Despite retiring several years prior to his demise, the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA) has eulogized the late former Ad Hoc Supreme Court Justice William B. Metzger, Sr., as a devoted member of the ‘black robe family.’
Reading a tribute on behalf of the LNBA during wake-keeping over the remains of the fallen former judge at the Trinity Cathedral Catholic Church on Broad Street last Friday, a spokesman of the Association, Cllr. James Verdier, recalled the role the late Judge Metzger played to help inspire him and others to reach where they are today.
Cllr. Verdier, who was recently nominated as Chair of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), further recalled that Judge Metzger—even in his retirement years— remained a staunch member of the LNBA and travelled with the Association to several parts of the country to attend annual conferences.
Rt Rev. Hart Funeral Discourse
In his funeral discourse last Friday, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Jonathan B.B. Hart, Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Liberia, challenged the bereaved family and friends of Judge Metzger to emulate his good Christian virtues.
As a devout Christian, Bishop Hart remembered how many Sundays; he left Bomi Hills where he spent the better part of his life, to come to Monrovia for service whenever a Priest was unavailable to conduct Mass at the St. Paul Episcopal Church where he served as deacon.
Supreme Court Bench
The Supreme Court Bench was led by Chief Justice Francis Saye Korkpor and Associate Justices, who in their tribute, expressed sadness over the home going of Judge Metzger, whom they described as a brilliant legal mind.
The family tribute, read by one of Judge Metzger’s younger siblings, Mr. Clarence B. Metzger, narrated how close his brother was to the family, saying it did not matter how far apart they were, he was always in contact; and as such, important news about him was relayed from the United States where some of the family members reside.
Judge Metzger died November 26, 2013 at the John F. Kennedy Hospital in Monrovia after months of illness. He was in his 89th year.
Among those who attended his funeral included members of the Cape Mount and Bomi Counties Legislative Caucus, Trial Judges of Liberia, and the Chairman of Unity Party, Cllr. Varney G. Sherman, among many others.
He was buried in his hometown of Damballa on Saturday, after a night of wake-keeping.
The late Judge Metzger was born on October 1, 1925 unto the union of Mr. Boima Kelkeh Metzger and Mrs. Jembeh K. Metzger in Damballa Town, Porkpa District, Grand Cape Mount County.
“Bill”, as he preferred to be called, attended elementary schools in Damballa, and the Mambo Episcopal Elementary in Tewor, District and later the St. John’s Episcopal High School in Robersport as well as the Laboratory High, now William V.S. Tubman High in Monrovia, where he graduated with a Diploma.
He later matriculated to the University of Liberia for a semester under the watchful eyes of Dr. T. Ebenezer Ward.
From 1955-1962, he joined the former Liberia Mining Company (LMC) where he served as Mail Clerk and later Accounts Clerk. He served as Justice of the Peace and Associate Magistrate from 1962-1964, and from 1964-1970, the late Judge Metzger was appointed as Traffic Court Judge in then Bomi Territory; and was again promoted as Circuit Judge for Bomi County in 1978.
He finally served as Ad Hoc Chief Justice for a Special Court Constituted at the Supreme Court of Liberia from 2003 to 2004.
Judge Metzger was joined in holy matrimony with Marsay Manobah in Bomi Hills in 1955 and was blessed with several children; his wife predeceased him. Later in 1962, Judge Metzger and Bernice Stubblefield tied knots in Monrovia and the union was again blessed with several children.
The late Judge was a member of several fraternities, including poro society, Grand United Brothers of Friendship (UBF), Grand Order of Odd Fellows (GUOOF), and Grand Junior Warden and Honorary Deputy Grand Master, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Masons, Republic of Liberia.
He is survived by his widow Mrs. Bernice Stubblefield Metzger; his children William Jr., Wayne and Wilmot (USA), Winifred, Wilhelmina, Maima, Kula, Jenneh and Wilfred. Siblings: Dr. Kanda Golafale, Mrs. Miatta Metzger Sherman (USA), Momodu and Dao; several grand and great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces and host of other relatives, including the Dagosehs, Konuwas, Mabandes, Sheriffs, Simpsons, Teahs, Shermans, Kamaras, Dunbars, Kannehs and friends in Liberia and abroad.