On Saturday December 27, 2014, members of the APC-Ontario Chapter Canada (APCOCC) gathered in the provincial capital Toronto, for a prelaunch party to set the stage for a bigger event in the summer of 2015. The event which took place at the Bethlehem Banquet Hall in Toronto was well attended by Sierra Leoneans, as well as non-Sierra Leoneans living in Greater Toronto Area. It was deemed as an immense success by partygoers who came cladded in the bright red colors of the national ruling party to show their solidarity with the governing APC Party in Sierra Leone.
A cross Section of APCOCC Executive & members
The APCOCC is the first of its kind to launch in the most populous province in Canada. And it is for this reason that Sierra Leoneans of all strides came to not only be part of the organization, but to also be part of a movement that aspires to promote democracy, accountability and cooperation with the party at home, and its supporters in the diaspora. As a way to shore up support for the young organization, organizers were keen on highlighting the need for cooperation between members, and urged attendees to sign up, and take part in a draw to win various prizes.
In what attendees of the prelaunch ceremony identified as the highlight of the night was a keynote address delivered by the newly minted chairman of APCOCC, Mr. Abu Bakarr Kamara. Speaking through rounds of applause, Chairman Kamara said, “The APC Ontario Chapter Canada is open to all Sierra Leoneans and Canadians of Sierra Leonean descent. “This Chapter is going to devote its effort to support the National APC party win elections through the democratic process. It will also seek to nurture the culture of patriotism among Sierra Leoneans living in Ontario.”
He prayed for all the patriotic warriors including, medical doctors, nurses, service personnel, volunteers and citizens who have lost their lives in the fight against this epidemic. He is hopeful that the New Year will restore Sierra Leone to its glory, and life will return back to normalcy.
Chairman Kamara also praised Sierra Leonean residents in Toronto for their relentless support towards the overall objectives of the APC. On a more historical note, Mr. Kamara said that, the APCOCC was founded more than five years ago as a backdrop to allow democracy to flourish in the homeland. Not forgetting to strike a chord with Sierra Leonean-Canadians, the chairman praised Canada’s commitment to helping bring two mobile laboratories to Sierra Leone, and the deployment of Canadian medical personnel to the country. He praised the bilateral ties the two countries currently enjoy. And it is for this reason that, all party gatherings opens with the singing of the national anthems of both nations.
Also in attendance was APCOCC Secretary General Mr. Sheriff Rahman Sesay. Mr. Sesay applauded the work of Sierra Leoneans for supporting the APC Ontario Chapter by promoting the platform of its leadership under his Excellency the President of Sierra Leone Dr. Earnest Bai Koroma. Mr. Sesay energized the audience with party Slogans like ”Owei Osei” in the local Temne dialect, meaning, in “bitter or sweet” the party will continue to live in unity as APC.
Continuing from where Chairman Kamara left off talking about the history of APCOCC continued Joseph Lakoh, an elderly statesman who was part of the founding fathers of the APCOCC. In his brief address, he encouraged all sierra Leoneans, and friends of Sierra Leone living in Ontario, to join the bandwagon and support the APC. Over hundred new members were registered that night. And over fifty people pledged their allegiance and support towards the APCOCC.
Shedding more light on the campaign against the deadly Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone was the vice chairman of APCOCC, Mr. Mohamed Sean Samura. Mr. Samura showed a short video about the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone. He also spoke about how the country is facing a widespread humanitarian crisis as a result of the Ebola outbreak. And how the Ebola Hemorrhagic strain has put a strain on a stretched-out healthcare system.
In wrapping up his statement, he emotionally appealed to every Sierra Leonean in attendance by invoking that, “you don’t have to be infected for you to be affected.” “The outbreak continues with devastating reality with new Ebola victims being diagnosed each day and people are dying,” he concluded. And he encouraged all Sierra Leoneans in Ontario to support the work of APCOCC to raise funds for the victims and their families.Mr Samura in his appeal for donation and support; he encouraged members of the community to genuinely donate to a cause he referred to as “worth supporting.”
As the night came to an end, the closing statement was given by the APCOCC’s social secretary, Mrs. Janet Sesay. She gratefully thanked attendees for their interest in supporting the work of the APCOCC.
And with the smell of a variety of homemade delicacies ready to munch, and chilled beverages waiting in the coolers, attendees were treated to music and cultural performances throughout the night as they eat. Then the real party ensued, dancing, and more dancing. However, as preparations for the grand launching ceremony of the APC-Ontario Chapter (APCOCC) takes shape, here are the names of the current officeholders of the chapter.
- Chairman: Mr. AbuBakarr Kamara
- Vice Chairman: Mr. Mohamed Samura
- Secretary: Mr. Sheriff R. Sesay
- Assist. Secretary: Mr. Sheku Koroma
- Financial Secretary: Mr. Amadu Kamara
- Social Secretary: Mrs. Janet E. Sesay
- Treasurer: Ms. Barlu Dumbuya
- PRO: Mr. Ibrahim Samura
- Internal Auditor Mr. Ibrahim K. Bangura
- Women’s Leader: Ms. Memunatu Bangura
- Youth Leader: Mr. Abdulai British Sesay
- Executive Adviser: Mr. Joseph S. Lakoh (Chief)
Brought to you by: The APCOC C Speechwriter (Moe Marah).