Congress Mourns the Passing of Congressman Harper

PALIKIR, POHNPEI. January 12, 2024– With heartfelt condolences to the family, the Office of the Speaker announces the passing of Chuuk State Senator Florencio Singkoro Harper who had represented the Mortlocks region in the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia since 2011.

The late Senator Harper passed in the early morning hours of January 08, 2024, at the Guam Regional Medical City hospital in Dededo, Guam - he was 70 years old.  While the family is ironing out the repatriation and funeral details, the family has shared with the Congress that the first week of February has been the timeline agreed upon for the remains to return to his home state of Chuuk.

He was a career politician who devoted over 42 years as a public servant to both the state of Chuuk and to the Nation as a whole. He served the people of Chuuk State as an elected representative beginning in 1982. He was elected as a senator to the then one-house or unicameral Chuuk State Legislature and maintained his seat for the next 29 years.  Through its transition to the current bi-cameral house, the late Senator Harper was re-elected and held the gamut of leadership roles from chairmanship to presiding officer with the finals years at the legislature spent as the Speaker of the Chuuk House of Representative. In 2011, he was elected to the FSM Congress as representative of the Mortlock Islands Congress where the next 13 years he dedicated his energy and vision in service to his people and the nation as a whole.

The late Senator Harper is survived by his wife Meriam and their 7 children: Akina, Neimen, Sadsy, Atlad, Flores, Besser and Lastlynn; and their 22 grandchildren.

Hewas first elected to the Congress in 2011 and seated as the Floor Leader of the 17th Congress and held the role until the reorganization of the Twenty Third Congress in 2023.  

Hebrings to Congress a background rich in public service, having dedicated over 30 years of his life in service to the government of the State of Chuuk in various leadership roles and capacities at both Branches of the Executive and the Legislative.

The late Senator Harper served the Executive Branch of the Chuuk State Government at the Department of Health Services as a Lab Technician and then continued on to the Department of Education as a classroom teacher. He is most noted however for his tenure at the Legislative Branch where he devoted 29 consecutive years of his life as a member of the Chuuk State Legislature. Elected to the Chuuk State Legislature in April 1982, hewas a long serving member of the Chuuk State Legislature having served as a member when it was one house or Unicameral during which he held the Chairmanship and Vice-Chairmanship of various committees. He continued with the Chuuk State Legislature when it transitioned to its current Bicameral setup and was elected to its House of Representatives.

At the House of Representatives of the Chuuk State Legislature, heran the gamut of leadership with Chairmanship on various committees to the roles of presiding officers where he was Floor Leader to Vice Speaker of the Body.  His final years at the Chuuk State Legislature were served as the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the 8th, 9th and 10th Legislatures when he was elected to the FSM Congress.

The late Senator Harper’s educational background started at the Satowan Elementary School then on to the prestigious Xavier High School and concluded at the then Community College of Micronesia (CCM). While his education ended at the CCM for personal reasons, Harper amassed experience and accolades from Blackstone Law School correspondence courses; Dale Carnegie Public Speaking courses; Evaluation of Laws and Good Leadership; Principles of Accounting; and Biblical Self-Help courses. 

In addition to public services for the Chuuk State Government, he was active participant of the community where he was a member of the Head Start Policy Council; Board of Directors of TOCA; member of the First Satowan Constitutional Convention; and served as the Floor Leader of the Third Chuuk State Constitutional Convention.  He also served on the following Boards:  the Association of Pacific Islands Legislatures (APIL); Pacific Islands Development Bank (PIDB); and the Caroline Islands Air (CIA).

The departure of the late Senator Harper is a great loss to the Nation but a greater and more profound loss to his people in the state of Chuuk where his strength and energy was devoted to their growth, development and well-being.