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Edmonton: Sierra Leoneans donate $14,000 to bereaved Liberian families

By  | 18 October 2017 at 19:50 | 3182 views

The Sierra Leonean community in Edmonton on Saturday October 14 gave over $14,000 dollars to the families of the three Liberian women who died in a road accident on Friday September 22, 2017.

A cheque made out to the Liberian Friendship Society of Canada was handed to its president Thomas Bumbeh, at a quiet ceremony held at Bumbeh’s house in northeast Edmonton. Kemoh Mansaray, president of the Sierra Leone Association of Alberta (SLAA), expressed deep sympathy to the bereaved families, as he handed the cheque on behalf of SLAA members. “This is just a small token to show how we feel as a sister community,” he said. “It is a small gesture for such a big loss.”

Jeannette Wright, Glorious Decontee Blamo, and Eva Fatu Tumbay, are the three women who died. A fourth woman Jeannette Gaye was seriously injured and had been hospitalized. According to Bumbeh, Gaye has since been released and is now recovering at home. “She is improving gradually,” Bumbeh told The Patriotic Vanguard.

Dixon M. Tumbay, husband of the late Eva Fatu Tumbay, was at Saturday’s ceremony. The late Jeannette Wright was represented by his brother Kanton Wright. Both men spoke; expressing gratitude to the Sierra Leonean community for the gesture. Cards of sympathy were also handed to the families.

The Liberian community in neighbouring Calgary also presented a cheque at the same ceremony. It was in the amount of $4,420. A special delegation of the Liberian Association of Calgary (LAC) delivered the cheque. Members of their contingent included Anthony Lavala, Nathaniel Charley Snr., Henry K. Soriba Jr., Ruth Soriba, and M.Y. Fahnbulleh.

The late Glorious Blamo will be laid to rest on Saturday 21st October 2017; after a funeral service at North Pointe Community Church in northeast Edmonton. This will be preceded by a wake-keeping ceremony (vigil) at North Edmonton Christian Fellowship Place on Friday October 20, 2017.

Both Jeannette Wright and Eva Fatu Tumbay will be buried on the same day, Saturday October 28. There will be a funeral service at the West Meadows Baptist Church in the far west of the city. It will be a joint funeral service,” Bumbeh said. “We will also have a wake-keeping ceremony in their memory, on Friday October 21.”

In a follow-up interview on the phone, the Liberian community president disclosed plans for activities after the funerals. “We are planning a special service to be held on Sunday October 29; to help us with the healing process,” Bumbeh said. That service is to be held at the Portuguese Cultural Centre in Edmonton.

Bumbeh who is a realtor with RE/MAX Elite also disclosed details about a fundraising drive to help the bereaved families, especially the children. “Together, the deceased leave eight children and two young adults behind,” he confirmed. “Glorious Blamo’s youngest child, for instance, is only about a year old,” the community president added.

To make a donation, here are the details:


Bank account with RBC Royal Bank of Canada:

Liberian Friendship Society of Canada.

Account Number: 05179-003-100-252-6


Mansaray and his team had rallied SLAA members in the days following the tragedy. Through instant messaging and phone calls, the team urged fellow Sierra Leoneans to respond collectively. The aim was to show both moral and financial support as a sister community. In what one compatriot described as “unprecedented,” people have been visiting the bereaved families even as they made cash contributions to the SLAA initiative. Several Sierra Leoneans had also joined the relatives of the deceased and other Liberian community members when they visited the very site of the accident, about a week later.

This SLAA campaign came a few weeks after the Liberian community made a similar gesture towards Sierra Leoneans. The clergy and congregation of Solid Rock International Ministries held a special prayer session in which thousands of dollars were raised and then handed to the Sierra Leonean community here. The late Glorious Blamo and her husband Reverend Glory Blamo played pivotal roles as spiritual leaders in that fundraiser. The funds were in aid of survivors of the August 14 flood/mudslide in Freetown, Sierra Leone, earlier this year.

Among compatriots who joined Kemoh Mansaray at Saturday’s donation ceremony were SLAA executives Sansu Kamara (vice-president), Theresa Goba (secretary-general), Kai Ngegba (asst. secretary-general), Martha Sellu (social secretary), Idriss Bundu (treasurer), and the leader of the women’s group Martha Caulker-Mbayo. The vice-president of the Liberian Friendship Society of Canada, Lawrence Florkiah, and general-secretary Susan D. Nimley, were among several other Liberians who witnessed it.

The event closed with a prayer, led by Veronica Wright.