Sierra Leone Telegraph: 01 July 2021:
Two of Sierra Leone’s iconic pensioners who sadly passed away in the last week and are among the country’s most respected former civil servants, having served their country diligently will be honoured with civic funerals.
Mr. Henry Aiah Richardson Ngongou, who rose to the rank of Senior Permanent Secretary and served as Secretary to the Vice President, will be given a Civic Laying Out and Civic Funeral today July 1st 2021 and tomorrow July 2nd 2021 by the Freetown City Council. He passed away on June 15th, 2021.
Similarly, Mrs. Sylvia Editha Jolliminah Blyden, who also rose to the rank of Senior Permanent Secretary and served as the country’s Development Secretary will be given a Civic Laying Out and Civic Funeral on Tuesday July 6th and Wednesday July 7th, 2021.
Mrs. Sylvia Editha Jolliminah Blyden passed away on June 22nd, 2021. Her Civic Honours will be done by the Western Area Rural District Council within which administrative jurisdiction, she was born, raised and became one of their most illustrious daughters of the soil.
The Sierra Leone Telegraph has been informed that both civic funerals will be held in accordance with the Covid-19 regulations of NACOVERC, given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The Western Area Rural District Council has issued this statement:
“The Western Area Rural District Council regrets the death of a most distinguished, illustrious daughter of the soil from our Mountain Rural Area, the late Mrs. Sylvia Editha Jolliminah Blyden, which sad event took place on June 22nd 2021. She was 76 years of age.
“Mrs. Sylvia Editha Jolliminah Blyden was a national icon that the Western Area Rural District remains to be very proud of. In that regard, the Council, in collaboration with the Family of late Mrs. Blyden, will be giving her a Civic Laying-Out on Tuesday July 6th 2021 followed by a Civic Funeral on Wednesday July 7th 2021.
“The Funeral, with the fullest of Civic Honours, will be held STRICTLY according to NACOVERC regulations at the St. Andrew’s Parish of Gloucester Village; followed by interment at Ascension Town Cemetery.
“There will be Facebook & Zoom Video-Conferencing access for local and international mourners to witness the funeral from anywhere in Sierra Leone and the World, through their phones & computers.
“Furthermore, due to ongoing Third Wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Sierra Leone, mourners are strongly encouraged NOT to attend the funeral but to instead pay their last respects to late Mrs. Sylvia Editha Jolliminah Blyden as she lays in State on Tuesday July 6th 2021 during her Civic Laying-Out at the Great Hall of the Hill Station Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (next to the Tennis Court).
“In order to give enough time to all to say goodbye without large gatherings, the late lady will lie in State between the hours of 11am and 6pm on Tuesday 6th July 2021. From 11am to 6pm, Sympathisers/Mourners will be able to file past as she lays in State; so as to pay their last respects, with social distancing, and no assembly or gathering. May she rest in perfect peace and may light perpetual shine on her beautiful soul. Amen.”