Salone News

40th Day Memorial Services for Hinga Norman Held

26 April 2007 at 05:24 | 460 views

A press release from Alfred SamForay of the Hinga Norman Defence Fund states that 40th Day memorial services for former Regent Chief and National Coordinator of the Sierra Leone Civil Defence Forces, Chief Sam Hinga Norman(photo), took place in London and at his ancestral home of Nguala, Vulunya Chiefdom in the Bo District on Sunday 15 April 2007.

The Norman family in Sierra Leone and abroad, the release went on, wish to thank Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad for the overwhelming support the family received during the funeral as well as the Fortieth Day services for the Late Chief. The family especially commends the St. Theresa Parish Choir in Bo for their support in songs and music during the Fortieth Day memorial services.

The Hinga Norman-CDF Defence Fund of North America also wishes to thank all our friends and supporters whose prayers and financial support were so crucial to the family in their time of grief. We would like to acknowledge the receipt of two thousand and seventy-three dollars (US $2,073.00) from the North American community. May your gifts and blessings be returned to you a million-fold.

It is, however, very unfortunate that the Bishop and Elders of the Church of Salvation of which Chief Norman was a lay Elder and Grand Chief Patron of their annual Thanksgiving celebrations for many years refused to participate in the final memorial services for the Chief on the grounds that the family would not allow the SLPP government to participate in the occasion. The family has no regrets, apologies or reservations for excluding government from these activities.

TRIBUTES

I. Chief, you would be alive today if you had stayed in your village as Regent Chief. As Regent Chief in your village, you lived a peaceful and quiet life until your country needed you. You saw your villages burnt down, you saw your children been raped, you saw Sierra Leoneans being slaughtered like animals; you saw your elected government sent to exile. You answered the call to fight back. A fight you fought so brilliantly you were able to bring back the elected government from exile to power. You were able to bring back peace to our country.

Chief, it is because of you we go to sleep in our own beds without the fear of some one snatching our children

Chief, it is because of you that our children are able to go to school today, enjoy their childhood as any other child in any other country.

Chief, it is because of you that we are even able to think of voting to elect a new government in July this year.

What if you had not left your village to lead the Kamajors to fight for our country? What if you had agreed to join Johnny Paul Koroma as he invited the rebels to join his rebellion? Of course, you would have been Vice President under Johnny Paul Koroma, but power was not your ultimate goal.

Chief, I remember when you slept in the bush, in rain, with no food for your men, with no ammunition to fight the rebels. Chief, I remember when you were trapped in Liberia with Charles Taylor hunting for your life. How painful it was for you to have brought your men to Freetown to defend the city only to see many lose their lives for lack of ammunition.

The end of every man is death. Death has no rank. It serves no warning. Chief, this is a painful death; it was not supposed to end this way. You left your village to serve this country not for the greed of power. You truly loved this country. You were willing to sacrifice your life so we can live. I admire your courage, with all the struggle you went through, even though most people believe your arrest and even your fate is political, you had no malice towards anyone, no grudge, you were always optimistic. If only the people of this country knew how much you loved this country. If only the people of this country knew how much you wanted to help improve the life of every Sierra Leonean. You were never given a chance.

I pray to the Almighty the tears I shed today will become showers of blessings that will comfort me to help me build my country to a better Sierra Leone. This is what you died for. Chief, Thank you and Goodbye. (Mr. Mohammed Tarawally, California, USA)

II. TO MY BROTHER, MY MENTOR AND MY CHIEF.

It has been a long night’s journey. From Bo Waterside to State House. From the battlefields at Base Zero to the corn fields of Indiana. From Villa 20 at Hotel Cape Sierra to the final days at Hospital de La Dantec in Dakar. We always kept people guessing as whom you will support for president of Sierra Leone or to what political party you truly belonged. You told me often that only two people actually knew your true intentions; and now one of us is silenced forever. When one of your daughters found a man brave enough to show up at your residence, you left me with the privilege of engaging them for marriage. And when my daughter and her fiancé found each other in Freetown, it was your turn in my absence to commit them to each other and it would have been her dream for you to give her hand in marriage this summer.

When two of my brothers died only a few weeks apart a few years ago and I had no one else to call, you were there like a shelter in the time of storm. So rest assured that when old Pa Albert Norman whom you cherished with all your heart has lived the full extent of his life and God would see fit to unite him with you, if it pleases God for me to outlive him, you shall not be ashamed. Your children shall be my children and your people shall be my people. As long as I can breathe and write, the world shall not forget Samuel Hinga Norman.

For our country, you were always a very present help in time of trouble. For me, you were more than a brother and I pray that I have been and will continue to be the same to you. You fought a good fight, you kept the faith; you finished your earthly tasks and now is laid up for you by your heavenly Father a crown of life which no one can take away from you. FAREWELL, MY BROTHER, SEE YOU AT JESUS’ FEET. (Alfred Munda SamForay, Indiana, USA)

A musical tribute to the Late Chief by the newly formed musical group, the Hinga Norman Boys, is to be published very shortly. Plans for the publication of the biography of Chief Hinga Norman are also underway. God Bless all.

Comments