Archive for the 'Obituaries' Category

Le Messager: Memorial for John Granville held in Bamendjou

March 26th, 2009 by admin


From left: U.S. Ambassador janet Garvey, Bamendjou Chief, and Peace Corps Director James Ham view the memorial dedicated on March 24, 2009 for John Granville.

Ambassador Garvey and PC/Cameroon Director Ham with PCVas and local leaders at the memorial.online casino

Ambassador Garvey and PC/Cameroon Director Ham with PCVas and local leaders at the memorial.

Janet E. Garvey aux funérailles d’un Américain à Bamendjou

L’ambassadeur des Etats-Unis au Cameroun était dans lé région de l’Ouest pour commémorer la mémoire d’un de ses compatriotes élevé au grade de notable.

Hier, mardi 24 mars 2009, se célébrait le 24e anniversaire du Rassemblement démocratique du peuple camerounais (Rdpc). Dédaignant cette cérémonie, même si elle n’a pas fait l’objet d’une invitation officielle, l’ambassadeur des Etats-Unis au Cameroun Janet E. Garvey a préféré le village Bamendjou dans la région de l’Ouest à Yaoundé. La diplomate américaine a accordé la priorité au peuple Bamendjou. Peut-être à cause de l’honneur que cette communauté située à une vingtaine de kilomètres de Bafoussam accordait à un Américain. Janet E. Garvey venait assister aux funérailles organisées par le chef supérieur des Bamendjou SM Jean Rameau Sokoudjou en l’honneur de l’Américain John Granville, assassiné en décembre dernier alors qu’il se trouvait au Darfour (Soudan). C’est que John Granville, appelé Deffo Sokoudjou, avait été élevé au rang de notable en 2006 par Fo’o Sokoudjou Jean Philippe Rameau. “ Il fallait donc lui donner tous les honneurs qui lui étaient dus après sa mort et lui trouver un successeur parmi les notables ”, a expliqué le chef supérieur des Bamendjou.

La cérémonie d’hier a ainsi respecté tous les rites traditionnels exécutés lors des funérailles d’un notable en terre Bamendjou. Et Janet E. Garvet y a pris part avec beaucoup de joie, en compagnie d’une forte délégation de la Peace Corps (Corps de la paix américain), dont faisait partie le regretté Deffo Sokoudjou. Avec bien entendu des touches modernes comme la remise d’un cadeau par le directeur du Corps de la paix au Cameroun à Sa Majesté Sokoudjou.
Tôt le matin, il y a eu ce que l’on appelle la prosternation devant le chef supérieur, élément incontournable avant tout début de cérémonie présidée par le Fo’o. Et avant les différentes danses traditionnelles, l’on a eu droit aux allocutions de circonstance. L’ambassadeur des Etats-Unis au Cameroun, après avoir rappelé le rôle humanitaire joué par son compatriote dans cette communauté pendant des années, s’est dite satisfaite de constater que ses parents “ n’étaient pas les seuls à pleurer aux Etats-Unis ”. Le directeur national du Corps de la paix américain, James Ham, dans une allocution émouvante, a tout simplement espéré que l’œuvre laissée par le disparu ne périra pas.

Commémorer une grande œuvre
John Granville ou Deffo Sokoudjou, a en effet laissé une grande œuvre au sein de cette communauté villageoise. Arrivé dans le groupement Bamendjou en 1997, ce jeune volontaire avait été affecté au lycée local pour l’enseignement de la langue anglaise. Son caractère aimable lui valut une intégration sociale très rapide. Avec des Camerounais et certains de ses compatriotes, il s’investit dans l’encadrement des populations de Bameka, Batié, Bahouan, Bamendjou,… et anima plusieurs fronts de développement participatif. Il a œuvré pour l’extension et l’équipement de l’école primaire africaine bilingue, à la création d’une forêt communautaire à Bameka, à trouver des bourses scolaires et universitaires à des élèves, participer aux campagnes de vaccination, etc. L’on comprend mieux le choix de Janet E. Garvey d’aller honorer la mémoire d’un compatriote…

Par Alain NOAH AWANA A Bamendjou
http://www.lemessager.net/details_articles.php?code=40&code_art=26907&numero=1
Le 25-03-2009

Bobe Leonard passes away

April 7th, 2007 by bobebill

Bobe Leonard_1.jpg

April 7, 2007: I am updating this earlier post as I learned today that Bobe Leonard passed away at the Njinikom Catholic Hospital earlier this week after illness. It was a pleasure to see him last year after so long, although I would like to have met up with him again when next I visit Cameroon. He was a wonderful man who took great interest and concern of the Peace Corps Volunteers he met over the years in Njinikom, Bamenda, and whenever he crossed paths with a PCV. We all have our favorite Bobe Leonard stories, I am sure. He will certainly be missed.

Previous post
Many Peace Corps Volunteers in the North West Province will remember this man who kept life interesting as he worked with, and often for, PCVs in the ’70s and ’80s. Bobe Leonard is a titleholder from Laikom, a traditional doctor, a house caretaker, and someone who knows where to find the best palm wine in the North West. Originally from Njinikom, he has spent time with PCVs there and in Bamenda, taking pride in keeping them safe and sharing his knowledge of the area traditions. I knew Bobe in the 80s, and recently had the chance to visit with him at the Njinikom Catholic Mission Hospital, where he now works. He is older but still going strong, and has not forgotten a single PCV that he ever knew over the years. It was great to meet up with him after twenty years, and I expect that he will strong enough for many more to come. He does extend greetings to all of his old friends, and invites everyone to come back for a visit.

Passing of Jules Delambre

March 19th, 2007 by bobebill

Delambre, Jules William
(Peace Corps Volunteer, TTC Tatum, 1965-67)

A retired policy budget analyst and information technologist with 28 years of service for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Jules William Delambre passed away peacefully after a one-year struggle with cancer at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston on Thursday morning, Feb. 15, 2007. He was 65, born in Houston on Sept. 8, 1941, and shortly afterwards moved to Oscar, where he spent the first five years of his life and many summer days at the home of his beloved grandmother.

Jules moved with his family in 1946 to Baton Rouge, where he attended school. He received a bachelor of science degree in mathematics, a bachelor of science degree in anthropology and a master’s of arts degree in anthropology from LSU and did further graduate work in anthropology at the University of Kentucky.

During his college career he took a break to serve in the Peace Corps in Cameroon, West Africa, from 1965 to 1967. He was most recently a resident of Frankfort, Ky.

He is survived by his loving wife of 38 years, Alice Holmes Delambre; two sons, Brian Delambre of Fort Thomas, Ky., and Jason Delambre and his wife, Amelia Berry, of Cincinnati; mother, Mary Broughton Delambre of Sunset; sisters, Cherie Delambre and June Delambre Walker, both of Sunset, and Blanche Delambre Cano and her husband, Adolfo Cano, of Baton Rouge; and numerous aunts, uncles, nephews and cousins. Jules taught sociology at Eastern Kentucky University from 1971 to 1973, before working for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

He was an active member of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Kentucky, United Nations Association, Friends of the Paul Sawyier Public Library, Anthropologists and Sociologists of Kentucky, Friends of Cameroon and Change for Kentucky. Jules was very active and always willing to take on any office in these organizations. He always wanted to contribute and make this world a better place. He gave generously of his time and energies to his family, friends and community.

Among his many interests were photography, day lily gardening, genealogy, reading, art, folk dance, political action, philosophical debate and world affairs. Jules worked tirelessly to create peace in the world and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Paul Sawyier Public Library building fund, 319 Wapping St., Frankfort, KY 40601.

Charlotte Mariama Utting

October 16th, 2006 by admin

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of Charlotte Mariama Utting. She passed away last Saturday night (Oct. 7) of complications due to emphysema in Seattle, Washington. She was 75 and is survived by two sons.
Charlotte served in the Republic of Cameroon from 1990-1992 and had a previous posting in Senegal in the early 1980s. She also worked as a Peace Corps recruiter after her service and was active in social justice and foreign policy issues throughout her life. She was a great friend and humanitarian. She shall be sorely missed.
Larry Kaye,
RPCV Cameroon, 89-92′

Passing of APCD George Yebit, 10/12/06

October 12th, 2006 by bobebill

George YebitTo all our staff, friends, family members, volunteers and trainees:

George Yebit, our beloved friend and colleague, passed away this morning in Maroua where he was on site prospection in the Extreme North with driver Yisah Joseph. George’s terribly premature passing comes as a terrific shock to all of us.

It is hard to know where to begin talking about George. He was a wonderful man, a true professional, a dedicated researcher, a walking agronomic encyclopedia, a man of enormous heart who loved trees, plants, nature, his wife, his biological children, his adopted children, Peace Corps, and life. He, his wife Florence, Kim and Jean-Marie Ahanda, Nina and I were all out for dinner together just a few weeks ago. We were at the home of a member of the Cameroonian parliament who feted us until late in the night. We all left laughing, happy and pleased to be in one another’s company.

Just a few weeks before that George and I crammed into a car together with many others (and three dozen plants and a thousand pounds of materials) to visit PCV Jenny Stella at her post deep in the South Province where George was conducting a follow-up to the medicinal plants training that had been held in Mvangan some months before. When all of us got thrown out of the village’s auberge at 10 PM on a Friday night to make way for a wedding party, George took it all in stride. He wound up sleeping in a Peace Corps car (with two others!) because he didn’t want to trouble anyone late at night.

Just yesterday I spoke with George and he sounded like his ever-optimistic self. On my desk, I have copies of two speeches that were read to me on Tuesday when I was in the Littoral Province visiting two of the communities where PCV Yune Lee works. There’s a Post-It now on the speeches where I simply wrote “George” because I wanted to share how happy those Cameroonians are with our volunteers and with the Peace Corps sponsored-training they received in aulocode rearing and medicinal plants cultivation. George would have been so happy to add those hand-written speeches to his always well-organized files. Unfortunately, that day will no longer arrive.

According to George’s wife, he was not feeling well last week yet he opted to continue with plans that entailed the long road trip to the Extreme North so that he could finalize sites for his trainees now in PST. I so vividly remember the day George said he would never travel on CamAir again; after his flight to Maroua landed so hard that all the emergency oxygen masks tumbled down from their ceiling compartments. George and I laughed many times after that episode. In retrospect, maybe this one time George should have stayed home and enjoyed a weekend and a Federal holiday with his wife and five children. Yet as many others on our staff have done so many times, he put Peace Corps, our mission and his volunteers above all else, including, I am so sad to say, his own welfare.

For all of you who ever attended one of George’s workshops, who participated in one of his consultancies, who had the pleasure of watching him work with farmers in the field, who struggled to keep up with him as he walked to yet one more farmer’s remote field far off the beaten path, or who ever lifted a beer with him at the end of a long work day or ever listened to his stories and marveled at his broad, happy smile, you know what a wonderful and unique individual has left us.

Over the last 28 years, I have spent a good portion of my life living and working in Africa and around the world. I’ve been fortunate to meet some tremendous people who have dedicated their lives to changing this one world we all inhabit. Among all the hundreds, possibly thousands, I have been proud to count as friends and colleagues, I can say without the slightest reservation that it was my rare, rare honor to work alongside George Yebit. In 2005, I nominated him for the US Mission’s Local Employee of the Year Award. Had it not been for the construction and completion of the new embassy in Yaounde, which required the heroic efforts of many on the Embassy staff, I have no doubt George would have been the LES of the Year. As it turned out, he received a Meritorious Honor Award which he richly deserved and which, to my own regret, was several years late in coming.

At George’s request, I have been giving a final polish to the indigenous plants book he just finished writing, one of the many extracurricular activities he undertook over the last few years.

In his acknowledgement, George wrote, “I was inspired to take an interest in medicinal plant science by CD Robert Strauss. He has been a wonderful motivating force throughout this endeavor. I lack the words to express my appreciation for his support and guidance toward the accomplishment of this work.”

As I sit here at the keyboard, tears choking my breath and blurring my vision so that I cannot see the words I am typing, I, too, can say that George was a wonderful, motivating force in my life and that I, too, lack the words to express my gratitude for his support, his guidance, his ever cheerful voice, his willingness to try something new, his wisdom and his friendship.

At the school where I did my graduate studies, they occasionally honor an alumnus with the distinction of “The Uncommon Man.” George and all of us share a common alma mater; Peace Corps. I’d like to bestow upon George the post humus distinction of his having been and truly meriting being remembered as an “Uncommon Man.” Cameroon, Peace Corps, and everyone who ever had the good fortune to cross paths with George is richer for having done so and so much poorer for no longer having the chance to do so again. I feel a sadness I have not known in many years as I am sure many of you do.

George’s body will be brought to Yaounde tomorrow by plane. I will be in touch regarding his final arrangements and burial. For those who would like to make a contribution to a fund that will help support George and Florence’s five children, you may do so in care of me. I will ask that Friends of Cameroon also assist with this effort.

Please share this email with all those who knew George.

Nina’s and my hearts go out to each and every one of you.

Robert L. Strauss
Country Director
Peace Corps/Cameroon