The unveiling of the first art portraits of the eight presidents of the Republic of Palau was an outstanding feature in this year’s President’s Day celebration.
President’s Day which falls on June 1st, also marks the birthday of the first President of the Republic of Palau, President Haruo Remeliik. President Remeliik was President from 1981 until his assassination in 1985. He passed away at young age of 51.
President’s Day every year is usually celebrated with visits to the graves of previous presidents to lay wreaths, a dinner to showcase their past accomplishments and contributions, a baseball game and/or a fishing derby.
This year, the portraits of the eight Presidents that have led this country for the past 39 years under the constitutional government, were unveiled at the Office of the President at Ngerulmud.
The event is made memorable due to the artworks being those of the late Dave Ngirailemesang, a young talented artist whose recent tragic death is still remembered and felt by many.
Dave Ngirailemesang was commissioned by the Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs to make portraits of all the eight Presidents of Palau. Six of the artwork were completed except for two, which only have the busts completed. The two with just busts are portraits of former Presidents Thomas Remengesau Sr. and Lazarus E. Salii. The paintings of just the busts directed attention to the faces and expressions of the presidents without distractions.
Ngiralemesang’s family joined the event to also share in their late brother’s contribution to the Republic.
The unveiling of the presidents’ portraits wrapped up a full day of commemorative events that started with laying wreaths at the graves of the five Presidents that have passed away and a lunch reception honoring all the presidents hosted by Peleliu State. The day before, a President’s Day Fishing Derby was held as part of the celebration.
“President’s Day is not a celebration of one person. It is a celebration of a responsibility, celebration of commitment, celebration of good attributes that contributes to growth of a nation. It’s a reminder to us all that President is only one man. Like a captain of the ship, it cannot be just one person captaining the ship. Everyone has a role and part to play in moving the ship forward,” remarked President Remengesau Jr. at the 2020 President’s Day unveiling ceremony at Ngerulmud.