The charity group Alpha Phi Alpha has bestowed honors on Vice President Joseph N. Boakai and University of Liberia’s Forestry and Agriculture Department chairman, John T. Woods for their contributions to building the Liberian society.
This honor of recognition was carried out on December 4, 2014 at the Monrovia City Hall during celebration of the organization’s 108 years of existence.
The head of Chapter #260 in Liberia, Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) Managing Director T. Nelson Williams II, told this newspaper in an interview that as a custom, the organization recognizes people who have made valuable contributions to the society.
As such, Mr. Williams acknowledged that Vice President Joseph Boakai had honestly and sincerely contributed to Liberian in government over many years.
He recalled that VP Boakai served the Ministry of Agriculture, the backbone of Liberia’s economy and the Liberia Produce & Marketing Company (LPMC) where he blamelessly made meaningful contributions.
Mr. Williams further stressed that VP Boakai had taken the same dedicated services to the nation to a higher level as second to the nation’s President, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and predicated upon these glaring facts they could not withhold this honor from him, but decided to bestow it upon him since he is still alive.
“The Vice President has made numerous contributions to the Liberian society by serving in all these public positions without any fault, and because he is a quiet man, no one knows the role he has played,” Mr. Williams added.
For Mr. John T. Woods, Mr. Williams indicated that he (Woods) had been dedicated to the Forestry sector of Liberia and providing services to the state run University of Liberia, offering many Liberian students the opportunity to have knowledge of the sector.
On the basis of the services the men had provided, the charity organization took note and decided to formally recognize them so they can be proud of their contributions to society.
Vice President Joseph Boakai did not make any remark during the honoring. Mr. Woods could not be given the opportunity to stand for a longer time to deliver the great speech he wrote because of his health.
Nevertheless, Mr. Woods in an interview with the Daily Observer said he was delighted that a group like Alpha could recognize him as many people do not have the opportunity to be recognized in the society.
He stressed that only noise makers and some insignificant people are recognized in the Liberian society for making noise and doing nothing.
Having served with the University of Liberia’s Forestry and Agriculture Department for years, he has impacted Liberians by recommending some students to pursue the Master’s degree in Forestry abroad and seven of them are expected to return this December to be of help to the university.
Considering himself as a true patriot, Mr. Woods said “You do not have to do all for yourself or by yourself, but need to prepare others to take over from you when you retire.”
A brief history about his membership in Alpha indicates that he became a part of the organization when he saw the Civil Rights Movement in the United States between 1963 and 1966 while studying at the University of Kentucky.
“I joined Etta Epsilon Lambda Chapter in 1967 upon my return to Liberia. I did not make any impact that time because I was a neophyte observing and integrating into the Liberian society as a whole. During the period 1967-1968 I identified my role models as David N. Howell of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) and Dr. Christian E. Baker,” who once served as president of Cuttington College and Divinity School (now Cuttington University).
In his undelivered speech, Mr. Woods recalled that in those days, they knew no tribes at the “YMCA—” no Krahn, no Sapo, no Congo or Kpelleh, noting. “We were Liberians and members of the Y at various levels.”