A memorial service for the late Mrs. Alice Rosaline Koroma, First Mother of the Nation and the mother of Head of State President Ernest Bai Koroma, was held at the Covenant Child Evangelistic Church, Franklin Township, New Jersey on Sunday afternoon July 15, 2012. The memorial service , which coincided with the burial in Makeni City , Sierra Leone of the First Mother, was organized by a group of Sierra Leoneans in New Jersey known as the FRIENDS OF ERNEST KOROMA headed by Rev. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu, Mr. Foday Mansaray, Alhaji Alie Badara Kamara, Madam Madina Rahman , Dr. Bankole Gibson and some community elders.
FIRST MOTHER OF THE NATION LATE MRS. ALICE KOROMA
Once again, as was demonstrated in Sierra Leone, political tolerance and national unity were the order of the day as the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP) fully participated, represented at the highest state level by the President of the New Jersey Chapter , Mr. Brima Amara . TheYoung Generations Leader, Mr. Hindolo Barnet was also present . Sierra Leone’s tradition of multi-religious tolerance was also in place as members of the NJ Muslim community took part in the memorial.
REV. TIGIDANKAY KABS-KANU PRAYING FOR PRESIDENT KOROMA AND FAMILY : STANDING BESIDE HER ARE FODAY MANSARAY AND MADINA RAHMAN
REV. LEEROY KABS-KANU PRAYING FOR PRESIDENT KOROMA, THE OPPOSITION PARTIES AND THE NATION
SOME MEMBERS OF THE CONGREGATION
In his introduction of the memorial service, the Co-Pastor of the church, Rev. Leeroy Kabs-Kanu, expressed his heartfelt condolence to President Koroma, the First Lady Mrs. Sia Koroma and members of the Koroma family on behalf of the church and the community. He told the congregation and guests that the memorial had been set to coincide with the burial of the late mother of the President. He said that from all the testimonies given about her since she died, “Madam Koroma was a good christian and when a good christian dies, we do not assemble in church to mourn him/her but to celebrate his/ her life because he/she has gone to be with the Lord.” The Pastor noted that “We are therefore assembled in this church this afternoon to celebrate the life of Madam Koroma, who was laid to rest in Sierra Leone today” . He said that Mrs. Koroma did not only deserve the honor as the First Mother of the nation of Sierra Leone, but also for the fact that she was a very kind woman whose home was always open to famished and needy people and she even paid fees for many children and some people in top positions today. ” Because of her kindness , many pots used to boil in Sierra Leone and she therefore left us a life to celebrate” , Rev. Leeroy Kabs-Kanu went on. He also praised the President and the leaders of the opposition party for the exemplary maturity and tolerance they have demonstrated during the funeral.
SOME MEMBERS OF THE CONGREGATION : SEEN SECOND FROM RIGHT IS MRS. PATRICIA MANSARAY, THE WIFE OF MR. FODAY MANSARAY
ANOTHER COMPOSITE VIEW OF CONGREGATION AT THE MEMORIAL
PRAYER TIME FOR THE BEREAVED KOROMA FAMILY AND THE NATION
MADAM MADINA RAHMAN AND ALHAJI ALIRU BAKARR ( BEHIND HER ).
MR. FODAY MANSARAY GIVING HIS CONDOLENCE
APC-NJ LEADER ALHAJI ALLIE BADARA KAMARA GIVING HIS CONDOLENCE
SLPP -NJ LEADER MR. BRIMA AMARA CONSOLING THE PRESIDENT AND FAMILY
MADAM MADINA RAHMAN EXPRESSING CONDOLENCE TO THE KOROMA FAMILY
MR. LAMIN ALHARAZIM, THE CHAIR OF THE SIERRA LEONE COMMUNITY OF NEW JERSEY EXPRESSING CONDOLENCE
ALHAJI ALIRU BAKARR GIVING CONDOLENCE TO THE KOROMA FAMILY
MR. MUCTARR ALGHALI CONDOLES THE KOROMA FAMILY
MR. HARDY GABISI GIVING HIS CONDOLENCE TO THE FAMILY : STANDING NEAR HIM IS ALHAJI ALIRU BAKARR
SOME MEMBERS OF THE CONGREGATION
THE YOUNG GENERATION LEADER MR. HINDOLO BARNET GIVES CONDOLENCE TO THE KOROMA FAMILY
The speakers who read out condolences representated heads of organizations in New jersey . They included Alhaji Aliru Bakarr, who spoke on behalf of the entire membership of the Islamic Community ; Alhaji Allie Badara Kamara, the President of the All Peoples Congress NJ ; Mr Saidu Amara President of SLPP NJ Chapter ; Mr Muctarr Alghali Sr, a community leader who spoke of the only encounter he had with the late first mother during a wedding ceremony; Mr. Hindolo Bannet, Leader of the young generation of America and Mr Abdul Hardy Gabisi, who currently doubles as Secretary General of the Dawatul Muslim Jamaat of Franklin and Sierra Leone Community of New Jersey(SLCNJ ) . Additionally, Mr Gabisi currently serves as Secretary General of the Fourah Bay Foundation and sits on so many other boards across the United States and back home . Also expressing condolences were Mr. Lamin Alharazim, the Chair of the SLCNJ , which comprises 19 Sierra Leonean organizations ; Mr Foday Mansaray and his wife Patricia (who provided refreshment support along with the hostess Rev. Kabs- Kanu, and wife Tigi ) and Madam Madina Rahman represpeting the Nursing Association of New Jersey.
In their condolence messages, they also extended sympathy to President Koroma and his siblings for the loss of their mother and there was a recurrent theme in all their messages — the good deeds that Madam Koroma performed while she lived on earth which blessed the lives of lots of people. They comforted the President and siblings and prayed for her soul to rest in peace.
Alhaji Aliru Bakarr offered muslim prayers for President Ernest Koroma and family and led the congregation in the recitation of the Al-Fathia.
In her sermon, Rev. Tigi Kabs-Kanu comforted the Koroma family with the Biblical message that Christians who have passed away are asleep and the Koroma family should hold on to the fond memories she has left them and the hope that she will be be resurrected by the Lord Jesus Christ on the Last Day, as taught in 1 Thessalonians 4 : 13-16. She preached that death has no victory and the grave has no sting ( 1 Corinthians 15: 55-57 ) because Jesus Christ has won us victory over sin and death. Pastor Tigi said that as a believer, Madam Koroma brought forth “fruits meet for repentance” as a Christian, because the Bible says that “By their fruits ye shall know them” ( Matthew 7: 16). Pastor Tigi Kanu preached that according to the testimonies given about her life, Madam Koroma made an impact in society and she also gave birth to and raised the President of Sierra Leone. ”Madam Koroma therefore left a rich legacy for all to emulate “, she went on.
She preached about the salvation that comes through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and that when Christ comes into the life of any christian he opens his eyes and turns him from darkness to the light ( Acts 26:1). She told the rapt congregation that Christ has redeemed them from the power of Satan unto God and that they have received forgiveness of sin and the inheritance .
Rev. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu prayed for the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma; his siblings and other members of the family . He also prayed for the leaders of the opposition SLPP, PMDC , UDM and NDA and asked God to foster the new era of political tolerance occasioned by the bereavement .He said that Sierra Leoneans were tired of consuming each other and now want peace to reign throughout the land. He prayed God’s blessings on the nation and for the forthcoming elections to be free from controversy and chaos.