15 June 2012

Liberia: Tom's Body Arrives Sunday

The remains of versatile Liberian journalist and publisher of the New Democrat, Tom Kamara, 63, who died while undergoing medical treatment at St. Luc University Hospital in Brussels last Friday, will arrive this Sunday at the Roberts International Airport.

Scores of Liberian journalists, relatives of the deceased and sympathizers are expected to turn out at the airport to receive the coffin bearing the remains of Tom Kamara, accompanied by his widow, Mrs. Rachel Kamara who took him for treatment in Brussels where he died.

Several journalists, including members of the publishers association set to wear white T-shirts embossed with the portrait of their late colleague, have affirmed enthusiasm to throng the airport to receive the casket bearing the fallen managing editor/publisher of the New Democrat newspaper.

The entire staff and employees of the New Democrat Corporation will also be dressed in

white T-shirts ready at Robertsfield on Sunday to receive the body of their former boss.

Along with Mrs. Kamara to escort the body home Sunday evening on SN Brussels flight will be her sister, friends and a brother of the deceased as well as his longtime friend, Public Works Minister Samuel Kofi Woods, II.

Upon arrival here, the body will be deposited at the Samuel Stryker Funeral Parlours until funeral rites and interment scheduled on Saturday, 23 June, according to Mrs. Kamara.

At a memorial service held last Sunday in Holland, journalist Jacqueline Maris of Public Radio in the Netherlands, who visited Liberia several times since the Carter Camp massacre in 1993 and featured Tom Kamara, described him as a "fearless hero who resisted all temptations and intimidations during his struggle for social justice in Liberia."

Scores of tributes have poured in since Tom's demise, all extolling his exemplary commitment and work as a journalist.

Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh, Chairman of the National Steering Committee for Vision 2030, called Tom "a visionary" while President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf referred to him "a great patriot".

"Tom was a great patriot who dedicated his life to the pursuit of freedom of speech, the right of the media, and the democratic process in Liberia and in Africa," President stressed in her tribute.

With the passing of Tom Kamara, Publisher of the New Democrat, Dr. Tipoteh said: "Liberia has lost a "visionary but his vision remains."

He called the attention of the Liberian People to the "long-standing vision of the fallen visionary," adding: "The vision of Mr. Kamara remains the existence of a Liberia where the people of Liberia build sustainable democracy through informed peaceful action.

He observed that the life of Mr. Tom Kamara "provides positive examples of how a vision is realized through personal sacrifices of the visionary, even if the mission to achieve the vision were to become life threatening."

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