Sierra Leone Telegraph: 29 December 2017
The Sierra Leone Telegraph regrets to report the sad death of Professor Solomon AJ Pratt, who passed away peacefully yesterday, Thursday, 28 December 2017, at 5:50 pm in London. He was 97 years old.
Professor Solomon AJ Pratt, who is commonly known as Jolliboy is survived by his Children – Mrs Sylvia Blyden, Mrs Antoinette Roberts, Mr James Pratt and Mrs Thelma Conteh. Sister – Mrs Georgiana Nicol.
He will be missed by his several Grand and Great Grand Children; Sons in law – Mr Sonny Roberts and Mr Desmond Conteh; Daughter in law – Mrs Elizabeth Pratt; several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Professor Solomon AJ Pratt served in various ministerial capacity in the APC Government of Dr Siaka P Stevens, including: Minister of Economic Development; Minister of Foreign Affairs; Minister of Trade and Industry; Minister of Transport and Communications; and Minister of Internal Affairs. He also served as Attorney – General of Sierra Leone.
At time of death, Professor Pratt was the Oldest Barrister and Solicitor of the Bench in Sierra Leone.
Jolliboy was Professor at the Victoria College of Music. He was a Lay Canon of the Anglican church. Whilst his passion for agriculture always shone through, he was a brilliant writer, having authored three books, with one currently unfinished.
He was a member of the Old Boys Association of the Sierra Leone Grammar School in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Professor Solomon AJ Pratt was a colourful and highly decorated Freemason, with Grand Rank Honours from various constitutions and Orders, including English and Scottish.
He was the grandfather of the country’s former Minister of Social Welfare Gender and Children Affairs – Dr Sylvia Olayinka Blyden.
Commenting on the death of her Grandad yesterday, Dr. Sylvia Blyden said: “It is so sad to announce the death of my maternal grandfather – Professor Solomon Athanasius Jolliboy Pratt, who just started his 98th year of life a few days ago on his birthday – Christmas Day.
“He passed away peacefully in hospital this evening here in London. The man nicknamed in his heydays – throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s as the DOYEN OF CREOLE POLITICS; the man who was the life-saver of the All Peoples Congress (APC) in so many ways in 1967 and in 1968; the man who again in 1995 was the life-saver of the APC, when he penned down the Legal Preamble that ensured the APC could be re-registered as a continuing political party, has gone home to Heaven.
“This was the Giant of a Man who had built several mansions as a successful lawyer and international diplomat – prior to entering Politics, but who, after he entered Politics, did not build a single new house for himself.
“He instead used his wealth to build schools, clinics, roads, bridges and places of worship for his Constituents. I will miss his mentorship and political guidance, but I have imbibed enough from him to know what to do in my political life.
“Rest in peace Grandpa Solo. I love you so much. I will always be so, so proud of you. Sleep on and take your rest Sir. My Hero in Politics.”
Sympathisers can call the family on the following numbers: Mrs Sylvia Blyden (RT) 07595929172; Dr Sylvia Blyden 07443 395475, or +44 7595 929172; Bernard Roberts – +44 79136079.
Funeral arrangements will be announced later.
He was a great man and a great Freemason. I am very sad of his death. May he rest in peace for eternity.
May his soul rest in perpetual peace. I deeply regret the loss of this great Sierra Leonean. That is life nothing can be done to it but respect the will of God. I share with the bereaved family my condolence and grief.