5 May 2017

Sierra Leone: President Koroma Signs Book of Condolence for Former Secretary to President

State House Communication Unit

President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma on Thursday, 4 May 2017, signed the book of condolence for the late Mr Joseph Patrick Abdulai Koroma at the Miatta Conference Centre in Freetown.

Mr Koroma, fondly known by his initials JPA Koroma, joined the civil service in 1966, serving in different capacities, various ministries and duty stations. These include: Assistant Secretary, Training and Recruitment, Establishment Secretary's Office; Assistant District Officer, Port Loko and Bo Districts and District Officer, Tonkoilili and Port Loko Districts.

JPA Koroma was later handpicked by President Siaka Stevens as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, then headed by the President himself. From there he was transferred to the Office of the President, State House, when in 1981 he was appointed Principal Assistant to the Secretary to the President.

© SHCU 2017

Please see profile below:

The Life of Mr Joseph Patrick Abdulai Koroma (ORSL)

Early Life

Joseph Patrick Abdulai Koroma was born on the 11th of June 1941 at Mogbindi, Benducha Chiefdom, Bonthe District to Mustapha Koroma and Fatmata Conira Koroma (fondly called Mie). Pa Mustapha Koroma had other wives and children, but Joseph was the second of Mie's three children, sandwiched between elder sister Lauretta and younger sister Woki.

Education

The young Joseph Koroma started his primary education at St. Patrick's in Bonthe and then went to finish at St. Edward's, after he moved to Freetown. Between 1954 and 1958, he was a pupil at St. Edward's College (later St. Edward's Secondary School, then located at the current Brookfields site of St Joseph's Secondary School) where he won the school's first Gold Medal for Excellence. He entered Fourah Bay College, then a constituent college of Durham University in 1960, studied English Literature, Latin, Greek and Philosophy and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1965. A finely educated man in Literature and the classics, references from these works were frequently woven into his conversations and writings.

JOB PROFILE

Joseph Koroma joined the Civil Service in 1966, serving in different capacities, various ministries and duty stations. These include: Assistant Secretary, Training and Recruitment, Establishment Secretary's Office; Assistant District Officer, PortLoko and Bo Districts and District Officer, Tonkolili and Port Loko Districts.

As Senior Assistant Secretary, he served in the Ministry of Housing and Country Planning; Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Ministry of Mines, as Deputy Permanent Secretary, he served in the Ministry of Works.

Mr Koroma was later handpicked by President Siaka Stevens to serve as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, then headed by the president himself. From there he was transferred to the Office of the President, State House, when in 1981 he was appointed Principal Assistant to the Secretary to the President. By then he had become widely known by his initials JPA Koroma.

For his meritorious service to state, and Nation, he was awarded Officer of the Premier Order of the Republic of Sierra Leone (ORSL) in 1986. In other spheres of life, JPA served as member of the Board of Directors of RITCORP, NP, Yazbeck Group of Companies and the Board of Governors of St. Edward's Secondary School.

His retirement in 1992 brought with it, his active involvement in the Catholic Church, starting at St Anthony's Parish where he became a founding member of the Catholic Men's Association and the Friends of the Charity, an organization that provided medicines, food and clothing and toys for the sick, needy and children around Freetown. At the invitation of the then Parish Priest, the Koroma family moved to St. Luke's Parish, Wilberforce in 2001 so that he could chair the Deaconate Ordination Committee.

He executed his assignment with his trademark meticulousness, which later led to his election as Parish Pastoral Council Chairman, a position he held for seven years. During this period, Archbishop Emeritus Ganda appointed Mr Koroma deputy Chairman of the committee directing the construction of the Catholic Major Seminary and Chapel at Regent. He was also instrumental in developments at Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish at Juba.

A life patron and active supporter of many Catholic Church organizations and initiator of multiple initiatives, Mr JPA Koroma lived his faith till the very end, taking his last breath inside St Luke's Church, after completing the fifteen stations of the Cross, during the prayers of the Divine Mercy Novena, on Good Friday.

JPA was a great and witty conversationalist with a fondness for quoting from the Bible and great works of literature. He was passionate about development in Sierra Leone, particularly his beloved Benducha. He played the role of father, grandfather, brother, uncle, mentor, guide and counsellor to many who, in addition to his family and friends, will deeply mourn him.

He leaves behind his loving wife Ayea Rosaline Koroma nee Barley, four children: Kadie Koroma; Conira Josephine Koroma-Sankoh; Abdul M. Koroma and Kezia Koroma-Genda and three grandchildren: Farhani Koroma, Selim Koroma and Adam-Angelo Sankoh.

He will be sadly missed by his numerous friends and relatives at home and abroad.

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