gil and speak to her in Chamorro to assure her.  It was easier to do that than to explain to her that she was no longer in the 1930s.

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