Monday, December 17, 2012

Memorial Prayer Service held in Pohnpei in honor of Keitani Graham

FSM Information Services (December 17, 2012): A memorial prayer service was held at the Our Lady of Mercy Church in Kolonia, Pohnpei the morning of December 17 in honor of Keitani Graham.

Ten days after the shock of his passing, several friends, colleagues and many others for whom Keitani would remain a hero and a role model are still trying to come to terms with the reality of his death.

Today, a sizable crowd gathered at the Catholic Church in Kolonia in a simple but passionate service, remembering and praying for Keitani and his family in Chuuk. The service was requested by the FSM National Olympic Committee Secretary General, Mr. Jim Tobin on behalf the many athletes, coaches and sports officials who have come to know Keitani as a friend, a partner, a coach, a fellow leader and a role model. Some members of the Friends of Xavier – Pohnpei (FOX-P) also assisted at the prayer service, including Ms Alissa Takesy and Mrs Suzanne Low-Gallen.

Also attending the service were Dr. Vita A. Skilling, Secretary of FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs, Ms. Evelyn Adolph, Director of SBOC, Mr. Mike Loyola, Pohnpei State Sports Development Coordinator, Mrs. Ermine Walliby, COM-FSM Peer Counseling Program Coordinator (family member to Keitani), Fr. Ken Urmolog S.J., Xavier High School teacher for Keitani, Mr. Scott Mori, one of Keitani’s classmates at Xavier, several members of the Chuukese Catholic Community of Pohnpei, several Pohnpeian friends and staff of the FSM National Olympic Committee Office.

In his homily, Fr. Julio Angkel spoke of Keitani as a humble person who “walked in the footsteps of Christ” in the way he lived -- inspiring, teaching, sharing and creating opportunities for others in ways that treated everyone as equal and important.  

Mr. Jim Tobin gave a moving reflection on Keitani’s endeavors and achievements as Oceania’s best wrestler and FSM’s ideal athlete who gave his all not only in training and competition but also in administering sports and related works. Jim also confirmed that Keitani was a sitting Vice President of the FSMNOC as representative of his home state of Chuuk.

The coaches and athletes who are part of the FSM Team to London 2012, a team that Keitani deservedly belongs to, and are residents of Pohnpei all came to the service, still mourning the passing of their dear friend.

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