The New Guam Museum, Part One

The Guam Museum was still under construction when we last visited Guam in 2015. It opened a year later. One of the highlights of our trip this year was our visit to the new museum which is named after one of my wife’s relatives. In this posting I will concentrate on the photos I took outside the museum.

From left to right: the Pieta of Hagatna, the Guam Cathedral and the rear entrance to the Guam Museum.

Click on any photo to see a larger version of that photo.

A tribute to Carlton Skinner, Guam’s first civilian governor, in front of the museum’s rear entrance.

The Guam Museum is located in Skinner Plaza in Hagatna, Guam’s capital. Carlton Skinner was a lieutenant in the US Coast Guard at the outset of World War II when both he and his ship were transferred to the US Navy. He is credited with being the first Naval officer to integrate African-American crewmen with whites. In 1949 he was working for the Department of the Interior when he was appointed Governor of Guam by President Truman. Among his accomplishments are the establishing of the University of Guam and the writing of the Guam constitution. He was replaced by President Eisenhower in 1953.

The southwest wall of the Guam Museum.

Another view of the rear entrance to the museum.

The Guam Cathedral and statue of Pope John Paul II is across the street from the museum entrance.

The main entrance to the museum.

The Chamorro language is a Spanish-Austronesian mixed language.

Another view of the main entrance. The Guam Museum was designed by the architectural firm of Laguana + Christobal, LLC.

The new Guam museum is named after Antonio “Tony” Palomo, historian, journalist, professor, legislator and museum curator. In the 1980s Tony wrote “An Island in Agony,” a history of Guam during World War II. He also was a sports writer and sports editor for the Guam Daily News and a journalist for the Associated Press during the Vietnam War. He also was a senator in the Guam Legislature for many years and the curator of the Guam Museum when it was temporarily located in the Micronesian Mall. He died in 2013.

Senator Tony Palomo was my wife’s third cousin. We met his family as well as his sisters Anna and Lydia and brother Benigno (also a Guam senator) and their families at a family dinner party hosted by Annie on our last trip to Guam in 2015. We bumped into Annie at the World War II Survivors dinner this year but didn’t get a chance to get together with anyone else in the family on this trip. Another of Tony’s siblings, his sister Eloise, lives in Northern California near us.

Local artist David Sablan donated this painting to the museum named after his brother-in-law. We met David’s wife Lydia in 2015. She died last year.

We’ll go inside the museum and look around in my next posting.

About crowcanyonjournal

I am a family man with interests in family history, photography, history and travel.
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5 Responses to The New Guam Museum, Part One

  1. disperser says:

    Interesting stuff. Nice shots.

    • “Nice” is a very subjective word and so I first will give you my long answer since I don’t know exactly what you mean by “nice.” Then I will give you my short answer.

      The weather is about the same all year round and that’s nice unless you prefer four distinct seasons. I enjoy my mornings and evenings in Guam but the afternoons are too hot and humid for this senior citizen. Not too nice.

      If you have been to Hawaii and think it s nice then you will probably also think that Guam is nice. Guam is like Oahu minus a big city. Tumon Bay is Guam’s Waikiki. You will also find slow and easy living away from the bright lights. And nice tropical scenery. And it’s nice to have the availability of water sports, including fishing.

      If you like seafood and prefer meals that are more Asian than European then you will find the food nice. I’m a cheeseburger guy myself but I love being able to go to McDonald’s and order a spam and eggs and rice breakfast — only available in Hawaii and Guam.

      Guam’s economy is OK but probably too dependent on Japanese tourism and the US government. Opportunities for employment are not plenty outside these two areas and you will find homeless people on Guam. But it’s nice that one can survive on tropical fruits and fish!

      It’s nice to have the protection provided by the Guam Naval Base and Andersen Air Force Base but it’s not nice to have to have that protection, being so close to North Korea.

      Japanese tourists are usually nice and they will smile if you manage to obtain eye contact. Hotel and restaurant workers are also nice as are other Guamanians a visitor might meet. Of course the welcome doors were open for me because my wife was born and raised in Guam and we spent our entire vacation living with her relatives who I consider among the friendliest people in the world! We stayed at hotels in Tumon on our last few trips to Guam and I found it very nice to be immersed in Chamorro hospitality during this trip.

      And now for the short answer: yes.

      • disperser says:

        Glad to hear someone like the spam and rice and eggs besides me. Although, I’ve yet to try McD’s offering (lots of other opportunities for that here).

        I’m with you on the heat thing, too. We love Hawaiʻi but we don’t go out in the middle of the day and while there are no distinct seasons the summer months (now) are much hotter than we like. It is, after all, the tropics.

        Interesting you mention all the other things that affect Hawaiʻi as well. Tourism is the main industry and locals are ambivalent about it. Also, local suffer from foreign investors buying up real estate and housing. Homelessness is a problem on all the islands.

        Also, someone asking me about Hawaiʻi gets told there is a huge difference between living here and coming here for a vacation. We had visited the Big Island eleven or twelve times before moving here and I can attest to that. Mind you, we like it here, but paradise it is not and even though we had researched a whole lot, there were still surprises and one is more likely to see the “not-so-great-stuff” during an extended stay than when someone visits for a few weeks.

        It’s a great vacation spot precisely because on vacation you’re not living your “normal” life and subject to the normal aggravations of everyday living. The thing is, you can’t live as if you’re on vacation every day.

        My answer for Hawaiʻi would be . . . it’s definitely nice to visit and can be nice to live here but there are challenges.

      • Rajiv says:

        I like the long answer!! For me, I don’t like burgers too much, so I am happy with food that is more Asian. As I grow I find myself moving more towards Asian food. Strangely, sometime I like Japanese and Korean food more than my native Indian food. However, I love steaks. I can gorge on steaks! Sadly, in Delhi, we don’t get steaks made from cow meat. This is the insane cow belt of India.

        I may not be too fond of the climatic conditions in Guam. My favourite is cold and dry. Unusual for an Indian, but I grew up in cold climes. The hills of India, and London. Not that London is dry! I love the Beijing winters, and dislike the Shanghai one. I do like my seasons!

        Tropical fruit and fish seems good! As I slowly age, I like lighter, fresher food. The grey hair syndrome, maybe!

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