FSM Congress News
Congress mourns death of longtime member Claude H. Phillip
PALIKIR, POHNPEI. October 1, 2012 – The Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia today mourn the passing of late Senator Claude H. Phillip who died on September 30, 2012, in the State of Kosrae after a long period of extended illness. He was 64.
Congressional Resolution 17-183, adopted today, conveys condolences from Members who mourn a valued colleague and true friend. Speaker Isaac V. Figir shared that the late Phillip had “contributed a lot to the nation and at Congress we are deeply saddened by the loss of a deeply respected leader.”
The late Senator Phillip was one of the nation’s longest serving Member having been first elected to the Third Congress of the FSM in 1983 as the two-year representative of the State of Kosrae. And for the next 28 years, the late Phillip was consecutively re-elected to the national Body where he served as the two-year representative for the State of Kosrae. In 2007 he ran as a four year at-large member from the State of Kosrae and was seated to the 15th Congress as such and served in the same capacity for eight years May 2011 when he retired from the political arena.
Phillip devoted most of his lifetime as a public servant, with extensive services to the nation, as an elected representative. As one of the most senior members of the Congress, he was the longest serving Vice Speaker of the Congress – over 10 years and is one of only two Members to have held both a two-year and four-year seat. He also served as Floor Leader for the Fifth Congress and had at one time served on each of the Congressional Standing Committees either as the Chairman, Vice Chairman or as member.
Phillips services to the nation began right after his graduation from Doane College in Nebraska in 1971 with a BA in Political Science. He was immediately hired by the Government of the Trust Territory in 1971 as an instructor of Social Studies at the Micronesian Occupational College (MOC) in Palau. As a young college graduate, Phillip was highly sought after and served in Palau for only three years. In 1973 he was promoted to be the Civic Affairs Office for the Marshall Islands and held this role for another three years.
After his role in the Marshall Island, in 1976, Phillip took on an intensive training course on legal defense offered in Kosrae and his successful completion of the course led him to join the Kosrae Public Defenders Office as a District Public Defender.
Phillip served the State of Kosrae in various roles and numerous capacities in its progress towards democracy. Among his more prominent roles is that of Chairman of the Kosrae Education for Self-Government task force where he was instrumental in the transition to self-governing.
In 1978, he was appointed to the position of Land Commissioner for Kosrae and served in that capacity until his election to the Third Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia on March 8, 1983.
Claude H. Phillip is buried at the family cemetery in Lelu. He is survived by his wife Betty Olkeriil Phillip, their children and many grandchildren.
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? Palikir, Pohnpei 96941
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