Seven surviving members of the 1st Constitutional Convention met to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1st day of the drafting of the Palau Constitution at the Palasia Hotel on January 28.

Palau Former Presidents Johnson Toribiong and Kuniwo Nakamura together with the other framers of the constitution namely Rev. Billy Kuartei, Joshua Koshiba, Mariano Carlos, Haruo Willter and Laurentino Ulechong and the legal counsel gathered to honor and relish the memories of one of the most important parts of Palau’s history – the making of its supreme law.

Former President Toribiong recalled how calm the atmosphere was during the drafting of Palau’s constitution, adding that he believed that there was a divine intervention when they drafted the supreme law.

It was on January 28, 1979 when 38 members of the first Constitutional Convention began the 65-day convention to draft the constitution that lasted until April 2, 1979.

Out of the 38 framers, only 10 remain to be alive. Three of the living framers namely Masayuki Adelbai, Fuana Rengulbai and Masa-Aki Emesiochel were not present in the event.

Palau’s constitution was approved by 92% of the voters in a referendum held on July 9, 1979. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)