Edward Babatunde Blyden – Gone too soon but not forgotten

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 February 2017

The Edward Blyden family regrets to announce the passing away of their patriarch – Mr. Edward Walter Babatunde Gustavus Blyden in London, UK, on the 14th of February 2017, aged 74.

He is survived by his wife Mrs. Sylvia Blyden; his children – Pastor Mrs. Babsy Kaye, Honourable Government Minister Dr Sylvia Blyden, Miss Cheryl Blyden and Mr. Edward Babatunde Blyden Jnr; sons-in-law – Mr. Ashley Kaye and Mr. Isaac Adegboyega; daughter-in-law – Mrs. Elsa Blyden.

Edward Babatunde Blyden will be sorely missed by his grandchildren – Sylvester, Linda, Samuel, Ashanti, Akintoye, Miles and Mia-Rose; and his father-in-Law – Professor Solomon Pratt.

He has several foster children – Mrs Virginia Zack-Williams, Mrs Abie Labor-Koroma, Mr Safea Songu-Mbriwa, Mrs Isatu Brima-Keita, Mr Theophilus Kamara, Mr Lawrence Sesay, and Mrs Jacqueline Cullen-Olushesi and their families.

Edward is also survived by his sisters and brothers – Madam Joya Davies, Mr Emmanuel Harding, Madam Isa Blyden, Mr Bai Blyden, Mrs Fenda Akiwumi, Dr Eluem Blyden, Madam Cleo Blyden, Chef Didi Blyden, Dr Nemata Bickersteth, Mrs Josephine Jalloh Jamboria, Mrs Araba Ben-Carew-Josiah and their families.

He will be missed by his sisters-in-law, and brothers-in- law: Mr Egerton Mammah, Mrs Angella Williams, Mrs Antoinette Roberts, Mr Joe Jalloh-Jamboria, Mrs Hannah Butcher, Mrs Thelma Conteh, Mr James Pratt, Mr Akintoye Akinwumi, Mrs Glenys Blyden, Mrs Mary Harding, Mr Bickersteth and Mrs Victoria Ben-Carew.

Edward will always be remembered by his cousins, nieces and nephews, including Mrs Ayodele Cream-Wright, Mrs Iyamide Clarke, Mr Eddie Bahsco-George, Mrs Nafisatu Alhadi, Mr Tunjie Lightfoot-Taylor, Mr Lloyd Bright, Honourable Justice Bintu Alhadi, Administrator and Registrar General Madam Seray Kallay, Mrs Hilda Shyllon, Mrs Ruby Stronge, Mrs Isabella Findlay, Miss Emma Harding, Mrs Matilda Adjagba, Mrs Emmanuella Jenkins and Mr Emmanuel Harding Jnr.

He is also survived by his other relatives, including the First Lady Mrs Sia Nyama Koroma and the Abu Aiah Koroma family, Mrs. Marian Adebie-Williams, the Solomon Pratt family, Reverend Bami and Apostle Lucinda Palmer, Boyle, Patnelli, Porter, Mammah, Candy, Bull, Iscandari, Zubairu, Dahniya, Marsh, Alhadi, Taylors, Williams and Ben-Carew families; Mr and Mrs Unisa Carew, Lightfoot Taylor, Bascho-George, Songu-Mbriwa, Elba Jones, Nicol of Aberdeen, Takawira, Roberts of Congo town, the Foulah Town and Fourah Bay Community, and the Juba Estate community.

Friends of the family in Sierra Leone and abroad also mourning the passing of Mr. Edward Babatunde Blyden, one of Sierra Leone’s illustrious sons, include Haja Mrs Mabinty S.I. Koroma, Mr and Mrs Robert Briggs, Dr Dolly Grant, and Mrs Farella Thomas-Clarkson.

Edward was a very active member of several Masonic bodies in England, Gambia and Sierra Leone as well as The Hastings Ojeh Society, The Foulah Town Geledeh Society and The Firestone Cultural Society. He was a constant annual patron of several of Freetown Cultural Ordehlays including East End Paddle. He was also a member of the APC United Kingdom branch. He was also one of the Board of Trustees at Zion Methodist Church, Wilberforce Street.

He was a pioneer of youth self-empowerment in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as the Founding Director of the Civic Development Education Center (CDEC); Chairman of the Sierra Leone United Nations Association (SLUNA), and Commissioner of the National Commission for Democracy.

Whilst living in Britain, Edward’s civic education role was quickly recognised and he was recruited by the Tony Blair Labour Government to take on one of the five key posts in a Quango that was attached to the Home Office, known as The Experience Corp. He performed that role very well for five years.

Edward was Chairman of the Lewisham Homes Association of Sydenham. He was in the Chaplaincy Service and offered a lot of support to patients at the Lewisham Hospital.

He will also be remembered for his pastoral work with drug addicted youths, as well as organising social events for the elderly in the community, such as outdoor trips, picnics, and entertainments.

Edward Babatunde Blyden is gone, but his memory lives on.

Funeral arrangements will be announced later. Sympathisers may call at the following addresses:

LONDON: 75c Tressillian Road, Brockley, London SE4 1YA. Tel: +44-208-691-8417

FREETOWN: 8 Ndoeka Drive, Cockle Bay, Off Aberdeen Ferry Rd., Freetown. Tel: +232-76-812345

2 Comments

  1. To Dr. Sylvia Blyden and family.

    My condolences to you and the Blyden Family on the loss of a pillar in your family. May his soul rest in perfect peace… Amen.

    Sidique Wai, President and National Spokesperson, United African Congress, New York City, United States of America

  2. Dr Sylvia Blyden, I extend my sincere sympathy and condolence to you especially as you might not remember the kind gesture you extended to me way back in 1990 when I was living at Babadori – Lumley and attending the Albert Academy to resit my WAEC GCE O levels exams.

    I was waiting to catch a cab/taxi to go to school when you stopped your car, then a Volkswagen-Bettle that you were using as a student at COMAS Medical school.

    You took me to town and you made my journey that day very light and helped me save my taxi fare to go to school. I remember also meeting you around Soldier Street at some of your relatives I happened to meet and know at the Church of Salvation. Though you were not attending that church, you were always smiling and kind and generous to your fellow Sierra Leoneans and helped them in any way possible to better their livelihoods

    Truly the home bringing reflects the child/person in the community and I believe you have a lovely, supportive and generous parents that wish the best for their fellow human beings.

    May the soul of your departed father rest in peace, Dr Sylvia Blyden.

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