Mrs. Gillian Tulay Moore, widow of the legendary Liberian poet and cultural icon, Bai T. Moore, was an outstanding educator who touched thousands of lives, making a positive impact on them.
This was how the Rev. Canon A. Too Williams, rector of St. Stephen Episcopal Church, described the fallen Liberian educator when he preached at her funeral at St. Thomas Episcopal Church last Saturday.
Mrs. Moore was a member of St. Thomas but frequently worshipped at St. Stephen, where she had many friends.
Describing her as a prominent Liberian educator and dedicated teacher, Canon Williams said Mrs. Moore lived her life in service to humanity.
“She lived a life that everyone needs to follow. She was down to earth and always cared for people no matter what,” he added.
Speaking on the theme “When You Fight Well, You Will Be Remembered” and using the text from 2nd Timothy 4: 7-8, Rev. Williams explained that the deceased will forever be remembered for being a servant, not a master.
“She was a great lady who served her people and the church well. She was a champion of education, and performed her calling with integrity. She lived a very simple life, and demonstrated an amazing passion to educate others. Having such a noble character is difficult and requires honesty to do it,” said Rev. Williams, describing the deceased as “a true servant of God.”
The Reverend lamented the poor quality of life in Liberia and the thousands of children selling trivial items on the streets when they should be in school.
The Rev. Canon Dr. James Selle, rector of St. Thomas, was the Celebrant during the funeral mass and delivered the Commendation.
The choir of the Soul Cleansing Church in Chocolate City, Gardnersville, delivered a number of beautiful selections during the funeral service, which was a festive occasion where masked dancers, sasa playing singers and dancers enlivened the funeral ceremony.
Mrs. Moore died on August 11, 2016, at the St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital following a brief illness. She was buried alongside her husband in his home town of Dimeh, Bomi County, along the Monrovia-Bomi highway.
The deceased started her early primary education at the Bolahun Holy Cross Mission in the former Kolahun District, now Hassawoma District in Lofa County, in the early 1950s.
She matriculated to St. Teresa Convent, a Catholic high school for girls in Monrovia. Following her graduation, she entered the University of Liberia (UL) and graduated from the W.V.S. Tubman Teachers College in 1964 with a degree in Secondary Education.
She was reportedly the first woman from Kolahun District to graduate from college. Mrs. Gillian Moore started her teaching career at the B.W. Harris Episcopal High School and continued there until the outbreak of the Liberian Civil War in 1990.
In addition to the many tributes paid to Mrs. Gillian Moore by various institutions, the Government of Liberia’s Official Gazette said her family, the government and people of Liberia had lost a dependable mother and source of moral fortitude; that her friends had lost a companion who inspired them; and that the government of Liberia had lost a career educator.
The prominent Liberian photojournalist, Sando Moore, son of the deceased, paying the family tribute, said “As my mother’s remains lie here today, I’m in pain and agony. We had a brilliant mother, one who never really grew old and her smile was sunshine. Her heart was solid gold, her eyes were bright as shining stars, and in her cheeks a fair rose you could see.
“We had an amazing mother who loved and cared for her children. Her words were always soft and tender. It was indeed a natural embodiment. Above hate and malice, she chose friendship, sister and brotherhood. Throughout her life on earth, she gladly shared with people who needed help, when she had so little. She simply loved being there for others and helping to make their lives better; and above all, she was straightforward.
“In spite of what others tried to do to put her down and keep her in a perpetual state of confusion and suppression, she succeeded against the odds and remained positive.”
The late Mrs. Gillian Tulay Moore is survived by several children, including Mr. Sando Moore, Mrs. Jacquelyn Moore Russell, Mr. Bai T. Moore, Jr. and Mrs. Tito Moore Kesselly; several siblings; several grand and great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many other relatives and friends in Liberia and abroad.