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  • 08/30/16--19:42: Mamadee Diakite Is Dead
  • Liberia Loses another ‘Big Journalist’

    The late Mamadee Diakite will be fondly remembered for his famous statement on the radio: ‘Our Motherland, Liberia, is getting better!’
    Alaskai Moore Johnson

    Mamadee Diakite, one of Liberia’s leading talk-show hosts, has died. The late Diakite, who passed away at 4 a.m. Tuesday, had reportedly succumbed to hypertension (or pressure as it is termed by ordinary Liberians). He died at the Seventh Day Adventist-owned S. D. Cooper Hospital on 12th Street in Sinkor, Monrovia. He was 42.

    Diakite’s shocking demise followed the death of another young and brilliant media colleague, Mr. Lawrence Randall, a few weeks ago in the United States following a period of illness. Lawrence was the founder of the Liberia Media Center (LMC), which works in the areas of media development, access to information, transparency and accountability, and peacebuilding.

    Before his death, Diakite was the general manager of the eight-month-old Prime Communications Network, including Prime FM 105.5. The station is owned by businessman Siaka A. Turay, who is the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Aminata and Sons, Inc., which operates one of Liberia’s biggest gasoline retailing outlets.

    Mr. Diakite, who was an Attorney-at-Law, was the lead presenter of the Prime Morning Drive, yet the leading program on Prime FM. Before he helped Mr. Turay open the station, Diakite became the leading voice behind the microphone of ‘The Truth Breakfast Show,” which is now hosted by two talented Liberian journalists.

    It was on The Truth Breakfast Show, which is broadcast on Truth FM, that the deceased became very famous in the Liberian media landscape and among his media colleagues.

    He is going to be fondly remembered for a famous, however, controversial statement he usually made whenever he was on the radio: “Our Motherland, Liberia, is getting better.”

    His critics say he usually made the statement because he was a “regime collaborator;” and ordinary Liberians were still wallowing in abject poverty, while he sang and showered praises on the government.

    Speaking to the Daily Observer, Kelvin Demey, Head of Radio at Prime FM, said the deceased will be missed for his “tolerance.”

    “He was someone who was very tolerant with everyone; nothing easily moved him,” Demey said, with melancholy (sadness).

    According to Demey, funeral rites will be said at the Newport Street Mosque on Wednesday, August 31, while interment follows at the Muslim burial plot in the Gaye Town Community, Old Road, at 2 p.m.

    Mr. Alpha Diakite, a younger brother of the deceased, told this newspaper that a “tree,” which covered their entire family has “fallen.” Alpha added: “He was a good person; always willing to come to the aid of his family. We will miss him so dearly.”

    He is survived by his wife, Fatumata S. Diakite and four children, the oldest being 12.


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  • 09/01/16--17:49: Teacher Lydia Zoe Caine Dies
  • Deputy Director, Higher Education and Textbook Research, MOE Teacher, St. John’s Mission, Cape Mount

    The Caine, Johnson, Ware, Fahnbulleh and Kiazolu families of Jundu, Grand Cape Mount County announce the peaceful transition, on August 18, 2016, of Mrs. Lydia Zoe Caine, loving mother and Aunt at the Duport Road, Paynesville residence of her children, Molley and Clarice Johnson. Ma Lydia was 99.

    A family spokesperson said Ma Lydia was “the matriarch of the family and the ‘glue’ that connected us all.”

    Born on May 6, 1917 in Jundu, unto the union of Augustus and Kpandi Caine, Lydia, at age 7 was brought by the Episcopal missionaries to Robertsport, where she entered the House of Bethany, the girls’ dorm at St. John’s Episcopal High School. She graduated in 1941.

    In 1942 she practiced teaching at the J.D.K. Baker’s Elementary Community School in Robertsport and in 1943 she entered the Bromley Mission for training as a teacher.

    The following year she returned to Robertsport as Principal of the St. John Episcopal Elementary, where the late Fr. Edgar Bolling Robertson was St. John’s Principal. She signed the certificates of the first group of Junior High students from the Episcopal village school. Members of that class included Dr. Abeodu Jones, the late Henry B. Fahnbulleh, Sr. and Hilary David.

    In 1947 she enrolled at Liberia College and in 1952 obtained the BSc degree in Education from Teachers College in the now University of Liberia (UL).

    She later obtained a USAID scholarship to attend the Western Michigan University, where she took the Master’s degree in Elementary Curriculum Development. She returned home and was employed in the Central office of the Ministry of Education as Deputy Director of Higher Education and Textbook Research. She worked with Dr. Doris Banks
    Henries and a team of energetic young workers to develop several instructional programs to boost the school system in Liberia.

    She was a member of the Association of Liberian Authors and in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, established a writing program with the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UNESCO and UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund.

    Ms. Lydia Zoe Caine worked for many years at the Curriculum and Materials Center of the Ministry of Education with Madams Edna Wordsworth and Maude Major.

    An outspoken, strong willed and “no-nonsense” person, Lydia Zoe lived a distinguished life, serving her country rather than choosing to leave Liberia during the civil war.

    The President of the Republic of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, conferred on her the Grand Master of the Order of Distinction, a national honor, in recognition of Lydia Zoe Caine’s long years of service to the Republic of Liberia.

    President Sirleaf was quoted as saying that it was necessary to “give honor to those whom honor is due and to those who have stood the test of time in the principles for which they hold dear and sought to make their country a better one.”

    A family spokesperson further stated, “We thank God for Ma Zoe’s love, long life and the contributions that she made to her beloved Liberia and the Liberian education system.”

    “Aunty Zoe,” or “Ma Zoe,” as she was affectionately known by all, was a staunch member of the St. Thomas Episcopal Church. She was honored at the “Giving Back” program in November 2009 by the Liberian Chapter of the EHS/EES (Episcopal High School and Episcopal Elementary School) of St. John’s and House of Bethany, along with Mr. William Bruce, Justice Gladys Johnson, Dr. Emmet A. Dennis and other alumni.

    Among her children and family members whom she nurtured and raised are Clarice Johnson, Roselyn Caine Egun, Etta, Irene, the late Victoria Caine Maxwell and the late Nina Wai Ware. Ma Zoe also helped to raise Augustus Fahnwullu and Miatta Caine, the children of her beloved brother, Augustus Feweh Caine. Fahnwullu and Miatta both lived with her during periods of their lives.

    Ms. Lydia Zoe Caine was predeceased by her parents Kpandi and Augustus Caine, her sisters, Zoe Caine Ware and Tata Marlee and her brothers George Caine and Dr. Augustus F. Caine.

    She is survived by her children Molley and Clarice Johnson, Florence Caine, lifelong friend Mother Mary Brownell, many nieces and nephews, including George and Margaret Caine, Gbour Wilson, Augustus Fahnwulu Caine, Miatta Tata Caine, Roseline Samuteh Caine Egun.

    Others include George B. Caine IV, Elis Caine, Edwin and Bettie, Eugene Sando, Augustus Feweh Caine and many other relatives and friends, including Mrs. Cornelia Greene and John Hillary Tubman, son of President W.V.S. Tubman and Mrs. Jocelia Cranshaw Rancy.

    The body will be removed from the Samuel Stryker Funeral Home at 4:30 p.m., Friday, September 16 and taken to St. Thomas Episcopal Church for an evening of wake keeping.

    The funeral will take place at 9 o’clock a.m. Saturday, September 17th, 2016, following which the cortege will depart for Jundu for interment.


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  • 09/01/16--18:22: Mother Annie Kahn Gaye Dies
  • The death is announced of Mother Annie Kahn Gaye, which sad event occurred on Monday, August 22, 2016 in Grand Gedeh County, following a protracted illness. She was 67.

    The late Mrs. Gaye was born on June 13, 1949 in Pour Town, Grand Gedeh County to the union of Mr. and Mrs. Kahn.

    She accepted Christ as her personal Savior in 1970 in the Zayee Town Assembly of God Church, now White Chapel A.G. Church.

    Mother Gaye was wedded to Mr. Borbor F. Gaye in 1966. This union was blessed with nine children, eight of whom have survived her. They are Esther, Amos, Mrs. Cecelia Gaye Diahn, Mrs. Susannah L. Gaye, Mrs. Evelyn Gaye-Tarn, Mrs. Theresa Gaye-Teah, Julie T. Gaye and Fester N. Gaye.

    Mother Gaye’s husband predeceased her in the year 2000 in the Ivory Coast. A son, Alfred P. Gaye, also predeceased her.

    Mother Annie Kahn Gaye is survived by eight children; 20 grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; three brothers; several nieces and nephews and many other relatives in the Ivory Coast, other parts of Africa and in the United States.

    The funeral will take place in Grand Gedeh County.


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  • 09/01/16--19:23: Mother Annie Kahn Gaye Dies
  • The death is announced of Mother Annie Kahn Gaye, which sad event occurred on Monday, August 22, 2016 in Grand Gedeh County, following a protracted illness. She was 67.

    The late Mrs. Gaye was born on June 13, 1949 in Pour Town, Grand Gedeh County to the union of Mr. and Mrs. Kahn.

    She accepted Christ as her personal Savior in 1970 in the Zayee Town Assembly of God Church, now White Chapel A.G. Church.

    Mother Gaye was wedded to Mr. Borbor F. Gaye in 1966. This union was blessed with nine children, eight of whom have survived her. They are Esther, Amos, Mrs. Cecelia Gaye Diahn, Mrs. Susannah L. Gaye, Mrs. Evelyn Gaye-Tarn, Mrs. Theresa Gaye-Teah, Julie T. Gaye and Fester N. Gaye.

    Mother Gaye’s husband predeceased her in the year 2000 in the Ivory Coast. A son, Alfred P. Gaye, also predeceased her.

    Mother Annie Kahn Gaye is survived by eight children; 20 grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; three brothers; several nieces and nephews and many other relatives in the Ivory Coast, other parts of Africa and in the United States.

    The funeral will take place in Grand Gedeh County.


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    Former Monrovia City Mayor, Deputy Commerce Minister

    The death is announced of Mr. Lafayette K. Johnson, former Monrovia City Mayor and former Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry.

    This sad event occurred at his Sophie Ice Cream Community home at six o’clock a.m. on Friday, September 2, 2016, following a brief illness. He was 77.

    Lafayette Kwia Johnson, Jr. was born on July 20, 1939, the eldest of 11 children of former Treasury Deputy Minister L. Kwia Johnson, Sr. and his wife Naomi.

    Like many young Episcopalians of the 1940s and 50s in Monrovia, Lafayette grew up in the Trinity Sunday School, which was run under the dynamic leadership of Jacob Henry Browne, Superintendent.

    After completing Lab High, Lafayette entered the University of Liberia and later left for Switzerland, where he obtained the M.Sc degree in Economics.

    He served at one time as Assistant Minister of Commerce and rose to Deputy Minister. During the Tubman administration, Lafayette assisted with French translations at the higher level of government.

    He later served as Mayor of the City of Monrovia.

    Lafayette later retired from government and he and his wife, Mrs. Magdalene Cooper Johnson, who, like the Johnsons, hailed from Maryland County, started a wholesale business called LAFMAG International.

    According to the widow, the funeral is planned for Friday, September 16, at 10 o’clock a.m. at St. Stephen Episcopal Church, 10th Street, Sinkor, Monrovia.

    Removal will be from the Samuel Stryker Funeral Home at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, September 15 and taken to St. Stephen for wake-keeping.

    His parents and a brother predeceased him.

    Mr. Lafayette K. Johnson is survived by his wife Magdalene, several children, eight brothers, three sisters and many other relatives and friends.


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    The Late Mamadee Diakite
    Joaquin Sendolo

    Since his death, thousands of sympathizers and well-wishers have converged at different locations to bid journalist Mamadee Diakite farewell.

    During the last memorial service on Saturday, September 3, at the Monrovia City Hall, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, current and former government officials, businesspeople, media practitioners, friends and other well wishers were of the opinion that the late Mamadee was always tolerant when criticized during his talk shows, and would always contact an accused to hear his/her side.

    Based on their facial expressions, the sympathizers just wanted to pay a tribute to Diakite; sadly, for the sake of time, all did not get the chance to do so. But the selected few who paid glowing tributes while shedding tears for the irreparable loss, spoke for all.

    President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, struggling to control her emotions, stated, “One of the powerful forces in the society is the media. A nation is prosperous, a nation is blessed when the force is used responsibly…responsibility requires knowledge, the effort to obtain knowledge, the courage to be informed, to be balanced, truthful and to stand strong.”

    She continued, “Responsibility requires patriotism and love for your country. Mamadee Diakite represented all of these.”

    She added: “Our respect for him is demonstrated by all the many people who came out to bid him goodbye. When Mamadee’s story is written, when Liberia’s story is written, Mamadee will stand tall; for he was a professional journalist.”

    The President said the fallen journalist will be remembered because he stood for what he believed without fear, and also believed in what he said and did.

    Former Foreign Minister Augustine K. Ngafuan, in his poetic delivery said, “On the morning of August 30, the life candle of a brilliant young man was blown out by the dusty wind of death. And as a result of his passing from mortality to immortality, his beloved motherland, Liberia, and his beloved compatriots, Liberians, are still coming to grace his sudden passing.”

    Ngafuan said he had some tough intellectual exchanges with Mamadee during their various interactions over the years, especially on his Truth FM Breakfast Show and the Prime Morning Drive; interactions reminiscent of those with former BBC journalist Robin White.

    “He was forthright in his thoughts, but tolerant to views of those who disagreed with him fiercely.”

    Although he did not always agree with the late Mamadee, Mr. Ngafuan said he nonetheless admired him for his perspectives, which exemplified the vibrancy of Liberia’s democracy.

    Former Pro-Tempore and Grand Bassa County Senator Gbehzohngar Findley described the late Diakite as a “Giant” among journalists, noting that the turnout at his funeral and memorial service clearly attest to the fact that he was a giant.

    Earlier, Presidential Press Secretary Jerolimek Piah, who was represented by his deputy Abel Plakeh, remembered Mamadee during the many shows on which he (Piah) participated.

    Not trying to undo what his deputy said on behalf of the office of the Press Secretary, Mr. Piah did a rendition of the popular song, “Lord, I know not what tomorrow has for me”.

    Former Information Minister Emmanuel Bowier said although Mamadee’s passing was everyone’s loss and shock, life, as a show, must go on.

    He consoled the bereaved families and all by reminding them that “Death lays his icy hands even on kings.”

    He said Mamadee was a humble person, whose death should be celebrated, not mourned. “He was a reconciler and respecter of people, especially older people,” Bowier added.

    The Ministry of Youth and Sports’ Kula Fofana said Mamadee had played his role, for which the entire country is now remembering him.

    She cautioned Liberian youths to consider how Mamadee is being honored after his passing so they could aspire to live better lives and that history will remember them for the best, and not for the worst.

    Press Union Secretary Daniel Nya Konah said he, together with every Liberian journalist, will remember Mamadee Diakite for bringing a strong position on discussions of issues of national interest.

    He said journalists are taught to bring their opinions backed by credible statistics and pieces of evidence, which Mamadee did exceptionally well.

    Meanwhile, a group referred to as “Village” has opened a USD account at the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) where sympathizers who want to help the surviving families can contribute. The account number is 001-USD-403-897-521-01.


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    Another Blow to Liberia’s Media Community

    The late media veteran, Professor James Wolo, held many positions including Deputy Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism
    Alaskai Moore Johnson

    Barely have the tears dried from the eyes of members of the Liberian Media community, when they were again hard-hit with the news of the passing of a veteran journalist.

    The Liberian Media Community had just laid to rest one of its strong, innovative and talented members—Mr. Lawrence Togar Randall—on Saturday when a few hours after the sad ceremony, news began to filter-in that Professor James Wolo had passed. He died at the John F. Kennedy Medical Hospital in Sinkor.

    The Daily Observer was told that the Late Professor slid into a coma for a week and did not recover.

    Speaking with this newspaper late Sunday evening, Mr. K. Abdullah Kamara, President of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), extended deep sympathy on behalf of the Union for the irreparable loss to the bereaved family.

    “Professor Wolo was a very resourceful person to media development in Liberia. He was always around the PUL whenever we needed him. He didn’t stop one day giving us good advice on how to run the affairs of the Union,” Mr. Kamara said, adding: “We will really miss him dearly.”

    The PUL President said that Prof. Wolo, who was a senior faculty member of the Mass Communications Department of the University of Liberia, was so close to the Union that he participated in almost every major undertaking.

    “As recently as last month, he had agreed to serve as one of the facilitators of a workshop organized by the PUL and the National Peace Ambassador, Rev. William R. Tolbert III. Unfortunately for us, he didn’t take part as he had just fallen ill when the date for the workshop arrived,” the PUL President stated.

    The Union will release a statement today on Prof. Wolo’s passing.

    Before his passing, Prof. Wolo, who was in his early 70s, served in many media capacities including Former Deputy Minister for Administration, Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism; Former Director-General, Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS); and Former Executive Producer, LBS.

    He also served as a former presenter of the LBS post newscast daily inspirational program, “Thought for Today”; Former Community Relations Head, Liberia Rural Communications Network; and Former Producer, ELCM (Catholic Radio now Radio Veritas).

    Other posts he occupied included Former Administrator, Save the Children, UK; Former Executive Producer, Mercy Corps Peace building Radio Project; Former Head, Media Monitoring and Development Unit, United Nations Mission in Liberia; Former Editor-In-Chief, Liberia News
    Agency ( LINA); CEO, Media 2000, a media training and development firm; Lecturer, Communications and Public Affairs, Liberia National Police Training Academy; Lecturer, Development Communications, Mass Communications Department, University of Liberia; and Chairman of the Board, Association of Liberia Community Radio.

    Of the many social media users who have been pouring in condolence messages on Facebook, one stated that the late Professor was also a Lecturer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ run Foreign Service Institute (FSI), which trains Liberian diplomats for the field.


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  • 09/19/16--19:57: Dr. Jeremiah Walker Dies
  • Former Lott Carey Principal; President, Liberia Baptist Convention; Cuttington Dean of Students

    The Late Rev. Dr. Walker

    A memorial service will be held in the USA, after which his body will be flown home for funeral service and burial. Details will be announced later.

    According to the Lott-Carey Mission Alumni Association, Jeremiah W. Walker left his hometown of Careysburg, Liberia to attend the Lott Carey Baptist Mission School (LCM) in Brewerville, in the early 1950s, he had no idea that the foundation he would obtain from LCM would have propelled him to national distinction and given him two stints as Superintendent of his Alma Mater, Lott Carey. This 1956 LCM graduate was a member of the class of eight individuals including: Bernard Benson, Stella Banks, Eudora Ash, Joseph Williams, Valerie Morris, William Gant and Manna Davis.

    Upon his high school graduation, Rev. Dr. Walker traveled to the United States to attend Shaw University and earned his Bachelor of Arts in sociology. He matriculated to Howard University for graduate studies and obtained his Master’s in Divinity. Shaw University later bestowed upon him, the honors of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) for his many accomplishments. Among his professional endeavors are: two distinct periods of services as Principal of Lott Carey; served as Director of Development and Dean of Students at Cuttington University, Suakoko, Bong County and simultaneously taught sociology and psychology.

    While working as an educator, Dr. Walker also served as President of the Liberian Council of Churches, President of the Interfaith Council of Liberia, worked with the Baptist World Alliance alongside Liberia’s former President, William R. Tolbert, Jr. and was the first Chairman of the
    Liberia Baptist Seminary. Dr. Walker was also president of the Liberia Principals’ Association.

    Dr. Walker was ordained Pastor at the Bethesda Baptist Church, Washington, D.C. in 1964. In Liberia, he served as Pastor of the Mt. Galilee Baptist Church, Careysburg; as Pastor, St. Paul Baptist Church, Arthington; and Pastor and Pastor Emeritus, Zion Grove Baptist Church, Brewerville.

    Rev. Dr. Jeremiah W. Walker received the Desmond Tutu Peace Prize, among several other national and international honors. He also received honors from the Lott Carey Mission Alumni Association-Liberia, of which he was most proud for his years of quality service to the school and the nation. During the Liberian civil war, Rev. Walker remained in Liberia and did not shut down the school until he had to and did not leave the country. During that period, Lott Carey conducted two graduation ceremonies while other schools were idle. Rev. Walker also found time to serve as head of the Peace Delegation for Liberia, which negotiated and eventually brought peace to the nation during its devastating civil conflict.

    After 40 years of service, Rev. Walker retired in 2008 from the Lott Carey Baptist Mission School, and spent his remaining years with his family. Those who knew him well recall his mantra: “Everyone who comes into the world should leave a legacy of service.” In his own words, he was proudest “that I was able to serve the students of Liberia.”


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    The Late Ambulai Johnson

    Mr. Ambulai B. Johnson, a cousin of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and her Minister of Internal Affairs in 2006, has died in North Carolina in the United States. He would have reached his 72 by October this year.

    He served as Deputy Minister of Labor in 1980 and former lecturer at Cuttington College now Cuttington University in 1970. The late Johnson also lectured at the University of Liberia (UL) in 1980.

    Reports reaching the Daily Observer and confirmed by relatives yesterday, said Mr. Johnson lost his battle with cancer.

    It may be recalled that during President Sirleaf’s first term, Mr. Johnson served as her minister of internal affairs but was forced to resign in 2010. At the time (2010) Mr. Johnson raised eyebrows in political circles when Presidential Sirleaf was planning to contest her second term and allegations surfaced that Mr. Johnson was involved in misrepresentation and had mismanaged in excess of US$1 million Nimba County’s Development Funds. The revelation was made by Senator Prince Y. Johnson, (Nimba County) who was then an independent candidate.

    Senator Johnson further revealed that Minister Johnson used a letterhead from the President’s office, claiming ‘By Directive of the President’ and went into financial deals, pretending that they were sanctioned by President Sirleaf.

    Prince Johnson also revealed that Johnson forged a letterhead from the Ministry of State and along with the Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy, Dr. Eugene Shannon, allegedly “played in the money” provided by Mittal Steel. Mittal Steel was to pay to Nimba County US$6 million over a four year period that would amount to US$1.5 million a year for the use of Nimba County’s resources.

    However, Sen. Prince Johnson revealed, only US$5 million was deposited in Nimba County’s coffers at the time but could not state the whereabouts of the remaining US$1 million.

    Senator Johnson meanwhile quoted President Sirleaf expressing anger over the communication written on the letterhead of the Ministry of State by Minister Shannon.

    The Senator told journalists at the time that “The involvement of Minister Johnson in our money is discouraging, and disappointing. I have been to the President's office on several occasions on this matter, appealing to her to intervene but nothing has been done, and [Ministers]
    Johnson and Eugene Shannon (are) just playing with the money.” President Sirleaf’s apparent initial inaction against Johnson and Dr. Shannon, brought a lot of embarrassment to the administration, according to reactions at the time, when it was also revealed that Mr. Johnson had built a mansion on Robertsfield Highway and also bought a Jaguar, a luxury vehicle.

    As Johnson’s iniquities increased, President Sirleaf had no choice but to request her cousin to resign, which he did and the President accepted with relief, despite the embarrassment. Many said her decision won the President considerable support that greatly increased her chances for winning her second term in office.

    When the death news hit Monrovia on Tuesday, many who heard it could only reflect on the events surrounding his resignation in 2010 and President Sirleaf’s bold step of asking him to quit the job.

    Up to yesterday there was no official announcement of Mr. Johnson’s death and family members spoken to could not make any comment about information concerning his funeral arrangements.


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    The late media veteran, Professor Wolo, held many positions including Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism
    Alaskai Moore Johnson

    Media veteran Professor James Kpateh Wolo, who passed on Sunday, September 11, is expected to be interred on Saturday, October 1, at the Johnsonville Cemetery.

    According to an obituary announcement from the late Professor’s family, a quiet hour will be observed by the family and sympathizers at the St. Moses Funeral Parlor on Somalia Drive on Friday, September 30, at 7 p.m. This will be followed by a night of silent wake keeping at the home of the deceased in Area C, house # 67, Barnersville Estate.

    “On Saturday October 1, the remains of Prof. Wolo will be removed from the St. Moses Funeral Parlor at 8 a.m. and taken to the Holy Martyrs Parish in Barnersville Estate where wake keeping will begin at 10 a.m. to be followed by the Mass of Resurrection at 11 a.m.,” a family statement said.

    The family said all tributes, except for those from the Liberian government (reading of the Official Gazette), the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS), the Church and the family, will be paid during the wake-keeping.

    The Professor’s death came as another blow to the Liberian media community which had just laid to rest one of its strong, innovative and talented members—Lawrence Togar Randall—on Saturday, September 10. Few hours after that ceremony, news filtered in that Prof. Wolo, as he was affectionately called, had died at the John F. Kennedy Medical Hospital in Sinkor.

    The Late Wolo had slipped into coma for a week and did not recover.

    Prof. Wolo, who was in his early 70s, served in many media capacities, including former Deputy Minister for Administration, Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism; former Director-General, Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS); and former Executive Producer, LBS.

    He also served as former presenter, LBS post newscast daily inspirational program, “Thought for Today”; former Community Relations Head, Liberia Rural Communications Network; and former Producer, ELCM (Catholic Radio now Radio Veritas).

    Other posts he held included Administrator, Save the Children, UK; Executive Producer, Mercy Corps Peace building Radio Project; Head, Media Monitoring and Development Unit, United Nations Mission in Liberia and Editor-In-Chief, Liberia News Agency (LINA). He also served as CEO, Media 2000, a media training and development firm; Lecturer, Communications and Public Affairs, Liberia National Police Training Academy; Lecturer, Development Communications, Mass Communications Department, University of Liberia; and Chairman of the Board, Association of Liberia Community Radio.

    Prof. Wolo was also a lecturer at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), which trains Liberia’s diplomats for the field.

    The late Wolo is survived by his widow, Mrs. Pricilla B. Wolo, eight children, several grandchildren, brothers and sisters, nephews, nieces and a host of other relatives and friends in Liberia, the United States of America, Ghana and other parts of the world.

    Meanwhile, the LBS management has opened a Book of Condolence today for the late Wolo, who served as Managing Director of the system.

    The ceremony, according to an LBS statement, is intended to remember the numerous contributions Prof. Wolo made while serving as the system’s Managing Director.


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    The late Augustine K. Blama
    David A. Yates

    The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) is mourning the death of its Assistant Minister for Budget, Augustine Kaifa Blama, who died yesterday at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Monrovia.

    According to an MFDP announcement, Blama will be buried today, in line with his Islamic faith, in Nyandiayama, Lofa County, after prayers for the departed.

    Finance Minister Boima S. Kamara, who led a senior management team to the deceased’s residence yesterday, described Blama’s death as a void left in the Ministry’s workforce, especially the Department of Budget and Development Planning, which he served with diligence and absolute loyalty.

    While consoling Mrs. Blama and members of the bereaved family, Minister Kamara called on them to keep faith in the Lord, as he assured them of the Ministry’s full participation in all of the events before, during and after his burial.

    Also sympathizing with the bereaved family, MFDP’s Deputy Minister for Budget and Development Planning, Tanneh G. Brunson, who served as immediate supervisor to the late Assistant Minister, indicated that he was one of her technicians who always executed his tasks and was in readiness to perform additional duties.

    Meanwhile, MFDP staff described the late Minister’s sudden death as a shock, with many employees calling on the bereaved family to accept the death as the will of God.

    They stated that some of the MFDP employees, who were either supervised by or directly interacted with the late Assistant Minister, indicated that he did not only serve as the nucleus of the budget section, but was always receptive and provided the needed guidance and encouragement to ensure that they acquired the requisite knowledge.

    Prior to his appointment as Assistant Minister of Budget in 2014, Blama, who started working for the government in 2000, served in various positions in the securities sector, as well as the research and budgetary policy sector.

    Some of the posts he held included Research Analyst; Budget Staff Analyst; Chief Senior Analyst; Controlling Principal Analyst; and Assistant Director General, Research Department at the erstwhile Bureau of the Budget, Ministry of Finance.


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  • 10/06/16--18:22: Mrs. Euphemia Weeks Dies
  • Widow of former UL President Dr. Rocheforte L. Weeks

    The late Mrs. Weeks (2nd from left) with three of her children, Milton, Angelique and Ophelia

    Mrs. Euphemia Weeks, widow of Dr. Rocheforte Lafayette Weeks, former President of the University of Liberia and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, R.L., died at 1 o’clock a.m. yesterday at the Congo Town home of her daughter, Liberia Telecommunications Authority Chairperson Angelique Weeks, following a brief illness.

    Mrs. Euphemia Weeks, mother of eight outstanding children, was in her 90th year.

    When on February 6, 2013, she turned 86; Mrs. Weeks’ children held a thanksgiving service for her at the Reeves Memorial United Methodist Church, Crozierville, ancestral home of the Weeks family. On that occasion, Mrs. Weeks gave thanks to Almighty God for sparing her life.

    The Daily Observer at the time held an exclusive interview with her, which appeared on the front and center-spread pages of the newspaper. The interview was conducted by then Observer Editor Fatoumata Nabie Fofana, who quoted Mrs. Weeks as saying that she appreciated

    God because He had shown His goodness and faithfulness to her in the midst of it all. She strongly believed that whatever might have happened to her was God’s design for her life. She appreciated God for the gift of life, she told Fatou, and thanked Him for her children, especially her two daughters, Ophelia (Fifi), who holds a PhD in Neurology and held a full professorship at Florida International University, and Angelique Euphemia, a lawyer like her father and currently Chair of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority.

    Before she turned 86, the octogenarian told Fatou that she (Mrs. Weeks) had recently narrowly escaped death when doctors in Monrovia told her that 99 percent of her main blood vessel was closed. They said she would be dead if she had stayed in Liberia a day or two longer.

    Her daughter Angelique sacrificially had her mom flown to England, where she achieved full recovery.

    Born in Harper, Cape Palmas on February 6, 1927 to the union of Dr. Juris Daubeny Bartholomew Cooper, former Solicitor General of Liberia, and his wife Mrs. Emma Juliet Stewart Cooper, young Euphemia received her early and secondary education in Cape Palmas. She later traveled to Monrovia and her father sent her to the United States to study Secretarial Science at Howard University. She traveled on the same boat in 1949 with Rocheforte L. Weeks, already a graduate of Liberia College (now University of Liberia).

    Euphemia was asked by one of her friends to “take care of” her friend Rocheforte on the boat trip to America. Euphemia took such good care of Rocheforte that by the time they reached New York, they were deeply in love, and were married on April 1, 1950 in Washington, D.C.

    The following September their first child, Rocheforte, Jr., was born, followed by Fifi (Ophelia) and six other talented children. When Rocheforte, Sr., who had already served as UL President, the first Liberian to hold that position, and Foreign Minister, died in 1986 the couple had been happily married 36 years.

    Before she left for studies in the USA in 1949, Euphemia joined the Greenwood Singers, a popular choral group in Monrovia, organized by Jacob Henry Browne, with several other young men. She played musical instruments for the Greenwood Singers.

    Mrs. Weeks was born an Episcopalian but later became a Methodist after marrying Rocheforte, a staunch member of Reeves Memorial in Crozierville, where she, too remained a lifelong member until her passing yesterday.

    Funeral arrangements will be announced later.

    Mrs. Weeks was predeceased by her husband, Dr. Rocheforte L. Weeks, two brothers, Llewellyn and Daubeny Bartholomew Cooper II; and two sisters, Maryland Ophelia Cooper and Latifa Cynthia Cooper Kamara.

    Survivors include her eight children, Rocheforte, Jr., an entrepreneur and businessman, Dr. Ophelia (Fifi) Inez Weeks, a Urology professor at Florida International University, now Vice President, University of Liberia, where she grew up from age 7; Julius Louis, a patent specialist;
    Vittorio A.J., Comptroller, St. Georges School System, Maryland, USA; Daubeny Alexander Weeks, a mechanical engineer and Consultant, IBI International; Angelique Euphemia Weeks, Chair of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA), RL; Milton Alvin Weeks, Executive

    Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL); and Ronald Avery Weeks, a chemical engineer and Chief Engineer at Honeywell Solutions, USA; sister Trypetus Daphne Cooper; brothers Gerald Ferguson Burns Cooper, Randolph C.J. Cooper and Seward Montgomery Cooper.


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  • 10/18/16--18:17: Thomas N. Nagbe Dies

  • The Late Mr. Thomas N. Nagbe

    The death is announced of Mr. Thomas N. Nagbe, a sad event which the family said occurred on October 10, 2016, in Pickness Cess, Grand Kru County, Southeastern-Liberia. Mr. Nagbe was born on November 21, 1931, and died on October 10, 2016.

    On October 22, the Mr. Nagbe remains will be removed to Pickness Cess for a night of wake keeping.

    According to the family spokesperson, Jw the obituary goes to the deceased relatives and children in Liberia other parts of the world, especially Mrs. Agatha Nagbe-Cooper of the USA, the son of the deceased, Jeremiah B. Nagbe has said.


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  • 10/23/16--19:00: ‘A Virtuous Woman’
  • UMC, Liberians Eulogize Eupheme Weeks

    The Late Mrs. Eupheme Geraldine Cooper Weeks
    William Q. Harmon

    Residents along the main road leading from Fendall through Bentol city to Crozierville stood agape late Saturday morning when a fleet of vehicles, the longest some of these people have seen in their lives, passed through their areas and finally landed at the Reeves Memorial United Methodist Church in the latter town.

    With these vehicles pouring into the township of Crozierville, it was becoming evident that the township might just be hosting its largest crowd in years. The church was at its capacity with two canopies erected in the church’s compound where the events inside the church edifice were screened.

    Indeed, Liberians in their numbers (many from the governmental circle) paid their last respects to Eupheme Geraldine Cooper Weeks, a woman of substance whose exemplary life was highlighted in earlier editions of the Daily Observer and other newspapers. She died in her 90th year.

    Even a host of birds, hovering above their nests in the trees near the church bell, sang endless melodies until she was interred. Such congregation of man and nature is truly rare; perhaps as rare as Mrs. Eupheme Geraldine Cooper Weeks herself, whose many years of exemplary service to the UMC could not possibly be contained in the all the tributes that had been paid her so far.

    Rev. Jervis Witherspoon, who gave the funeral discourse, described her as a virtuous woman. “Pheme,” as she was affectionately called, “was very modest in her ways,” he said.

    He spoke from Proverbs 31:10, 28. The first verse asks the noble question, “a virtuous wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” He further elaborated on the characteristics that such a worthy woman possesses. And because of these, he said, the second verse indicates how such a woman is praised by her children and her husband.

    Also elaborating from Proverbs 31:30, which states, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD she shall be praised;” the preacher noted that the kind of beauty that lasts is the beauty that reflects an inward heart of submission and a love for God and His people.

    He said death is a natural process, the result of the fall of mankind, but noted that “Pheme had wisdom, was gentle and submitted herself to the will of God.”

    He said Pheme was a blessed woman because though the Bible predicts three scores and ten as the lifespan of an individual, with another ten years if the person is blessed by God, Pheme was fortunate to have gone four scores and ten.

    She was married to the illustrious UL President Rocheforte Weeks, who was responsible for the tertiary education of thousands of students. His wife supported him in all this, and made sure that he was prepared each day for work.

    Rev. Witherspoon also spoke about how Pheme meticulously and sacrificially took care of her children’s primary and secondary education. By this she had laid their academic and professional foundations, which successes are clearly seen in the current administration, where most of them hold top positions. “It is no secret that the Weeks’ and the McClains are the most influential families of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration,” he said.

    “We pray that all Liberian mothers will follow Mrs. Pheme Weeks’ sterling example by attaching importance to education of their children,” the preacher said.

    Meanwhile, Pheme is survived by eight biological children, and a host of other children. Her children include Angelique Eupheme Weeks, a lawyer like her father, Chair of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA); and Milton Weeks, the second youngest son, is Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia. Ophelia Inez (Fifi,) the first sister, who earned a Ph.D in Neurology and became full professor at Florida International University, and is now Vice President of Science and Technology at the University of Liberia. Fifi was only seven when
    President W.V.S. Tubman appointed her father, Rocheforte Sr., as UL President at the young age of 35.

    The eldest of the Weeks children, Rocheforte Jr., from the 1970s and 1980s ran a highly successful electrical company, importing and distributing electrical equipment and supplies. This viable business was, however, destroyed during the war.


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    The late Paul Allen Wie

    The Press Union of Liberia’s Welfare Committee has announced the death of another “Giant Tree” in the Liberian media. Family members say veteran journalist Paul Allen Wie died early this week.

    Wie started off as a Radio Producer at ELWA Radio and later became editor at the Daily Listener and Liberian Star newspapers in the 1970s. He became Liberia’s correspondent for the Deutsche Presse Agentur (German News Agency).

    He joined the Government of Liberia and served in several capacities including Information Officer, Regional Information Officer, Press Secretary at the National Legislature, Assistant Director for News and Public Affairs at the Liberia Broadcasting Corporation, now Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS).

    At the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), he ascended to the post of Deputy Minister for Research and Planning and later Acting Minister of Information during the Liberian Civil War (1990), when he replaced G. Moses Washington. Mr Washington had taken over from Minister J. Emmanuel Z. Bowier.

    Wie is the 17th Liberian journalist to pass away in 2016. He is the second from the 1960s to 1970s media personalities to die in 2016. The first was John Louis Dennis III, former Director of Audio Visual at MICAT, in April 2016.

    The PUL Welfare Committee through the Leadership (in transition) conveys its condolences to the bereaved family, a release signed by Ansu Sekou Konneh, out-going chairman, said.


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    Long Time Nurse, Founder of Caldwell Township’s First Clinic

    The Late Mother Emily Louise Gibson Parsons

    The funeral of Mother Emily Louise Gibson Parsons, a prominent Liberian nurse of yesteryear, is scheduled to take place today at the St. Peter Episcopal Church, Caldwell.

    According to her granddaughter, Counselor Althea E. Sherman, the body will be removed from the Samuel Stryker Funeral Home at 8 o’clock this morning and taken to St. Peter in Caldwell, where wake keeping will start at 10 o’clock a.m. The funeral service will start at 11 o’clock a.m.

    Mother Gibson-Parsons died on December 4 at the Caldwell home of her daughter, Caldwell Commissioner Rev. Alexine Mendscole Howard.

    The nonagenarian was in her 99th year.

    A graduate of the Julia C. Emery Hall, Bromley Mission, Mother Parsons later obtained nursing training and became one of Liberia’s renowned nurses from Caldwell. She was one of the first nurses at the Liberian Government Hospital on Ashmun Street, Snapper Hill, Monrovia, serving under Dr. Dingwall.

    Mother Parsons later joined the Liberian Mining Company (LMC), working in the pharmacy and later became head of the dispensary unit. She thereafter returned to the Liberian Government Hospital and worked at the Maternity Center.

    She opened and headed the first clinic in the Township of Caldwell and ran it for 25 consecutive years but left because of the Liberian civil war.

    Mrs. Parsons was born in Caldwell, Montserrado County on June 7, 1918 to the union of Senator John Clement Alexander Gibson, Sr. and Mrs. Eliza Prichard Wilson, also of Caldwell.

    Emily received her early education at the Saint Peter’s Episcopal School in the Township of Caldwell and graduated from the Julia C. Emery Hall, Bromley Mission in Clay Ashland, Montserrado County.

    She was baptized at an early age and became a member of St. Peter’s where she was awarded several certificates for hard work. She was a member of Queen Esther Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star.

    During the 165th Independence Day Celebration of Liberia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, as Grand Master of the Order of Distinctions of the Republic, conferred upon Mother Parsons the Grand Band, Order of the Star of Africa-Nonagenarian.

    Mother Parsons’ survivors include her children, Commissioner and Pastor, Alexine Marina Mends-Cole Howard; Mr. Benoni A. Parsons (Fatima); Ms. Emily Karen Parsons; Mrs. Florence Neufville (Christian); Ms. Minty Mends-Cole; grand children Mrs. Althea Emily Eastman Sherman; Bernadine Lavern

    Eastman; Mrs. Freda Alexzene Eastman; Mrs. Debra Jane Eastman Oladosu (Vance); Daphane Edwina Eastman; Candace Blachamka Eastman; Benedict Arma Parsons (Precious); Benoni A. Parsons, Jr. (Tina); Bennett Ahmed Parsons; Rachel Bentima Parsons; Mrs. Legendre Parsons Carter (Christina); Julius Tonia Coleman; Velma King and Shirley.


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  • 01/09/17--16:12: The Reinterment Movement
  • The Traub Decendents Reinter Two Family Stalwarts

    Flag draped caskets bearing the remains of Sen. Traub and his son, Dr. Traub

    Family, Friends, Officiating Clergy say final rites at the reinterment of Sen. Traub and his son , Dr. Traub

    Family members convey the caskets bearing the remains of Rev. Byron Z. Traub and Dr. Dumah Z. Traub to their final resting place in the family burial grounds in Qweinta
    Alvin Worzi & Staff Writer

    There is a growing movement among Liberian families to perform re-burial ceremonies for their loved ones who died during the war when it was difficult or impossible to inter them in their ancestral homes.

    Among the first to be reinterred was former Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Liberia, Rt. Rev. Roland J. Payne, who died in Weinsue, Bong County, and was later reinterred at his home in Gorlue, Lofa County.

    Another prominent personality to be reinterred was Paramount Chief Tamba Taylor, who during the 1990s served as President of the State Council of Liberia. He died in Monrovia in 2001. The body was buried in a mausoleum in Paynesville, near the Liberia Broadcasting System. In 2005 his remains were taken to his home in Foya District, Lofa County, where he now sleeps with his ancestors.

    Last week the family of former Vice President Dr. Harry Moniba brought his remains back home from the United States, where he had died and was buried several years ago. The body was taken to his home in Kolahun, Lofa County, for re-interment.

    Following the demolition of the over ten foot high fence that could not prevent the desecration of the Palm Grove Cemetery, Liberia’s premier burial grounds on Center Street in Monrovia, many families who are able are quietly, quickly relocating what remains of their loved ones they can find. Many other families may not be so lucky to locate and recover from this cemetery any remains which drug addicts, the homeless, thieves and other miscreants have displaced to accommodate themselves.

    One of the latest reinterment rites to take place was held last Saturday in Qweinta, near the St. Paul River town of Haindii in Fuamah Chiefdom, Bong County.

    There, family members, friends and residents of Haindii and Qweinta gathered to celebrate the reinterment of their two fallen heroes. One was Reverend Byron Zolu Traub, a Lutheran pastor, teacher, pioneer Adult Literacy expert and former Senator of Bong County. The other, Liberia’s first ophthalmologist (eye specialist), Dr. Zolu Dumah Traub.

    The celebration was described in tributes as “the interment of great men whose legacies must live from generation to generation, especially by the people of Qweinta, Haindii and Bong County and Liberia as a whole.”

    Rev. Byron Z. Traub was born in 1908 and passed away October 10, 1994 while Dr. Zolu Dumah Traub, was born on December 8, 1930 in Dobli Island, Bong County and died of ‘heart failure’ on July 31, 2003 at the Firestone Medical Center at Du Side, near Harbel on the Firstone Plantation in Margibi County.

    Because of the Liberian civil crisis and other circumstances taking place at the times of their demise, Rev. Traub and his son Dumah, were buried in the Duport Road Cemetery in Paynesville, a graveyard appallingly desecrated over the years by some residents of the community and others passing through who use it as a public toilet and a dumpsite.

    The re-interment ceremony was marked by a new tradition – with family, friends and residents of Qweinta and neighboring villages rejoicing and not crying, as is customary in Liberia. The family expressed joy and relief that their months of planning to remove their loved ones’ remains from a horrendous gravesite and bring them home to lie in decency and dignity among other deceased in the family burial site had been fulfilled.

    The occasion was marked by beautiful selections by the local Kpelle choir, solo by Bai Sama Best, grandson of Senator Traub, and by tributes and reflections on the lives of the two departed by friends and family. Dr. Thelma Awori, one of the Traub siblings and Liberia’s Consul General in Kampala, Uganda, expressed heartfelt thanks to friends and family in Liberia and the United States who helped to make the reburial ceremony possible.

    Dr. Roseda E. Marshall, a representative of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, stressed the need for the family of the departed men to celebrate their legacies and contributions to society. There was no need to cry, she said, because their lives were richly spent and highly meaningful to society.

    “I have come to celebrate great people whose memories continue to exist and not to cry anymore. Let us celebrate people whose lives deserve celebration,” Dr. Marshall said.

    “Blessed is the child who dies in the Lord,” declared Rev. Edith Ricks, a longtime family friend and sister of the Traub daughters, Mrs. Joyce Traub, Dr. Thelma Awori, , Mrs. Mae Gene Best and her husband Kenneth Y. Best, Publisher of the Daily Observer newspaper, and Mrs. Juanita Bropleh, Deputy Minister of Transport.

    “It was time,” Rev. Ricks said, “to begin the celebration of the Traubs’ heritage and the contributions which both Senator Traub, his wife Margaret and their son Dumah Zolu made to my life.”

    She said her family will always remember the Traub family, adding, “These great people’s legacies must never die, because they lived rewarding lives even for friends and those who needed them.”

    The Rev. Isaac Dowah, Monrovia’s St. Peter’s Lutheran Church Pastor-in-Charge, lauded the family for taking the decision to relocate their fathers, uncles and brothers to their place of origin.

    “This is an honorable and worthy initiative you have taken and God will bless you all for it. We will always miss the Traubs, but the best thing is not to worry about them anymore,” Dowah encouraged the family.

    He called on them always to celebrate the deaths of their fallen heroes and not to engage in anything contrary to the exemplary lives they lived.

    “I can see why the family decided to relocate these great men here…they took the responsibilities for their children, and their children also listened to them. So today is a renewal of the faith and trust in God,” Priest Dowah added. Among the officiating clergy were Rev. Dr. Eric M. Allison, a nephew of Rev. Traub and Rev. Wuo Laywhyee, Pastor of the Kpolokpele Parish at Haindii.

    Fatta Yarsiah, Clan Chief of Zeweakormu Clan in Fuamah District, who spoke on behalf of Korpo Barclay, Representative of Fuamah District, Bong County, lauded the family for such initiative, extending the lawmaker’s compliments to the family and friends.

    “We are happy to celebeate the reinterment of the Traubs with you,” Madam Yarsiah said.

    All the speakers recounted the contributions and legacies of the Traubs, and called on family members to continue to produce such great people that will seek the welfare of others in need, and not just their own children. Among the speakers was Mr. John T. Woods, whose godparents were Rev. and Mrs. Traub.

    The occasion was graced by several personalities, including Mrs. Zoe Traub, widow of Dr. Traub and son Vaani Traub and his family; Dr. Wvannie Scott-McDonald, Chief Administrative Officer at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center; Mr. Joseph P. Keller of the Liberia International Ship Register (LISCR) and first cousin of the Traub offsprings; his younger brothers Ezra and Yarkpai Keller; whose father’s remains have also been removed from the Duport Road Cemetery and will be reinterred later this month at his farm near Haindii. Rev. Ezra Keller was the first President of the Lutheran Church in Liberia.

    About the Deceaseds
    Rev. Byron Z. Traub obtained his early education up to 4th grade at the Kpolopkelleh Lutheran Mission in Haindii near his home. On graduation from elementary school, he became an evangelist, a vocation that he developed and remained committed to for the rest of his life.

    He was then taken to Muhlenburg Boy’s School in Millsburg, Montserrado County, where he completed the 8th grade. It was at Muhlenburg that he found the Lord, was baptized, and took a course in catechism while still an elementary student.

    Rev. Traub graduated from the College of West Africa (CWA) with honors. Eager to continue his education, Byron matriculated to Liberia College (Now University of Liberia) where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree.

    He later returned to Muhlenburg where he taught at his alma mater for many years. It was there that he met his future companion, Margaret Stewart.

    Rev. Traub also did a postgraduate course in Theology at the Hartford Theological Seminary in Connecticut, USA.

    Rev. Traub devoted much of his life to teaching, which was his lifetime profession, serving in the classroom in many places throughout the country for over forty years.

    Dr. Zolu Dumah Traub commenced his education at the Kpolokpelleh Lutheran Mission at Haindii, near Dobli Island. At the age of ten, his parents gave him to Rev. Byron Z. Traub and his wife Margaret, who adopted him.

    Dumah was sent to Muhlenburg Boy’s School in Millsburg, Montserrado County, where he completed his elementary education and later entered the Lutheran Training Institute (LTI), graduating in LTI’s first class.

    He attended Cuttington College and Divinity School (Now Cuttington University), graduating in 1954. That same year, Dumah was among a few Liberian scholars who received scholarships from the World Health Organization to study medicine in Spain.

    He received his M. D. degree in 1961. Dumah later received another scholarship to study Ophthalmology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and its sister institution, Hebrew Hadassah University Hospital at Mount Scopus in Israel.

    The eye doctor of the late President William V.S. Tubman, Dumah is fondly remembered by many patients he treated and also for getting along with his colleagues, friends and family.


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    Former Minister of Information, Ambassador-At- Large

    The Late Carlton Karpeh

    The death is announced of Ambassador Carlton Karpeh, former Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), during the administration of Head of State Samuel K. Doe and the People’s Redemption Council (PRC).

    This sad event occurred yesterday at his Duport Road residence at 1pm.
    He was in his early 80s.

    C. Alexwyn, as his friends and associates called him, was a product of the College of West Africa (CWA). He spent his boyhood and young adulthood living with an aunt, Mrs. Versa Stewart, at her home at Broad Street, Snapper Hill, Monrovia, the spot on which UBA Bank is now located. Carlton was noted for public speaking, a skill he developed as a young fellow in the 1940s and 50s at Trinity Sunday School, especially under the direction of Mr. Jacob Henry Browne, the Sunday School Superintendent. Mr. Browne often referred to Carlton as “Chorister Carlton Karpeh,” because of his rich baritone voice.

    Following his graduation from CWA, Carlton in the 1950s traveled to England for further studies. On return he became a broadcaster at ELBC. In 1973 he was appointed Director of Public Affairs at MICAT, during the administration of Dr. Edward B. Kesselly. In the late 1970s, Carlton started a weekly newspaper, Weekend News.

    During the administration of Head of State Samuel K. Doe, Carlton was appointed at MICAT, following which he was appointed Liberian Ambassador to Cameroon, where he served for many years. On his return, President Ellen Johnson appointed him Ambassador-at-Large. He was retired on December 2, 2010, and has since been living quietly at home on Du Port Road, outside Monrovia.

    He is survived by several children.

    Funeral arrangements will be announced later.


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    - First to Process and Sell Rubber Products Directly to World Market

    The death is announced of Mr. William (Bill) Lyon Morris Sr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Morris-American Rubber Company, commonly known as Morris Farm of Todee District, Montserrado County, and Kakata, Margibi County.

    Bill passed peacefully at home in New York City last Friday, March 3, 2017. He was 68.

    He was the son of Mr. Harry L. Morris, Liberia’s biggest rubber planter besides the Firestone Plantations Company. Mr. Morris, who died in New York in the early 1990s, had been acclaimed, since the 1950s, to be the “rubber king of the world” because no other individual had planted more rubber than he. His rubber plantation in Kakata, Margibi County, and Todee District, Montserrado County, Liberia, at one point reached 8,000 acres, outstripping all other individual rubber planters in
    Liberia and around the world.

    Harry Morris married an American, Mrs. Wilma Holland Morris, and this union was blessed with three children, Constance, Bill and Judith. Constance became an educator and administrator, Bill an agriculturist like his father, and Judith, a medical doctor who has a practice in Manhattan, New York City.

    Bill Lyon Morris, the couple’s only son, was born November 18, 1948 and graduated from Bordentown Military Institute in Bordentown, NJ. He also attended Lincoln College in Pensylvania.

    Following the death of his father, Bill took over the plantation and ran it successfully until his death.

    Several managerial experts over the years assisted in this effort. Among them were Keith Jubah, who was unfortunately killed on the plantation on November 1, 2009; Edward Sangudi, a Tanzanian; Charles Bright, former Finance Minister, R.L.; and F.A. Dennis, former President, Liberia Bank for Development and Investment.

    One of the great and unique developments on the plantation for which Bill will be remembered is that several years ago, for the first time in the history of the Liberian rubber sector, Morris American Rubber, by which Morris Farm became known, established its own factory to process its rubber. The company thus became the first and only rubber plantation that stopped selling its product to Firestone. The factory produced a product called TSR, meaning “technically specified rubber,” and sold it directly to world markets.

    But due to the drastic fall in the world rubber price over the past six years, the factory was temporarily closed.

    Mr. F.A. Dennis is, however, optimistic that the fatory would reopen, with the necessary funding of US$1 to US$2 million through bank loans and equity.

    The reopening of the factory, Mr. Dennis stressed, would poitively impact the country’s foreign exchange situation as well as create more jobs on the plantation.

    Bill Morris is survived by his Mother, Mrs. Wilma Holland Morris; two sons, William and Christopher, a daughter, Susan; two sisters, Mrs. Constance Morris Hope and Dr. Mrs. Judith Morris de Celis.

    His sister, Judith remembers her brother Bill as “a kind, gentle, intelligent and hardworking man, who loved his country, family and friends. He was respected by many who always knew he was there for them.”

    F.A. Dennis also remembers Bill Morris as “an employer who deeply cared about his workers. Whenever the rubber price suffered a slump, Bill would always say, ‘The children should not suffer. We must keep the schools and clinics open for their sake.’”

    According to sister Judith, the body will be cremated, just as his father Harry’s was. A memorial service will be held in the States and another at a later date in Liberia, when the ashes of both father and son will be brought home for interment.


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