The Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Saturday, February 25, 2017 led an array of senior government officials, family, relatives and mourners at the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Paynesville City to attend the Memorial Service for fallen Chairperson of the Council of State of Liberia, Madam Ruth Sando Fahnbulleh Perry who died in Columbus, Ohio, United States of America early Sunday, January 8, 2017.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf was by joined mourners to pay respect to the late Chairperson of the Council of State of Liberia.
On September 3, 1996, Mrs. Ruth Sando Fahnbulleh Perry was sworn into office as the first female to head the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL). She accomplished its mandate in nine months period and, following the holding of Legislative and Presidential elections, on July 19, 1997; she handed power to the duly elected Government on August 2, 1997.
Madam Perry served as the third Interim Chair of the Council of State during the country’s civil crisis from September 3, 1996 to August 2, 1997. She succeeded Professor Wilton G. S. Sankawulo and presided over the transition and turned power to Mr. Charles Taylor following the 1997 special elections.
She was born on July 16, 1939, in Grand Cape Mount County – Perry was the daughter of Marjon and Alhaji Semila Fahnbulleh. Her parents later enrolled her in a Roman Catholic School for girls in Monrovia run by missionary Catholic Nuns. Madam Perry graduated from the Teachers College of the University of Liberia and later worked as an Elementary School teacher in Grand Cape Mount County.
She married to Cllr. McDonald M. Perry, former Judge and Legislator of Grand Cape Mount County who predeceased her in 1985 and were blessed with seven children. Madam Perry previously worked in the Monrovia Office of Chase Manhattan Bank in 1971 and taught at a Sande School as an elder.
Delivering a brief homily during the memorial service, the Rev. Fr. Peter M. Inuwa, Vicar of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church encouraged the bereaved family and others to take solace in the Lord As they Go Through The Period of Bereavement. Speaking on the theme: “A Charge to Keep,” – the Rev. Father Inuwa said everyone has a charge to keep in their area of assignment like Madam Perry successfully did in nurturing the peace Liberia during those difficult days in our nation’s history.
The Episcopal Prelate noted that the gathering was not to weep for Madam Perry, but to rejoice for a life well lived. He urged the congregation to desist from pretense and hatred that have not and will not do us any good, adding: “Desist from awkward talking, which is not necessary in life; Now a day, so – so pretense and hatred live with us,” he emphasized.
He furthered, Madam Ruth Perry lived a life of sharing with people and relating to her fellow man in the Church and described the fallen Stateswoman as a “dedicated Church-woman and public servant” that performed very well in public service and the Church. He used the occasion to encouraged Liberians to form part of the ongoing voter registration process to enable them chose their leaders. Rev. Fr. Inuwa pointed out that leaders are chosen by God at same time encouraging those who want to be leaders must wait for their time stressing: “The same measure you measure for others will be measured for you,” he concluded.
Paying tribute, Professor Weade Kobbah Wureh, former Vice Chairperson of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL), who spoke on behalf of the government said Madam Ruth Sando Fahnbulleh Perry was a true advocate for women and peace, an administrator; patriot; stateswoman and an ardent and devout Episcopalian.
She noted Madam Perry had a daunting task to reunite Liberia in a very short period of time. She noted among other things that Madam Perry received numerals awards in recognition of the distinguished role played for the promotion of women in peace-building in Liberia Africa and other countries in conflict and her advocacy for peace and unity during Liberia’s difficult period. She described her as a “Good woman advocate and a stateswoman.”
For their part, the family in remarks thanked the Government of Liberia and President Sirleaf for the support given the family during the illness and death of Madam Perry. They said the funeral service held in the United State of America and the State Memorial Service in Liberia were sponsored by the Government of Liberia. The family said they were particularly thankful to the President for standing with them throughout and to her death Madam Perry.
Meanwhile, the family presented a “Peace Cap” Madam Ruth Sando Fahnbulleh Perry used on her way back from Nigeria to Liberia following her appointment as Chairperson of the Council of State of the National Transitional Government of Liberia. They requested that is be kept at the National Archives of Liberia.
The Ceremony was graced by former government officials, members of the NTGL, members of the diplomatic and Consular Corps, family members, relatives and friends.
PHOTOS CREDIT: Abel Plackie/Executive Mansion