Kplio Association Gets A Boost

By Ray Martin Toe

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

November 8, 2002

The Second installation program of the Kplio Association in the Americas held on November 2 in Washington, DC will probably go down as the day the organization ever got a sustainable boost since its inception five years ago. The rousing program, which was attended by representatives of a dozen organizations mainly of the Kwa-speaking people, was clearly a southeastern Liberian event. There were reps of the Bassa Association, Grand Gedeh Association, and Sinoe Association among others.

The program was also attended by some prominent Grand Kru citizens of national renown who included Dr. Christopher Toe, a former senior civil servant and currently Dean at Strayer University; Rev. Dr. Laurence Bropleh, a firebrand Methodist cleric and advocate for social justice; Fight-General Arthur Bedell, former junior Senator of Grand Kru County among other distinguished guests.

The officers installed were Mr. Bardehkwa Seedee, President, Mr. Ray Martin Toe, Vice President and Mr. Jelekan Sieh, General Secretary. Others were Meletha Peters, Financial Secretary, Ruth Gray, Treasurer and Ariminta Doe Darbey, Chaplain.

“Our gathering in this hall, screamed Elvis Tarkar, the outgoing Vice President of the association who warmly welcomed the guests in his introductory remarks, “is in recognition of our willingness not only to unite in this land of opportunities but also to help our suffering people at home” He told the guests that their presence was an expression of solidarity with the Kplio people.

Mr. Minikon Weah, who gave a brief profile of the organization, said the organization was in its formative stage but its founding members had made inroads in putting it on a good footing. “We hope that our new leadership will put the issues of education and health care on the front burner.” He added.

The audience was later glued to their seats as Dr. Chris Toe, the Guest Speaker of the occasion, virtually lectured. The academic began by tracing his genealogy to Topor, an enclave of Kplio villages in Barclayville Chiefdom, where his grandfather was born before migrating to Grandcess for some unexplained reasons.

Skimming and paraphrasing an apparently autobiographical piece that his father wrote, Dr. Toe told the predominantly Kplio audience that the late Joseph Blamo Toe indeed made no secret about his Kplio decent and that this was what informed the passion with which he selflessly taught in Barclayville with a meager salary for several years. “I therefore consider myself a Kplio man.” He declared.

Dr. Toe said, leaders of his father’s generation put service above personal interest, a legacy that contemporary leaders have not taken to. He said our contemporary political leaders have grossly failed us because they are not willing to place service above personal interest. “Whether it is Samuel Doe, Amos Sawyer or Charles Taylor (a typical gangster), they are all interested only in the Liberian economy.” Dr. Toe said.

Admonishing the officers, Dr. Toe said a good leader needs to have personal integrity, a vision and strategic thinking to be able to realize collective goals. While these are the hallmarks of good leadership, Dr. Toe said, none of our political leaders has ever exhibited them. He therefore called on the Kplio association leaders to cultivate personal integrity, focus on the objectives of the organization and strategically plan.

The jammed packed hall was even more electrified by the rhetorical fireworks of Rev. Dr. Laurence Bropleh as he installed the officers-elect. He also attributed failed leadership in Liberia to the unwillingness of Liberian leaders to leave what he called their comfort zones. The young Methodist cleric, who subsequently launched a vigorous fundraising drive for the nonprofit organization and donated one thousand dollars, admonished the officers to cultivate the virtues of honesty and sacrifice for the sake of their needy people.

In his inaugural speech the president of the association, Mr. Bardehkwa Seedee, thanked his kinsmen for having elected him. He asked them to put aside their petite differences and unite for the common good. Mr. Bardehkwa vowed to lead the association to the right direction.

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