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Sierra Leone News: SLAJ mourns late Samuel John

Family members of Mr. John & SLAJ Rep

Family members of Mr. John & SLAJ Rep

The Sierra Leone Association of Journalist (SLAJ) on the 19 September, 2016 opened and signed a Book of Condolence in respect of the death of Mr. Samuel Alfred Munroe John, who died on the 12th September, 2016.
In his statement at the Harry Yansaneh Hall, Campbell Street, SLAJ President Mr. Kelvin Lewis, who is the Managing Editor of Awoko Newspaper where the deceased worked for many years said he has known the late man fondly called Junior for over half of his life stating that when he entered journalism the boys from We Yone Newspaper were on top and “the late Samuel John was the best sport reporter”.
While sobbing and quickly wiping his nose, SLAJ President said “late Samuel John was a mild mannered gentle man who knew very well how to mind his own business. He was not always quiet. He had a short fuse which all Awoko reporters got to experience. He would flare up and shout to make his point and after establishing that he was not a push
over he would calm down and forget. For him the work should go on. That was his commitment, that was his life, that was what he lived for.”
Struggling to control his grief with his voice shaking, he said “The late man lived a humble life. A peaceful man, today he is dead. So what is this life?”
Giving his tribute on behalf of the Sport Writers Association of Sierra Leone (SWASAL) of which the late man was an active member, the President, Mr Frank Cole said “its hard to give a tribute for a person who had worked hard to improve professional journalism in this country especially on sport reporting.”
He said the late man was a person who ensured that sport journalists do what they are supposed to do in reporting local sport and “was very, very committed to SWASAL”.
SWASAL President, Frank Cole said Late Samuel John in 1996 and 2000 covered the Olympic games in Athens and the other in China.
He said Late Samuel John is passionate about cricket reporting that is why he was appointed the Public Relations Officer of the Sierra Leone Cricket Association about two months before his death.
SWASAL President said the late man has always been with SWASAL that was why during the biennial last year he was also appointed as an ex-officio member. He said during the biennial, Late Samuel John was all over the place making sure that the right people lead the Association adding that he was constantly advising that they should not leave this profession to the boys since they have sacrificed a lot for it.
“His last but most important function with SWASAL was two weeks ago when he served as the Chairman of certification ceremony after a training for sport journalists.
Just a phone call on Friday night before the training on Saturday, the late man was so punctual and performed his best. This was the kind of man that had passion for sport reporting”.
He said one thing the late man was against in the Association is people referring to someone as Mr., Mrs, Hon among other titles.  “He always tells us that there are no titles in sport. Call people by their names”.
President of SWASAL said the loss is heartrending but it’s the will of God. A friend to the late man, Commissioner James Williams in his grieving voice said Samuel John joined him in We Yone Newspaper in 1976 stating that it was the top most newspaper in the country at that time.
He said they worked together and they have spent the better half of their lives together.
“I feel so terrible when I heard the news. He is more of a brother than a friend. He was very committed to his job and at the end of the day it was work, work and play”.
At Awoko Newspaper, James Williams said they “will argue and argue and he will usually say to me I will piss on your grave and I will say, I will step on your grave then we will laugh over it”.
“I am not strong about his death at all. It has shattered my life”.
A member from the bereaved family, Mr. Victor Morgan thanked SLAJ for honouring Late Samuel John and their encouragement to the family.
By Emmanuella Kallon
Tuesday September 20, 2016

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