Palau’s national flags are flown at half-mast today in Palau and all its offices and embassies around the world in honor of the late High Chief Ibedul Yutaka Gibbons of Koror State who passed away on November 4, 2021, in Taipei, Taiwan. Late High Chief Ibedul Yutaka Gibbon’s national, state and family funeral ceremonies are being held today, November 23, 2031.
A Presidential Proclamation issued recognized and conveyed the people of Palau’s gratitude as well as deep sadness of the passing of late High Chief Ibedul Yutaka Gibbons.
High Chief Ibedul Yutaka Gibbons lived a full and extraordinary life. Born to the highest-ranking clan of Koror, the Techeboet Clan of Idid, his mother’s lineage, he was in line to bear the title of Ibedul of Koror.
He wasn’t born bearing the title and began his young life pursuing educational aspirations. His biodata states that he attended Seventh Day Adventist Elementary School, followed by Emmaus High School before graduating from SDA Mission Academy in 1965. He attended Guam Trade School and then the University of Guam before enlisting in the US Army, serving for 6 years.
In 1972, when former High Chief Ibedul Ngoriakl passed away, his clan requested Palau Legislature to petition the United States government to release late High Chief Ibedul Yutaka Gibbons from the US Army so he can assume his title.
He was released and returned home to assume the title of Ibedul at the young age of 29, the youngest to bear the title of Ibedul in the history of Koror according to the presidential proclamation.
Late Ibedul Yutaka Gibbons held other positions in addition to his traditional title such as becoming the Mayor of Koror upon assuming his traditional title and was also a prolific businessman.
High Chief Ibedul Yutaka Gibbons used his position and title to provide leadership during the turbulent times in the 1980s. He championed the environment early on before it was popular by opposing nuclear in Palau, opposing the development of oil superport, and supporting the preservation of Palau’s cultural and environmental treasures.
High Chief Ibedul Yutaka Gibbons passed away at age 77, having served as High Chief Ibedul of Koror for 48 years. He leaves behind a wife, siblings, many children, grandchildren, family members, and relatives and friends.
Today, November 23rd, will be the last day for the flags to be flown at half-mast and for the TAOR to be in force.