The Bruce Family announces with profound regret the home going, in his 96th year, of Mr. William T. Bruce, Sr., Liberia’s first modern plumber.
He passed away at his home on 20th Street, Sinkor, Monrovia, on Friday, April 10, 2015.
William T. Bruce, affectionately called “Borbor Bruce,” was born on March 5, 1919 in Plebo, Maryland County. He attended the Episcopal High School in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County, graduating in 1942. He later matriculated to Prairie View A&M University in Texas, where he studied professional plumbing.
Upon his return home, he became Liberia’s first modern professional plumber with a college degree in the field.
He served the Ministry of Public Works as Liberia’s first professional Chief Plumbing Inspector from 1958 to the late 1960’s.
Mr. Bruce was the founder and president of City Plumbing & Construction Services (CPCS), the largest Liberian-owned business of its kind in the 70’s & 80’s, and was the West African Distributor of all plumbing products from the manufacturer, Kohler of Wisconsin, U.S.A.
William T. Bruce, Sr. was musically inclined long before his departure to the U.S. to study plumbing and sanitary engineering. His musical ability was discovered while he was enrolled on St. John's Mission and the Episcopal High School in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County. His musical colleagues were Hemmieh Jones, Sylvester Thomas, Alake Williams, and Ernest Jones.
Following his graduation from The Episcopal High School in 1942, he left Robertsport for Monrovia, and eventually joined the famed Greenwood Singers; his contribution to the ensemble was his fantastic bass voice. The Greenwood Singers were prominent in Monrovia, and were managed by Mr. Jacob Brown; they played and entertained at major venues such as the Sack Towers, the Executive Pavilion, and the Pavilion Mamarina.
Several years ago President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf decorated him during an impressive investiture ceremony at the Foreign Ministry.
His children, Glen Smith, Yatta Smith, Dada Smith and Moses Bruce, predeceased him.
Mr. William T. Bruce, Sr. is survived by his wife, Mrs. Myrtle Mason-Bruce; his children, Ernest Bruce, William T. Bruce, Jr., (Watchen) Musu Bruce, Willa Bruce, Alma Bruce, Wilfred Bruce, Johnnie Smith, Roderick Smith and William Gibson; his sister, Dr. Ayele Ajavon Cox; his brother, Moses Bruce; eight grandchildren, Delores Maxwell, Quadayou Bruce-Thomas, William T. Bruce, III, Casandra Bruce-Lawson, Carlos Bruce, Gabriel Bruce, Sadia Bruce, & Kwaku Bruce; six great grandchildren, Taeshana Bruce, Ceecee Bruce, Anna Thomas, Pia Maxwell, Elon Thomas, Peyton Lawson; and many other relatives.
The remains of Mr. William T. Bruce, Sr. will be removed from the Samuel A. Stryker Funeral parlor on Thursday, April 23, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. and taken to St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Camp Johnson Rd. for three hours of wake keeping, from 6-9 p.m.
The requiem mass will commence at St. Thomas at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 24, 2015. Interment will follow immediately at the Episcopal Church Cemetery on the St. John’s Campus in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County.