Estanislao Tudela “Stanley” McGinnis, Don A. Farrell, and Michael S. “Mike” Sablan have each been named grand marshal for today’s Liberation Day parade on Saipan, one for each anniversary of Liberation Day since the parade was last held in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In commemorating the 74th, 75th, and 76th anniversaries of the celebration, the 2022 Liberation Day Committee and I are pleased to announce Stanley, Don, and Mike, respectively, as our parade grand marshals, in recognition of their long leadership and contributions to our Marianas community,” said Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang.
The Liberation Day Parade will be held today, July 4, at 10am on Beach Road from the National Office Supply to Garapan Fishing Base. Beach Road will be closed from Quartermaster Road to National Office Supply at 8am for parade participants to assemble. National Office Supply to Dama Di Noche Street will close at 9am.
Festivities kicked off with an opening ceremony last Thursday at the Garapan Fishing Base. Over 60 booths for food, drinks, arts and crafts, and games and live entertainment were presented from 6:30pm to 10pm nightly. Today, the grounds will open at 9am.
This year’s parade will also include a number of military groups, including hometown U.S. Army Reservists with 9th Mission Support Command; U.S. Marine Forces Pacific Band 5-member Ensemble from Hawaii; Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz; Guam National Guard; Indo-Pacific Command Liaison to the CNMI from Pacific Air Forces; and their respective senior leaders.
Recent Liberation Day Queens who will be honored as this year’s Royal Court are 2014 Queen Pressel Jean Camacho, 2015 Queen Zolenska Marie Yaroitemal, 2016 Queen Christine Roque, 2017 Queen Peyton Reyes Gomez, 2018 Queen Brinae Jessilyn Maratita Cruz (2018), and 2019 Queen Pernalynn Janet Borja Camacho.
McGinnis—formerly Estanislao Tudela “Stanley” McGinnis Torres—was only 3 years old when the Americans landed on Saipan in 1944. He spent time in a cave with his parents and other family members while Japanese and American soldiers fought to the death for control of the island. After the Americans secured control of the island, he and his family were made to live in Camp Susupe with other civilians. Liberation Day is celebrated annually to mark the permanent closure on July 4, 1945, of civilian internment camps on Saipan, when indigenous Chamorros and Carolinians were allowed to fully return to their land and private lives following World War II. Torres remembers when everyone in the camp was finally allowed to permanently leave.
McGinnis attended Mt. Carmel Catholic School and was part of the first high school graduation.
He married Arlene Blas Cabrera and began his family in Oleai, where he, his brothers, father and other members of the community assisted in the building of the San Jose Church. He eventually was selected as village commissioner.
McGinnis worked for Pan American Airlines for 15 years before opening his own travel agency, Hafa Adai International Travel Agency. Fifteen years later, he was elected to the 7th Northern Marianas Legislature and began a political career that spanned 16 years.
Farrell is best known for his lifelong hobby of researching and writing about the history of the Marianas. His writing career began in Guam, and he moved to Tinian in 1987, publishing the first History of the Northern Mariana Islands in 1991. His other books include Tinian: A Brief History; The History of the Northern Mariana Islands, Saipan: A Brief History; Guam: A Brief History; Rota: A Brief History; Modern History of the Northern Mariana Islands; Tinian and The Bomb; and Atomic Bomb Island. He has also written numerous magazine and newspaper articles on the history of the Mariana Islands.
Farrell credits his understanding of Marianas history to 35 years of government service, including chief of staff to the speaker of the Guam Legislature, and former chief of staff to the mayor of the Municipality of Tinian and Aguiguan. He has also been a member of the board of directors of the Northern Marianas Humanities Council and the CNMI Historic Preservation Review board. He holds a B.A. in Biological Science from California State College at Fullerton in 1973 and a degree in Secondary Education from California State College at San Bernardino in 1975.
Farrell is married to Carmen Muna Dela Cruz of Tinian. They have three children and eight grandchildren. (PR)
Sablan has had a varied professional career combining public service, private enterprise, and involvement with civic organizations over the past 35 years. His private sector work has involved senior executive positions in major corporate enterprises in Los Angeles, Saipan, and Guam, including his current position as vice president for the Triple J Enterprises Group. Prior to Triple J, Sablan was VP of Joeten Enterprises and assistant controller of DFS Saipan. He has also served on numerous corporate boards in the region. In June 2020, Mike was appointed civilian aide to the U.S. Secretary of the Army for the Northern Mariana Islands.
Sablan also has a long history of public sector and civic service, including his term as special adviser to the late governor Pedro P. Tenorio from 1999 to 2000 and as the CNMI’s public auditor from 2001 to 2008. During his service as public auditor, he served as chairman of the Association of Pacific Islands Public Auditors in 2001 and 2007, regional vice president of the Association of Government Accountants in 2003, and chairman of the Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions in 2005. For his contributions toward enhancing AGA’s activities in the region, the AGA National Office in Washington D.C. awarded Sablan its National President’s Award in 2006. He currently serves on the CNMI Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors and is chairman of its Domestic Policy Recovery Committee. Adding to his public service experience Sablan has served in various community, civic, and church organizations, including organizations such as the Northern Mariana Islands Boy Scouting program, the Rotary Club of Saipan, the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa Finance Council, and the Mount Carmel School Board.
In 2017, Sablan was recognized as the Business Person of the Year by the Saipan Chamber of Commerce for his many contributions in the business, public and civic arenas. Sablan obtained his Baccalaureate in Economics from the University of California Los Angeles and professional licensures in California and Guam as a Certified Public Accountant, among the first from the CNMI to have obtained such.
Sablan is married to Violeta Lopez Sablan. Three sons—Stephen, Zachary and Adam—currently reside and work in Las Vegas, Nevada after graduating college there in 2019. (Saipan Tribune/PR)