President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has led an array of officials of government to sign the Book of Condolence for Liberia’s Ambassador to the Republic of Sierra Leone with concurrent accreditation to the Mano River Union, Thomas Ngombu Brima, Sr.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the solemn and mournful ceremony took place in the Foyer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, June 10, 2014.
Others who signed the book were Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, the leadership and members of the Legislative and Judicial branches of government, Cabinet Ministers and other officials of the Executive branch, members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps as well as heads of international organizations, as well as other sympathizers.
Ambassador Brima, who was also Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Sierra Leone, passed away at the Hannibal International Hospital in Tunis, Tunisia at 2:00 p.m., on Monday, May 12, 2014. He was in his 76th year.
A sizable number of the late Ambassador Brima’s family was in attendance at the ceremony.
Speaking to journalists later, Vice President Boakai, who also hails from Lofa County, termed the death of Ambassador Brima as “a big loss”. Commenting on his long years of camaraderie with the late Ambassador Brima, Vice President Boakai said, “Tom was a very gifted person. He was endowed with wisdom, traditional understanding and was always ready to serve. As a traditional leader, he would guide a process to a peaceful and logical resolution. He fitted in many areas.”
Also commenting, Lofa County District No. 2 Representative Fofi Sahr Baimba said the death of Ambassador Brima is a great loss to the people of Vahun District. “The late Ambassador Brima served across borders. I guarantee you that there will be a good representation from the Sierra Leonean government at his funeral because he served there well; he built a relationship with the people and was actually a good representative of Liberia,” Representative Baimba, who classified the late Brima as his father, said.
At 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 11, 2014, the remains of the late His Excellency Ambassador Thomas Ngombu Brima, Sr. will be removed from the Samuel A. Stryker Funeral Parlors and taken to the St. Stephen Episcopal Church on 10th Street, Sinkor for wake keeping beginning at 6:00 p.m.
On Thursday, June 12, 2014 beginning at 10:00 a.m., funeral rites over his remains will be said at the same venue.
On Friday, June 13, 2014 the body of the late Ambassador Brima, Sr. will be airlifted to Foya, Lofa County and then taken to Bolahun for one hour of viewing. Thereafter, the body will be conveyed to Vahun for one night of traditional wake keeping.
On Saturday, June 14, 2014 commendation and interment follows at the family plot in Vahun Town, Lofa County.
The late Ambassador Brima, who was affectionately called “TNB”, was born on March 24, 1939 in Vahun Town, Guma Mende Chiefdom, Western Province, now Lofa County, unto the union of Chief Koilo Ngombu Brima and Mrs. Massa Gadermeh Brima.
He attended primary and secondary schools in Blamah, Republic of Sierra Leone; Vahun Town and Bolahun, Lofa County; and graduated from the St. Augustine Mission High School in 1959. Upon his graduation, he served as a part-time teacher from 1961 to 1963.
The late Ambassador Brima matriculated to the Cuttington College and Divinity School, now Cuttington University in Suakoko, Bong County and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BSc) Degree in Education in 1968.
The late Ambassador Brima, entered public service in 1967 as Administrative Assistant to the President of Cuttington University. From 1971, the deceased served as Executive Secretary, Department of State, now Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Assistant Minister for Rural Development; Acting Superintendent and Superintendent, Lofa County, respectively. Deputy Minister for Urban Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs; President, Guma Enterprise; Minister of Internal Affairs; Advisor to the Council of State, Liberian National Transitional Government; Executive Director, Office of the Vice Chairman, Council of State; Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry; Executive Director, Office of Councilman, Professor Alhaji G.V. Kroma, Interim Government of Liberia; Founding Member, Vahun District Development Assocation (VDDA) and Liberia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Sierra Leone appointed by the late transitional chairman, Charles Gyude Bryant, where he performed with distinction and credibility. Due to his performance as Liberia’s Ambassador to Sierra Leone, President Sirleaf reappointed him in 2006.
The late Ambassador Brima was joined in Holy Matrimony with Miss Baindu Sangay on July 16, 1977 in Vahun, Lofa County. This union was blessed with two children. The deceased was also blessed with 14 children.
As a mark of last respect, President Sirleaf has ordered and directed that on the Day of internment, the National Ensign of the Republic of Liberia be flown at half-mast from all Public Buildings in Lofa County, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. While his remains are being borne to the Cemetery for internment, his Personal Salute of 17 Cannons will be fired at intervals.