Saturday, December 28, 2013


It's been almost seventy years since the people of Sumay were forcibly moved by the US Navy from their beloved town, with its fertile farm lands and rich marine life, to the rough, wooded hills of Santa Rita after World War II.  But the people of Sumay, even their descendants who never knew life there, remain very attached to their home town, now part of the US Naval Station.

These memories and fond affection for Sumay have given birth to a new book, written by James Perez Viernes, a descendant of a Sumay family and now on the faculty of the University of Guam.

The book has everything; many historic photographs, historical data, personal stories and anecdotes by pre-war residents, a map of Sumay showing the location of each family's lot, photos of the parish priests, music.

I was happy to help in Viernes' project by sharing some old photos and whatever insights I could share with him in conversation.  I also submitted a small write-up about the strong connection between the Capuchin priests and the people of Sumay/Santa Rita. A hundred and eight years' worth of connection!

The book is available for purchase at the Santa Rita Church.  Phone number 565-2160.

Highly recommended.

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