Government of Guam employees and their families took up every available space on Sunday to celebrate Labor Day at the Gov. Joseph Flores Beach Park.
Almost every agency had a presence at the annual islandwide celebration dedicated to the workforce. Some agencies had programs and shows within their tents, but the occasional contest brought spectators to the middle of the courtyard.
Many of Guam’s busiest employees wanted none of that. Off the clock, they enjoyed life at a crawl, happy to do nothing but kick back in the shade, talk, laugh, and sometimes get up for a refill.
“Labor Day 2016? It’s about getting together, having a good time, be able to enjoy each other’s company but at the same time, we got our men and women in blue still keeping the people of Guam safe,” said Guam Police Department Chief J.I. Cruz. “And then we get right back to work.”
“Many officers also attended the picnic in uniform, on the clock. Cruz says that about 40 officers would rotate throughout the day, their presence and numbers part of keeping the picnic grounds safe.
“This is the sixth Labor Day picnic for me and every year, it’s great,” said Port Authority Police officer James Sandler. He said he signed up for leave in advance to make sure he and his family could get together with other families there.
At the Guam Memorial Hospital tent, Theo Pangelinan often surveyed those gathered. It was his debut as the event’s coordinator and he wanted things perfect.
“Everything’s going well. We had a good turnout and people seem to be enjoying themselves,” said Pangelinan, an administrative assistant. He co-chaired the event with Ed Davis, who spoke about his colleagues on duty at the hospital and Skilled Nursing Unit in Barrigada
“We’re a 24-7 operation, taking care of the people of Guam. There’s about 300 of them (at work), so we also catered and had them fed to wish them a happy Labor Day too.”
Lyle Manibusan, a heavy equipment operator leader for the Guam Power Authority, listed two ‘best’ things about the picnic:
“Just everyone coming together and making the authority shine,” he said. He flashed a huge smile and said, “And the pig! Us Chamorros love eating roast pig. Oh yes, the skin was crispy … and so was the power! We always gotta talk about the power!” (PDNews) [/restrict]