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Edmonton: Sierra Leoneans get Thank You note

By  | 27 November 2017 at 03:57 | 3302 views

The Liberian community has formally expressed its deep appreciation to Sierra Leoneans in this city; following the sudden deaths of three of their own about nine weeks ago.

The deceased, Glorious Blamo, Jeannette Wright, and Eva Tumbay, were travelling on a highway outside Edmonton when their minivan was struck by another vehicle. It was in the early hours of Friday September 22. The other vehicle, it turns out, was a heavy-duty flatbed truck that had been reported stolen. A fourth woman in the minivan, Janet Gaye, was seriously injured but she survived. Gaye was hospitalized as she underwent surgery. She has since been released.

Thomas Bumbeh president of the Liberian Friendship Society of Canada, in a letter to his Sierra Leonean counterpart, Kemoh Mansaray, applauded the cordial relationship between the two sister communities here. The letter is titled as a ‘Thank you Note’ and dated October 29, 2017. In it, the Liberian leader prayed for God’s guidance and blessings on the two communities and their respective peoples.

The opening reads: “I write to extend my deepest appreciation to the Sierra Leonean community in Edmonton for your kind gesture in identifying with us during the tragic home going of three members of our community.”

Sierra Leoneans were quite supportive of the bereaved families, and indeed the Liberian community at large. Collectively, they made a cash donation to the affected families. The Sierra Leonean Association of Alberta formally presented a cheque to Bumbeh and his team on Saturday 14 October, 2017. The money came from individuals and households; in response to a spontaneous campaign organized by the Edmonton-based Sierra Leone Association of Alberta

Bumbeh acknowledged the donation in saying thanks on behalf of his community. “Your financial contribution of fourteen thousand and fifty dollars ($14,050) could not have come at a more appropriate time.” He described the timing as one “when we needed all the support to enable us to give our deceased sisters the burial that they deserve and the family support that will begin thereafter.”

Glorious Blamo was laid to rest in Edmonton on Saturday October 21, 2017. Exactly one week later, a joint funeral service was held for both Jeanette Wright and Eva Tumbay. That ceremony also took place in Edmonton.

Glorious and her husband Pastor Glory Blamo touched the hearts of Sierra Leoneans here; a few weeks before Glorious passed away. The couple spearheaded a fundraiser in aid of survivors of the August 14 flood/mudslide in Sierra Leone earlier this year. Pastor Blamo and his wife had worked with members of their church, Solid Rock International Ministries.

Such was the trauma from the three deaths that Liberians came together on Sunday 29 October 2017; to pray as a community. It was organized by the Liberian Friendship Society of Canada.

The event, described as “community consolation worship,” drew Liberians from their respective churches. The service took place at the Portuguese Canadian Cultural Society hall in Edmonton. Among worshippers were the bereaved families, their relatives, and sympathizers and well-wishers from different parts of Canada and the USA. Pastor Wisdom Zio, the preacher, was among those who came from the United States.