Guam Teachers’ Association photo from the Sanchez collection.

Guam Teachers’ Association called for collections to begin for a Guam Museum

In 1925 a group of CHamoru teachers in Guam, led by Ramon M. Sablan, formed the Guam Teachers’ Association. The Association aimed to create and foster education, develop the social and professional well being of the teachers on the island, and provide activities toward the attainment of moral, physical and intellectual culture on Guam.

Sablan was joined by Remedios LG Perez, Jose LG Rios, Simon A. Sanchez, Maria PL Guerrero, Josefa A. Perez and Antonio I. Cruz in forming this civic and professional organization. Over the years, the group helped improve school conditions and enhanced relationships between parents, students, teachers and the local government.

The Guam Teachers’ Association was also instrumental in circulating the idea for the creation of a museum for Guam. According to the September 1926 issue of the Guam Recorder, the Association members sponsored the first collection of natural and scientific specimens, works of art and literary curiosities for future study of the island’s history. Residents were asked to help collect historical objects for a museum as many of these items were fast disappearing from the island. The community sent a range of different antiques for their inspection, and prizes were offered for the most valuable articles accepted by the Association.

The Association also engaged in other activities to preserve Guam’s history and culture including working with the people of Humåtak to place the first Magellan Monument in the village on 6 March 1926. The Teachers’ Association also paid for a monument honoring Padre Palomo in 1933. It was placed in the Plaza square in Hagåtña.