The Beginnings...

The Beginnings

(From a commemorative booklet of 25th anniversary of PATS 1990)

photo:The Founder, Fr. Costigan.(July/1914-May/1987)

  1. E The Founder, Fr. Costigan
  2. E Off duty men of the New York City Police
  3. E New York Jesuits
  4. E Japan Airlines, Trans-Ocean Airlines and Ponape Public Works Garage
The Founder, Fr. Costigan

The story of Ponape Agriculture and Trade School starts with the dream of a New York Jesuit priest, Father Hugh F. Costigan, S.J. The time was the late '50's. The characters In the story are many. Father Costigan, of course, was the principal actor, but the supporting cast came from all over the world. The people who lived around the Catholic Mission in Tamworohi, Madolenihmw, were very important. They beat back the jungle area that was to become the campus and laid out the first building foundations, supervised the beginnings of the first farms and animal pens, and braved the wind and rain and tides to bring supplies on small boats from Kolonia to Tamworohi.

The off-duty men of the New York City Police Emergency Services

For Father Costigan the off-duty men of the New York City Police Emergency Services scrounged, rebuilt and shipped the first machinery from the streets of .New York to the shores of Ponape. Countless friends from almost every state in the USA, from Guam, from the Philippines and from Europe contributed to the building of Costigan's dream. In 1965, thirty-seven students came from Palau and Yap in the west and from Truk, Ponape and the Marshalls in the eastern part of the Trust Territory.

New York Jesuits

photo:Fr. Edward A. Soucie, S.J.

Then came additional manpower. New York Jesuits, Father Ed Soucie with his brand-new and hard-earned degree in Agriculture; Dick Becker with his skills in Construction and Administration and a deep interest in Vocational Education; John McCarthy with years of island experience and the ability to make anything that was broken work again. A long line of Jesuit Brothers made their contribution:
Tom Narruhn, Bill Cronmiller, Frank Butler. Then there were the first dedicated co-workers of the Jesuits. From the Philippines came Paulino dela Cruz to be chairman of the Construction Department.


photo:Danis Silbanuz, local leader in the Tamworohi Church, early builder of PATS, present warehouseman.

From Ponape by way of Japan Airlines, Trans-Ocean Airlines and Ponape Public Works Garage came Russ Varner to build a strong foundation for our Mechanics Department. Jerry Victor, from Sokehs in Ponape, later to become one of the first married deacons on Ponape and the successor to Father Costigan as pastor of Madolenihmw, taught the first religion classes and many of the academic subjects. These and many other co-workers from all over the world were the ones who got PATS started. Truly, it was a great mix of people-students, staff and local people-and a great first act for PATS .

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