On Saturday, the Ngarabaimelekeong (traditional council of chiefs of Melekeok) gathered at their Bai to accept a new chief, number 8 in their lineup, Caleb Rechelbang as the new chief Olikong.
Olikong Caleb Rechelbang, was appointed by Iluailtii Ibul Rechelbang of the Ngarmeketii clan of Melekeok who is also the keldorolel a Olikong (female counter part of Olikong title). The 95-year old clan matriarch is said to be the last strong member of the Ngarmeketii clan.
The ranking female members of the Ngarmeketii clan presented Tichiau (money to pay for the new chief’s entrance to the Bai), $16,000 USD, 8 toluk, and two Palauan money(bachel and chelebucheb), as sisbellel and kingellel (entry fee to the bai and his seat in the bai).
The women also presented $1,000 USD plus one Palauan money to be given to former Olikong, Polycarp Basilius, who held the title Olikong, to thank him “for his service to the clan while bearing the title of Olikong.” It was reported that due to former Olikong’s illness, being bedridden, a new Olikong was appointed to replace him.
The announcements were made by chief Secharuliong Theodore Rengulbai, whose role in the Baimelekeong is that of the spokesperson.
The new Olikong Caleb Rechelbang, was called into the bai after the presentation of money where chiefs had opportunity to express their opinions on his appointment. Due to limited time, only High Chief Reklai Bao Ngirmang spoke.
He urged the new chief to put his clan in order, to strengthen and make peace within his clan first. “If your clan is strong then Melekeok is strong.”
Members of Melekeok Ngaramecherocher (young men’s club), were invited into the bai and they were praised by Chief Reklai for taking care of Melekeok, being it warriors and its hand. They were asked to observe and learn from what was happening. “Someday you will be in these seats that we now occupy and you must learn how and why we do what we do,” expressed Reklai.
They were told this was the new Olikong, and that there was no other. “When Olikong is called, know that this is the Olikong being referred to.”
The formal lunch and food distribution was held at Bailechesau, after the ceremony ended.

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