Retired Senior Civil Servant Mrs. Sylvia Editha Jolliminah Blyden, who rose to the rank of Development Secretary of the Republic of Sierra Leone, was on Wednesday July 7th 2021, given a befitting funeral that was graced by persons from all walks of life.
Most importantly, though she was a red roaring main opposition APC member, her funeral saw various persons from the SLPP-led Government, putting their political differences aside to mourn the late woman as a Sierra Leonean icon.
His Excellency President Bio sent his Personal Assistant Tommy Massaquoi to grace the funeral events whilst the governing SLPP Secretary General Hon. Napoleon Koroma and other SLPP cabinet ministers were visibly present.
Of course the APC, led a high powered delegation of Deputy Chairman AlhajiMinkailuMansaray and Scribe Alhaji Osman Yansaneh who were accompanied by many stakeholders like APC parliamentary leader Hon. Chericoco Bah.
The APC presence was so prominent at the funeral that during the procession to the Cemetery, the APC brass band stole the show from the Brass Bands of the late woman’s alma mater schools of FSSG and MBHS.
Other major political figures like Chief Alhaji Sam Sumana and Hon. Dr. Kandeh Yumkella also were visibly present at the late woman’s residence in Freetown to personally extend their condolences.
The weather, on both days, was very beautiful and with Mrs. Blyden’s coffin draped in national flag colours of green, white and blue, there were beautiful scenes at her native village of Gloucester in the Western Area Rural District Council.
The day before (Tuesday July 6th) she had been laid out in a Civic Laying Out ceremony which was also very, very successful.
Her children and her in-laws who flew in from overseas, were seen during both events, looking very sad at times but also they were visibly happy at other times to see that their mother received such a fantastic fare thee well as she was laid to rest amidst National Unity.
The funeral and subsequent procession itself was carried live over several medium including the AYV television.
Keeping in line with NaCOVERC regulations, the Blyden Family had ensured that no more than 50 persons were in the congregation inside the funeral church service.
Subsequent details will cover the recommendation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Sierra Leone pertinent to the late woman and how the recommendation has now been finally upheld.