Sierra Leone Telegraph: 26 June 2021:
The Edward Babatunde Blyden and Solomon Pratt Family regret to announce the sudden passing of the Beloved Matriarch of our two families – Mrs Sylvia Editha Jolliminah Blyden, which sad event took place at the Choithram’ s Hospital on the 22nd Day of June 2021, aged 76 years.
Late Mrs Sylvia Editha Jolliminah Blyden Books of Condolence have been opened at the following two locations where sympathisers may call on phone or visit to sign the Books: IN LONDON – 75c Tressillian Road. Brockley, , London SE4 1YA; Tel: +44-208-691-8417; +44 7595 929172; +44 7484 611198.
IN FREETOWN – 8 Cockle Bay Lane, Off Aberdeen Ferry Rd, Freetown, Tel: +232 78 793348; Tel: +232 77 772001; Tel: +232 30 999000.
The following is an extract from recent letters written last year by the late woman to the British Prime Minister and also to Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain whom latter had once personally welcomed and played host to late Mrs. Sylvia Blyden at an event:
“My name is Mrs. Sylvia Editha Jolliminah Blyden. I am a dual Sierra Leone and British Citizen living in the United Kingdom. I am a retired pensioner, above the age of 75 years, having served the government and people of Sierra Leone in various capacities including serving as Teacher, Civil Servant rising to the Administrative rank of Senior Permanent Secretary and as the Development Secretary, Social Worker in especially the Sierra Leone United Nations Association as Secretary General, founding of its school branches, SLUNSA right across Sierra Leone leading to bonds of lifelong friendships formed when annually, those students would meet to stage the Mock Session of the UN General Assembly in Bo, Kenema, Njala, Makeni, Port Loko and Freetown. I was involved in many more Social activities in the State as well as in the Church. As a family, we have learned to interact with all religions, races and creed and my late husband and myself taught our biological and adopted children and grandchildren from all over the world, who choose to identify with us as a family, not to discriminate or let anyone feel inferior to us. We are all one in that our individual DNA identifies us as being of the human species living on Planet Earth.”
Indeed Mrs. Sylvia Blyden started work as a 24 years old, humble university graduate School Teacher before entering the Sierra Leone Civil Service where she rose to the position of Senior Permanent Secretary and Development Secretary before honourably retiring on 30th January 2000 at retirement age of 55 years. She was then requested, in writing, to continue serving the country as a senior civil servant.
However, after being a victim of an earlier persecution and malicious 11 months unwarranted detention in 1998 by the then regime, she politely declined the written request to continue serving as a senior civil servant and instead opted to permanently relocate to Britain. She, her husband and most family members moved to the United Kingdom and gained refuge there.
Over the ensuing years, she was identified and appointed by her UK Local Council to become a member of several School Board of Directors. She also became a registered professional UK Childminder for 19 years till her passing; she contributed positively to the lives of all the British children under her care who all fondly called her ‘Grandma’; many of whom are now adults. She was also a foundation member of the Prophetic Life Development Prayer Group in the UK.
Mrs. Blyden remained a very active member of the APC United Kingdom & Ireland branch until she passed. She was also a very active member of the Christian Faith and belonged to several churches. She was a Member of Gloucester Descendants association and the Mountain Rural Descendants union. She was also actively involved in several charitable causes across the world.
She is survived by:
Her Children: Pastor Babsy Kaye; Dr Sylvia Olayinka Blyden; Miss Cheryl Blyden and Mr Edward Babatunde Blyden jnr.
Daughter in Law: Mrs Elsa Blyden.
Sylvester, Mariam, Samuel, Ashanti, Akintoye, Miles and Mia-Rose.
Mrs Virginia Zack-Williams, Mrs Abie Haruna-Suma, Mr. Fayad Hijazi, Mr Safea Songu-Mbriwa, Mrs Isatu Brima-Keita, Mr Theophilus Kamara, Mr Lawrence Santigie Sesay, Mrs Jacqueline Cullen-Olushesi, Mr. Abdul Rashid Thomas, Mr Fuad Yusuf-Bangura, Mr Mohamed Conteh, Mr Lawrence Adekoya and their familes.
Mrs Oseh Nicol and Mrs Henrietta Pratt in London.
Sisters and Brothers
Mrs Antoinette Roberts, Mr Egerton Mammah, Mr Solomon Binju Pratt, Mrs Angella Williams, Mr Ibrahim Kamara, Mrs Sally Spain, Professor Dr Hycy Bull, Miss Sybil Pratt, Miss Jamestina Pratt, Miss Victoria Pratt, Mr Albert Pratt, Mrs Princess Kanu, Mr Olu Pratt, Specialist Genevieve Wilson-Taylor of the USA Army
Sisters and Brothers in law
Mrs Ebun Moira Mammah, Madam Joya Davies, Mrs Mary Harding, Madam Isa Blyden, Engineer Bai-Bureh Blyden, Mrs Fenda Akinwumi, Dr Eluem Blyden, Madam Cleo Blyden, Chef Didi Blyden, Dr Nemata Bickersteth, Mrs Josephine Jalloh-Jamboria, Mrs Araba Ben-Carew-Josiah and their families. Mr Akintoye Akinwumi, Mrs Glenys Blyden, Mr Christopher Bickersteth and Mrs Victoria Ben-Carew, Mr Sonny Roberts, Mr Desmond Conteh, Mr Desmond Spain, Mr Olay Kanu, Mrs Liz Pratt, Mrs Gloria Bull.
Several cousins, nieces and nephews – including:
Mrs Ayodele Cream-Wright, Mrs Iyamide Clarke, Mr Eddie Bascho-George, Mrs Nafisatu Alhadi & the Justice Alhadi family, All Children of Mrs. Taiwo Sawyerr, Mr Tunjie Lightfoot-Taylor, Dr. Staneala Beckley, Mr. Remoe Doherty, Mr Lloyd Bright, Mrs Hilda Shyllon, Mrs Ruby Stronge, Mrs Isabella Findlay, Winston & Valerie Browne, Mrs Emma Jalloh, Mrs Matilda Adjagba.
Mrs Emmanuella Jenkins and Mr Emmanuel Harding jnr. Mr Huxley Roberts, Mr Bernard Roberts, Mrs Sonia Ogunbajo, Mrs Jemma Olajide, Miss Hannah Wurie, Mrs Tracy Coker, Mr James Pratt junior, Mr Elkanah Pratt, Miss Yanike Thomas, Ms Binta Blyden, Mrs. Chidi Blyden-Rowe, Ms. Nemata Blyden, Ms. Amina Blyden, Ms. Amina Jarrett, Mr. Mike Jarrett, Mr. Egerton Mammah Jnr., Mr. Victor Mammah.
Close family friends:
Miss Moira Villiard, Mrs. Carlotta Roberts, Mrs. Hellen Nylander, Mrs. Fola Thomas, Mrs. Susan Adelaja, Mrs. Elsie Sutherland, Madam Omotunde Thorpe, Retired Canon Revd Veronica Ola Thomas, Bishop & Mrs J. Archibald Cole, Hon. Sanie and Matilda Sesay, Haja Mabinty and the S.I. Koroma Family, Dr. Dolly Grant and the Nancy Steele Family, Prophet Pa Sheki and the entire H.E. Dr. Siaka Probyn Stevens Family, Desmond Kamara-Taylor and the C.A. Kamara-Taylor Family, Haja Seray Kallay and the Chief Muctarr Kallay Family, D.F. Shears Family, J.E. Laverse Family, Mr. Israel Parper.
Captain Alieu Pat-Sowe, Ambassador & Mrs. Dauda Kamara, Mrs. Boive Bobby-Allen, H.E. Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma Family, Alhaji Dr. Osman Foday Yansaneh & Family, Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray & Family, Mr. John Oponjo Benjamin & Family, Mr. Raymond Taghioff, Hon. Umaru Napoleon Koroma, Madam Nanette Thomas, Madam Diana Konomanyi, Logus & Hawa Koroma, Mr. Reginald Larry-Cole in London, Mrs Robert Briggs.
Revd (Mrs) Millicent Thorpe, Revd (Mrs) Seray Bangura and the New Life Ministries International London Fellowship, Revd Bami & Apostle Lucinda Palmer, Mr. Patrick Babatunde Coker, Mrs Farrella Thomas-Clarkson, Valerie & Walter Nicol Family, Jennifer & Ade Renner-Thomas Family, Hamid Kamara Family, Miss Sia Koroma in London, Pastor Edith Olubunmie Adesioye, Mr Greg Lawton, Mr. Fouad Jaffa, the CDEC / SLUNA / SLUNSA whatsapp group and the SALONE REFLECTIONS whatsapp group, all Comrades of the All Peoples Congress especially the APC-UK & Ireland Branch, the Gloucester Descendants, the Mountain Rural Communities, residents of Hamilton Village.
Other relatives and friends include:
The Mammah Family of Gloucester Village, The Edward Wilmot Blyden Family of Virgin Islands, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the Lightfoot-Taylors, Lawyer Chukuemeka Taylor, Ladipo and Agnes Bockarie, Mr. Mohamed Suma, the Boyle, Patnelli, Porter, Candy, Bull, Iscandari, Zubairu, Dahniya, Marsh, Taylors, Williams, Graff, Ben-Carew, Mr & Mrs Unisa Carew, Bascho-George, Songu-Mbriwa, Elba Jones, Johanes Nicol Family and Jack Williams family of Aberdeen, the Takawiras of Zimbabwe, Roberts of Congo Town, the Gbekies of Kono, late Colonel A.K. Sesay Family.
The Pratt, Weekes, Fewry, Nicol, Davidson Sawyer family of Regent, The Oni Gabbidon family, Mama Cassandra Garber & family, Rev Albert Coker family, Jones family of the Gambia, Johnson family of Rokel, the Cole and Johnson-Cole, The Solade Adams of Regent, Thomas, Grant, Robertson, Palmer, Bucknor, Jarretts, Roberts, Conteh, Bangali-Kamara of Guinea, the Foulah Town & Fourah Bay Community, Cockle Bay Community, the Juba Barracks, Juba Hill, Juba Estate Communities.
Mr. & Mrs. Dino Samura, Mrs. Olive Sawyer Nicol, Mrs Margaret Abela, Canon Stephen Coulson, Lay Canon Farrell Ryan-Coker, Mr Lamin Ngobeh and family, The Circuit Superintendents, Ministers and Congregations of, Forest Hill Methodist Church in London; of St. Andrew’s Parish Church in Gloucester; and of Ebenezer Methodist Church in Hamilton.
Mrs Sylvia Blyden is also survived by a host of friends and adopted children / grandchildren all over the world who we apologise for not mentioning and ask for their forgiveness please as we have to limit the length of this announcement.
Final Confirmed Funeral Arrangements
WAKE-KEEPING SERVICE: (there will be Unlimited Zoom Access for all to log in from anywhere in the World): 7pm to 8:30pm on Tuesday 6th July 2021 at 8 Cockle Bay Lane, (Ndoeka Drive) Freetown, Sierra Leone.
HOME LAYING OUT (there will be Unlimited Zoom Access for all to log in from anywhere in the World): 9am to 11.30am on Wednesday 7th July 2021 at 8 Ndoeka Drive, Cockle Bay, Freetown, Sierra Leone
CHURCH LAYING OUT (there will be Unlimited Zoom Access for all to log in from anywhere in the World)
From 12.00pm to 1.00pm at the St Andrews Parish Church, Gloucester Village, Freetown, Sierra Leone
FUNERAL AND COMMUNION SERVICE (there will be Unlimited Zoom Access for all to log in from anywhere in the World)
1pm to 2.30pm at the St Andrews Parish Church, Gloucester Village, Freetown, Sierra Leone
INTERNMENT (there will be Unlimited Zoom Access for all to log in from anywhere in the World): Ascension Town Cemetery, Freetown, Sierra Leone.
For all other enquiries concerning the funeral arrangements, please call any of the phone numbers: UK: +44 7595 929172; Sierra Leone: +232 78 793348
May her loving gentle soul rest in perfect peace and may the peace that passeth all understanding, come to rest amongst sorrowing mourners. Amen.
Late Mrs Sylvia Editha Jolliminah Blyden Books of Condolence have been opened at the following two locations where sympathisers may call on phone or visit to sign the Books:
IN LONDON – 75c Tressillian Road. Brockley, London SE4 1YA; Tel: +44-208-691-8417; +44 7595 929172; +44 7484 611198
IN FREETOWN – 8 Cockle Bay Lane, Off Aberdeen Ferry Rd, Freetown; Tel: +232 78 793348; Tel: +232 77 772001; Tel: +232 30 999000