Extract from: Information for Navy and Marine Corps Personnel ordered to Guam, Naval Government of Guam, 1936. A tradition, much like that given when crossing the Equator. [Source- Univ of Miami, Richter Library, PanAm Collection]    MAIN PAGE       HALE PAGE

The Roosters

Great antiquity is claimed for this fabulous organization. Membership is confined to the officers of the Naval Station, and certain other gentlemen who occupy key positions in the civilian activities on the Island.

Meetings are held at irregular intervals and are presided over by the Chief Whangdoodle who exercises complete authority. The Chief Whangdoodle is assisted by certain aides in carrying out the mysterious functions of his high office. It is said that the novitiates are obligated in no way when they are initiated into the sacred circle, except they are sworn not to divulge solemn rites that they undergo.

|Rooster initiation

Photograph of unknown officer riding to the Plaza on the back of a carabao, preparing to become a young Rooster. Hale Collection, Hoover Archives.

Full fledged members are known as "Old Roosters," and the candidates as "Cockerels." When the time seems appropriate the Chief Whangdoodle commands that certain Old Roosters go forth and bring in certain young Cockerels that he designates.

The Cockerels are herded somewhere in the vicinity of Dorn Hall, which faces the Plaza, and are either mounted on carabaos or confined in a gigantic chicken coop, and are paraded first with martial music and then, as the execution place is approached, with a funeral dirge. This parade is occasion for a Roman Holiday and the populace of Agaña turns out en masse to view the victims, The parade ends at the Cock Pit, located in Jagatña Perch, sometimes called Shinohara's Gas Kitchen.

The ceremonies of initiation are carried out behind bolted doors, but even so the shrieks of the victims often reach the ears of the apprehensive wives, friends and relatives, who huddle in a distressed group outside. A surgeon attired in an operating gown, accompanied by trained assistants, is always in attendance, so no serious casualties have occurred up to this writing, and it has generally been noted that the newly spurred young Roosters go about their duties the next day none the worse for the terrible ordeal through which they have passes.

It should be kept in mind that the watchword of the Roosters is —