By Moses Gray
When death comes and takes away our loved one, it leaves our homes and community so lonely and places us in a state of misery, thus forcing tears from our eyes; some time it places us in the state of sorrow, pain and uncertainty. This is truly the case of Mr. Benjamin T. K. Blamo, a former Legislator and Deputy Minister in the Government of Liberia. He was 74. He crumbled in the uncompromising cold hands of death on Sunday, September 7, 2014 at in the Ahmadiyya Muslim Clinic in Sinkor, following months of protracted illness.
Between the periods of 1991-1994, he served as a Representative at the National Legislature where he Co-chaired the House’s Standing Committee on Executive. In his capacity as Co-chairman on Executive, he headed several Liberian Government delegations abroad to Cyprus, Israel, Jordan and Lebanon; among several other countries. He was one of the Representatives of the United People’s Party (UPP) to the Interim National Assembly (INA).
His tenure at the Legislature, the late Benjamin Blamo was to the Ministry of Internal Affairs as Deputy Minister for Operations. He diligently served the Ministry from 1994-1995 during the regime of the Council of States headed by Prof. David Kporkpor. In recognition of the late Blamo valuable contributions to the Government, people and nation, Mr. Gyude Bryant, former Chairman of National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) appointed him as Advisor to the former Vice Chairman of NTGL, Ambassador Wesley Momo Johnson.
The fallen representative was not just a public servant but a renowned classroom teacher who made so many to drink from the rich and promising fountain of knowledge. He was above all a people-centered and development-oriented Legislator.
He lived a dynamics and unique life, he was not just a classroom teacher, administrator but a a political revolutionary, helping to champion popular and participatory democracy in the country. This national cause led to him and several other progressives including Gabriel Baccus Matthews’ detention by the William Richard Tolbert regime. While in detention, the late Benjamin T.K. Blamo and others tasted several pains as they were beaten on a daily basis by the prison guards- an experience confronted by most revolutionary militants.
Prior to his detention, in 1978 he joined the Progressive Alliance of Liberia (PAL) and served as Chief Advisor of PAL Maryland’s Branch. He was not just a mere Member of PAL, but an advocate of non-violence, a revolutionary who believe in a positive change through the democratic process. It was the ideology and his binding principles that earned him a one non refundable ticket to prison.
But the late Benjamin T. K. Blamo was never an ‘armed-chair” politician, but a mover and shaker; his experiences in detention did not discourage him nor served as an obstacle for him to continue his political life. He was a founding Member of the Progressive Peopl’s Party (PPP) which later transformed into the famous United People’s Party (UPP). He served in several dedicated capacities in the party.
Besides, he also served as Elder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Dianna E. Davies School System and while serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Dianna E. Davies School System, the fallen Liberian Legislator and Deputy Minister helped to establish an Orphanage Children Home and Church in Brewersville to address the plights of war-affected children and the needy aimed at installing Christian values and principles in the future generation as well as bring Christ to the community.
As an only child of his caring mother, the late T. K. Blamo received the Almighty God’s bountiful blessings and graced with promising and mentally disciplined 14 children, 32 grand children and four great grand children.
His aspiration and an ending determination for quality education motivated him to start his primary education in his birth home of Barclayville in 1957 by enrolling at the United Methodist Elementary School and later attended the St. Patrick’s Claver Catholic School in Barclayville where he left his indelible imprint.
In furtherance of his education and not being satisfied with primary education, the late Benjamin T.K. Blamo in 1960 moved to Grand Cess, about three-hour walk from Barclaville to attend the St. Patrick’s Catholic School in Grand Cess, formerly the headquarters of Kru Coast Territory. Again, “Ben, Teacher” as the deceased was wildly called by his peers and the youthful population of Maryland and Grand Kru Counties, left his envous footprint at the St. Patrick’s Catholic School.
Being financially-troubled but unwaveringly determined to pursue of his education, the late Benjamin T. K. Blamo moved to Harper City, Maryland County in 1962 where he was blessed to meet his loving, caring, dearest and God-fearing wife, Rachel Valentine Blamo who stood by him under thunder, rain and the odds, weathering the storms while in the process serving as the roses of happiness, joy, and peace, a partnership he so cherished and remained ever grateful to warm and tender hearted people of the Grebo ethnic group of Cavalla.
Something the deceased once described as a beacon of total satisfaction, stressing that so true it is that he who finds a dear loving and charmingly loving wife finds a good thing from the Almighty. Thereafter, the couple lived their lives happily ensuring that their romantic arithmetic spells one plus one is one.
Make no mistake that if the deceased were to spring back to life fresh from the casket bearing his remains, the first person he will ask for will be his darling wife, Rachel Blamo who he calls “Chel-Chel”.
Due to his services rendered the Catholic Church and Mission in Harper, Maryland County, the late Benjamin T.K. Blamo was grateful to have benefitted from the Catholic Church’s support to continue his higher education at the Fatima College where he successfully graduated in 1965 with distinction.
In appreciation of the Catholic Church’s assistance towards him in achieving quality and higher education, the late Benjamin T. K. Blamo graciously decided to return to Grand Cess in Grand Kru County to give back to the county thus landed in the arena of education and took on the task to teach at the St. Patrick’s Catholic School as his way of rendering his invaluable services to the Catholic Church. One of his students is Dr. Chris Toe, the former Minister of Agriculture.
While performing his services at the School, the late T.K. Blamo felt ill and was forced to return to Harper City, Maryland County to seek proper and thorough medical treatment and upon recuperation,he without hesitation remained and thereafter transferred to Pleebo City, about 25-mile from Harper, to continue his teaching at the St. Francis Catholic High School where he though for several years.
In 1969, the late Benjamin T. K. Blamo got employed by the J.J. Dossen Memorial Hospital in Cape Palmas as Director of the Department of Birth and Death. Again, he contributed immensely to the Hospital of which today his name remains a household word at the J.J. Dossen Hospital.
Meanwhile, the late Benjamin T. K. Blamo was born on 18 July 1940 in Kayken, Barclayville Chiefdom, Grand Kru County, unto to the blessed union of Gbojah Blamo and Nyeah Weadee Taryonoh, both of whom predeceased him. He earned his education from the Fatima College now Our Lady of Fatima High School in Harper City, Marland County. He was the only child of his late mother but he has been blessed by the Almighty God with 14 children, 32 grand children and four great grand children.
He leaves to mourn his loss wife: Mrs. Rachel V. Blamo, fourteen (14) children: Mrs. Ajuah Blamo Sackor, J. Himie Dennis, William Bill Blamo, Benjamin T. K. Blamo, Jr., Victoria Taryonoh Blamo, Juwle Bernard Blamo, William Blamo, Roosevelt Blamo, Benetta Blamo, Patricia Blamo, Joseph Blamo, Rachel Maway Blamo, Archie Doryen Blamo and Grace Blamo; 32 Grand Children and four Great Grand children and a host of sisters, brothers and relatives in the United States of America, Monrovia, Harper and Barclayville, Liberia.
On Saturday, September 20, the remains of Honorable Benjamin T. K. Blamo, Sr. was removed from the Abraham Roberts Funeral Parlour in Gardnersville and taken to the St. Paul Catholic Church, Banjor, Virginia, for funeral rites thereafter His body will be taken to the Kaiser Memorial Lawn Cemetery in Brewerville, outside Monrovia.