Salone News

Winnipeg: Eulogy for the late Alfred Sahr Koineh

10 November 2018 at 01:35 | 1588 views

By Paul Duwai-Sowa

I wished I could have said good morning to you all, but today (Friday November 9) is not a good day. It is a day that will always bring a painful reminder.

To the clergy of Mary Mother of the Church Parish, immediate family members and all sympathizers, allow me to speak on behalf of a community, the Sierra Leone Peoples Party that our late brother, Alfred Sahr Koineh (photo) so dearly loved.

Alfred Sahr Koineh, who until Thursday October 25, 2018 was the Chairman of SLPP Manitoba Chapter, was on Wednesday Oct 24 at exactly 11:13AM on the SLPP Regional Forum and by the evening hours of that same day, I received a distress call from Victor Kaicombey, the National Secretary of SLPP Canada Region that Alfred was on life support.

This news was unexpectedly shocking, but his passing the next day at 7:56AM was equally feverishly devastating on that day, as it is today. Like Alfred’s immediate family, the SLPP community had clung on to the most devotional and sacred verses in the Holy Bible and Quran praying for a miracle. God answered Alfred’s prayers instead. It was his time to go and not a time to suffer on hospital beds.

And in the words of William Shakespeare, “Life’s but a walking shadow…That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.”

Like Alfred’s immediate family, who would have thought that we will be here on this cold day in Winnipeg, Canada, to eulogise him? No one understands death, but when you lose a loved one, you come close to understanding the inevitable. Anne de Stael says, “We understand death only after it has placed its hands on someone we love.”

The passing of a grand chief patron and an official of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party anywhere in the world requires words from the highest political voice in the Party. With regrets, Dr. Prince Harding, our Chairman and the Secretary General, Umaru Napoleon Koroma couldn’t be here.

However, we have received condolences from the Party office in Freetown, the Government of President Julius Maada Bio through his Foreign Minister Alie Kabba, Ambassador Dr. Francis Kaikai, Sierra Leone’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Chairpersons and ordinary members of the respective SLPP Branches, and fellow Sierra Leoneans.

As the Chairman of SLPP Canada Region, I, Paul Duwai-Sowa and many others from across Canada and the United States are personally here to pay final respect to a dear friend and brother and to also represent our Party’s leadership.

And so today, we have come to mourn and celebrate an extraordinary SLPP brother, and a patriotic Sierra Leonean. We do so out of love and respect and also because our brother, Alfred Sahr Koineh was the epitome of everything our Party stood for – unity, peace and justice. We are one country, one people!

To all SLPP members present here and around the world, I hope our messages of sympathy and our presence at Alfred’s funeral gives solace not just to the immediate family members our brother has left behind, but also to a shaken SLPP family.

The late Alfred Sahr Koineh captured not only the hearts and minds of the SLPP community here in Canada for his remarkable gentleness , but all Sierra Leoneans whom he inspired with his honesty, his restless spirit to make Sierra Leone better and his innate love for family and sometimes total strangers.

Alfred Sahr Koineh was a man with dreams, a man of dignity; he was a peacemaker.

Alfred Sahr Koineh was Kono by ethnicity, but he was every ethnicity of Sierra Leone.

Alfred Sahr Koineh was SLPP to his inner soul, but he did understand that human relationships transcend politics.

Alfred Sahr Koineh was SLPP in every shape or form, but he was friends with every other political party member.

Alfred Sahr Koineh was a Sierra Leonean, but he crossed borders to every other nation in the world.

Alfred Sahr Koineh was a man of humble beginnings, but he knocked on the highest of places including Oxford Brooks University where he earned a Masters degree in Social Work.

Alfred Sahr Koineh combined the humility of his Sierra Leonean heritage, and the maple heart of his Canadian citizenship.

Today and forever, we remember Alfred Sahr Koineh, a visionary, a pioneer and an honest Sierra Leonean.

When the Priest gives his final blessings, and we lay to rest one of the founding fathers of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party in Canada, a call to action in the politics of Sierra Leone from as far away as Canada will continue. That is what Chairman Koineh wanted.

To all of us who are grieving, Bruce Coville says, “Nothing you love is lost. Not really. Things, people–they always go away sooner or later. You can’t hold them anymore than you can hold moonlight. But if they have touched you, if they are inside you, then they are still yours. The only things you ever really have are the ones you hold inside your heart.”

Chairman Alfred Sahr Koineh will be inside our hearts forever.

Goodbye Alfred Sahr Koineh!

Rest in Perfect Peace!

One country, one people!

Paul Duwai-Sowa delivering his eulogy in Winnipeg, Friday