Bethwel Henry, the first speaker of FSM Congress, dies

Bethwel Henry, the first speaker of the Federated States of Micronesia Congress, and the postmaster general from 1988 to 2007, died Dec. 16.


Born March 3, 1934, on Mwoakilloa Atoll, Henry served the Congress of Micronesia from 1964 to 1979. He served as speaker in the house in the second session in 1966, and was re-elected every two years thereafter until his final term, the FSM government stated in a news release.

He advocated for postal rates that ensured the FSM citizen received the same rights as U.S. domestic destinations.

He also served in numerous capacities at the state and municipal levels, including as vice chairman of Kolonia Development Authority. He remained active in his church and served as president of the Pohnpei State Christian Endeavor Society.

David W. Panuelo, president of the FSM, has proclaimed an official period of mourning.

The FSM government plans to hold a state funeral for Henry at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Congressional Chamber in Palikir, followed by transportation to the church in Kepinle for services. The burial is scheduled for Dec. 22.

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