The CNMI Division of Historic Preservation review board held their quarterly meeting yesterday, electing their officers and introducing HPO’s new historian after the position had been vacant the last six years.
Pedro A. Duenas Jr. was elected board chairman. Dr. Hiro Kurashina was nominated and elected vice chairman after member Don Farrell turned down the nomination, citing a time he needs to finish a book project.
Duenas thanked the board for electing him, saying he is familiar with the program but may need some refreshing, after retiring in 2010. He asked for their help, saying the board serves to help the HPO program. “Let’s try to hold hands and serve as board members,” he said.
Board member Elizabeth Rechebai thanked outgoing chair Farrell for his efforts.
HPO director Merti Kani introduced Ray Muna to the board as the division’s newest historian. “So far I’m loving it,” he said.
Muña has been giving presentations on the Spanish influence in the CNMI and the importance of the CNMI during World War II to public school students since he’s been with the office.
Rechebai said it is wonderful to have a historian on board, adding that Muña will help make CNMI history accessible to audiences.