Friday, April 19, 2013


While Guam was under direct Navy rule from 1899 till 1949 (except during the Japanese occupation), there was, obviously, a chaplain for Navy officers and enlisted men.  He was always a Protetant.  Since Guam was predominantly Catholic, the Catholic Navy men could attend Mass with the locals.

Old-timers used to tell me that the Protestant Navy chaplain didn't have much to do.  Besides Sunday services, there might be another spiritual meeting once during the week, but not much more.  Sunday School couldn't have been a heavy task, since there wasn't a huge number of Navy children dependents.

So to give the man something to do, the Protestant Navy chaplain was almost always made head of the Education Department.  All schools were run by the Navy government, except for the private and non-denominational Guam Instititue.  The Catholic Church was not allowed to run its own schools.

Imagine the chagrin of the Spanish friars who ran Guam's Catholic churches; all those Catholic Chamorro kids under the supervision of a Protestant chaplain!  In reality, there was no active effort to convert the Catholic children to Protestantism.  The real rub came when schools planned plays, dances and other events during Lent, which was strictly observed in those days.


In 1929, the public school in Sinajaña was renamed "Chaplain Salisbury School" in honor of former Education head, Lieutenant Stanton W. Salisbury, Navy chaplain.  He served as department head from 1924 till 1926 and in that time had a new schoolhouse built in Sinajaña.

Principal Jose Kamminga, Deputy Commissioner Vicente Gogo and Congressman Joaquin L. Atoigue all participated in the ceremonies, but most interesting was that a prayer at that event was offered by none other than Catholic missionary, Capuchin Pale' Javier of the Cathedral. 

Salisbury Junction

I believe that location is named after another Salisbury, Governor George Salisbury. 

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