The rotunda of the Capitol Building fell silent on Tuesday, April 23, in tribute to the Rep. Adolph Akwe Lawrence of Montserrado District #15. Rep. Lawrence died in a tragic motor accident on Monday, March 25, on Tower Hill, along the Robertsfield highway.
The House’s Tuesday session, which was expected to mark the resumption of works after a two-week Easter Break, was obviously postponed.
Jumpstarting the four-day itinerary of the funeral events for the late Rep. Lawrence, President George M. Weah gathered with hundreds of Liberians, including members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, clad predominantly in black, to mourn the fallen representative. Also there were members of the Cabinet, bereaved family, sympathizers, personal staff and staff of the Central Administration of the Legislature.
The Independent Legislative Caucus (ILC) and the Majority Bloc of the House of Representatives, as well as the Aggrieved and Majority members of the Senate were ‘united’ in grief and individually signed the Book of Condolence in memory of Rep. Lawrence.
According to the protocol for the signing of the Book of Condolence in memory of Rep. Lawrence, which began at 10:09 a.m., President Weah and members of the Cabinet began the signing, followed by the Vice President and members of the Senate. The Speaker and Members of the Honorable House of Representatives, as well as the Doyen and Members of the Diplomatic Corps, members of the Consular Corps, and heads of international organizations and, lastly, Political Parties.
Though the President didn’t speak to the press, but he started with the sign of the cross before writing his condolence note, and then ended it with another sign of the cross and then a silent prayer as he stood and bowed lightly.
The President then proceeded to greet and sympathize with Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence – the widow to the late Rep. Lawrence. Sen. Karnga-Lawrence, who is also the political leader of the Liberty Party, has been very “vocal” on the governance and economy of the country under the CDC-led government.
Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, in her condolence remarks said: “Rep. Adolp Lawrence was committed, strong and eloquent.”
House Deputy Speaker Prince Moye said: “Rep. Adolph Lawrence was a strong pillar, dedicated, good with words and smart.”
Former Sinoe County District #1 Representative, Jefferson Kanmoh, who is currently the National Security Advisor to President Weah, described the late Adolph Lawrence as “comrade-in-arms” and said, “he stood for higher causes and journeyed to join the legends of the fallen comrades-in-arms.”
Meanwhile, today, April 24, the signing of the Book of Condolence will continue with members of the Clergy, National Muslim Council, Autonomous Agencies, officials and Citizens of District 15 Montserrado County and the general public.
On Thursday, April 25, at 8:30am, the body of Rep. Lawrence will be removed from the Samuel A. Stryker Funeral Parlors in Sinkor and taken to the Capitol Building to ‘lie in state’ at 10 a.m. The body will later be taken to the Paynesville City Hall for one night of wake keeping from 5pm to 12 mid night, after which the body will be returned to the funeral parlor.
On Friday, April 26, the body of the Rep. Lawrence will be removed from the Samuel A. Stryker Funeral Parlor at 8:30 a.m. and taken to the Sacred Heart Cathedral on Broad Street, Monrovia for one hour of wake keeping, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Funeral rites will be said over the remains of the late Rep. Lawrence at the same venue beginning at 11 a.m., and will be followed by interment at the Kaiser Lawn Cemetery in Brewerville, Montserrado County.
As a mark of last respect and tribute to the late Rep. Lawrence, President George M. Weah has declared a period of mourning during which time the national ensign of the Republic will be flown at half-mast from all public buildings in Montserrado County on Thursday, April 25 and on the day of interment, Friday, April 26.