Mrs. Lucretia Collins Thomas, a former secretary to six Secretaries of the Interior, and Girls Guide of Liberia president, has died in her 96th year.
She died at 9:45 p.m. last Friday, May 1, 2015 at the SOS Clinic in Congo Town, Monrovia.
Widow of the famous Liberian trumpeter Sylvester Thomas, Mrs. Thomas was throughout her life an active member of Trinity Cathedral. She was one of the cathedral’s eldest and most active members, serving there every Sunday for decades as a lay reader, until her death last Friday. Her mate on the Lay Readers Guild at Trinity was Mrs. Ida Burphy Ajavon, herself an octogenarian, who will most likely read one of the lessons during Madam Thomas’ funeral mass at Trinity.
In the 1930s and 1940s, Lucretia was already an involved member of Trinity Sunday School, which she later headed as superintendent, following the death of that Sunday School’s legendary superintendent, Jacob Henry Browne.
Mrs. Thomas was one of the founding members of the Girls Guide Association of Liberia, which she also served as president.
A lifelong fraternal and social activist, she was also a member the Order of Eastern Star (OES), which she once headed as general grand matron. The OES is the sisterhood of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.
Mrs. Thomas was also very active, until her death, in the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) and other church organizations, including the Girls Friendly Society.
She was a member of the Household of Ruth and the Society of Good Templars.
During the Independence Day celebrations last year she was decorated by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia, Charles G. Bryant, also decorated her.
Lucretia Jennaba Thomas was born in Jenewonde, Taiwon, in Garwala District, Grand Cape County on August 21, 1920 to the union of Mr. Alfred W. Collins and Madam Ciata Kromah. Mr. Collins was an outstanding organist and pianist, who taught many students.
Mrs. Lucretia Thomas was the eldest surviving Collins—a family whose many brothers hailed from Maryland County, migrated to Monrovia and became outstanding citizens of the republic. Among the brothers were Counselors Ben Too Collins, Sr., T. Gyibili Collins, a onetime Circuit Judge, Samuel Collins, and the musician, Alfred W. Collins.
Lucretia attended the College of West Africa (CWA), graduating from high school in 1940. Among her classmates was J. Rudolph Grimes, later Secretary of State, and Rocheforte L. Weeks, later President of the University of Liberia and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In her professional life, Mrs. Lucretia Thomas was employed with the Department of the Interior, where she served as Secretary to six Secretaries of the Interior. They were Henry W. Cooper, Narny J. Fahnbulleh, Richard N. Holder, S. David Coleman, Harrison W. Grigsby and Jacob Samuel Melton.
Funeral arrangements for Mrs. Lucretia J. Thomas will be announced later.