Rotary, Emon Lodge 179 team up to enhance Suicide Cliff


Emon Masonic Lodge 179 senior warden Leo Canedo, seated left, and other group representatives join Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers co-chairs Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, seated center, and Jerry Tan for a group photo after committing to the GCEA’s Public Private Partnership initiative. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

The Rotary Club of Saipan and Emon Masonic Lodge 179 have teamed up on a four-phased improvement plan for the historic Suicide Cliff.

The two organizations have adopted the site—known for its significance in World War II history— after signing up for the Public Private Partnership program of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers, as part of the CNMI government’s destination enhancement initiative.

Based on the proposal, Rotary and Emon Lodge will further improve the natural features of Suicide Cliff by planting additional trees and flowers and repainting and installing signages at the site, which is also called Laderan Banadero in Chamorro.

Phase 1 of the project will have the two groups planting golden shower trees along the road to the site. Phase 2 involves repairing and repainting signages and planting of bougainvillea and yellow decorative ground flowers. Both the Rotary and Emon Lodge will work on the first two phases of the project in the last two months of the year.

The two non-government organizations chose to accentuate the natural beauty of the Suicide Cliff with yellow flowers as the color symbolizes friendship and peace. “We came up with the color and design to create interest in a way that embraces the historical significance of this site and one that has purpose and meaning,” said Rotary Club of Saipan president Sonya Dancoe.

Rotary Club of Saipan members and officials, led by president Sonya Dancoe, seated left, pose with Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers co-chairs Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, seated center, and Jerry Tan after signing an agreement with the GCEA’s Public Private Partnership program a few of months ago. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

For Phases 3 and 4 of the project, the Rotary and Emon Lodge will focus on the Suicide Cliff Lookout. Once the Department of Corrections and Marianas Visitors Authority have completed the repair work at the railings of the lookout, the two NGOs will take over and plant bougainvillea and yellow decorative ground flowers at the site.

Though this will be the Rotary and Emon Lodge’s first partnership for a big project, the two groups are no strangers to community work. They’ve either led or supported beautification drives in the CNMI, made significant donations to various organizations, backed sports programs, etc.

“Community service and charitable work are principal Masonic teachings. It’s our sworn duty as freemasons to serve the community,” said Emon Masonic Lodge No. 179 worshipful master Joel Subang.

Suicide Cliff got its name as the site in World War II where Japanese civilians and soldiers jumped to their deaths in 1944. (PR)

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