Tuesday, February 19, 2013
CHAMORRO NAVY MAN'S EARLY DEATH
In 1938, Jorge Gumataotao was a young man from Sumay who decided to join the Navy and see the world. In his case, it did come true. Although Chamorro sailors could only serve as mess attendants at the time (cooking and serving meals), Jorge's duty ships took him to Europe, South America and the U.S. His family was thrilled when, every so often, they'd receive packages of souvenirs from Jorge from all over the world.
More than anyone, Natividad Blas, was waiting for the chance to re-unite with her nobio Jorge in the States and marry him.
But World War II broke out in Europe in 1939 and, although the U.S. stayed out of that war at first, it impeded much travel for the American sailors.
But then, still out in far-flung Europe, Jorge developed pneumonia and rheumatic fever, and died.
It took a while, but the body of Jorge was shipped back to Guam where Capuchin Fathers Xavier, Adelbert and Marcian gave him his funeral rites. A wake held all night in the Gumataotao home was followed by the priests coming at 9:30AM to escort the body to the church in Sumay where a Requiem Mass was celebrated. Jorge was then buried in Sumay cemetery, right in front of the cemetery cross. Pall bearers were other Chamorro enlisted men. The traditional 21-gun salute and taps were rendered.
Natividad never got to marry him. Na'masi, no?