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    Thursday, July 18, 2019-6:24:12A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Mayor Apatang says Earhart monument can help boost tourism

MAYOR David M. Apatang said the proposed Amelia Earhart monument on Saipan can help boost local tourism.

“That’s one of the big advantages of having that monument,” he added. “It’s also about history.”

David Mundo Apatang

The Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument Committee led by author and retired educator Marie S.C. Castro met recently in the mayor’s conference room.

“We’ll see what else we can do to assist them,” the mayor said.

In a separate interview, Castro said Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan are role models for the new generation who can learn from and emulate their spirit of courage and determination.

Castro reiterated that a “mountain of evidence attests to Earhart’s presence and lonely, miserable death on Saipan.”

She said Joaquina M. Cabrera, who was their neighbor and a relative in Garapan during the Japanese administration of the NMI, would often come to their house to visit.

She said Joaquina worked in the laundry room for the Japanese guests and political detainees at the Kobayashi Royokan Hotel.

“Joaquina had never seen a leather jacket before among the pile of laundry to be washed. Suddenly she saw a lady pilot wearing the jacket. She handled the leather jacket with care,” Castro said.

Joaquina would later describe in the presence of Father Arnold Bendowske and Father Sylvan Conover that the lady pilot wore a man’s outfit like her companion who had a knee injury.

The police took the man who never came back, Castro quoted Joaquina as saying.

Earhart stayed at the Kobayashi Royokan Hotel until she died of dysentery, Castro added.

“I feel obligated as a local person who learned about these incidents from our elders that I should make an effort to include them in the historical records of Saipan,” Castro said.

An American aviation pioneer, Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean during an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe in July 1937.