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  • Charles S. Neal, III
    Jan 25, 2013
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      AUGUST 9 -12, 2012


           The 8th national convention of the Virginia Association of Liberians in the Americas was held in Baltimore, Maryland.  The convention was slated for Thursday, August 9 to Sunday, August 12, 2012 but due to lack of a quorum, the convention convened on Saturday, August 11, 2012.  Registration began at 10 a.m.; and the business session began at 11:05 a.m. The chaplain offered the opening prayer in which he thanked God for travel ling mercy; evoked the presence of God during the convention and prayed for brotherly love and oneness for the success of the convention.


           The President welcomed everyone for making the sacrifice and being at the convention.  She asked for a moment of silence for all our members (Antoinette Brooks, Rachel Marshall and others) who were with us during the last convention and are no longer with us this year.


           The president asked for a motion for the adoption of the agenda for which a motion was made by Ms. Martha Moore and seconded by Mr. Baku Tarpeh and the agenda was officially adopted. The convention was officially called to order declared open.


           The president apologized for the forms not being available due to the printing press misplacing the registration form.


           Roll call was done by chapters.  The secretary apologized for not having the minutes available due the death of her mother and brother and the fact that she had just returned to the country a couple of days before the convention.  The president asked the body for forgiveness for some things not being available due to the deaths within the association.  Rev. Whisnant said that it was no excuse because the convention was held three years ago.  The president explained that the minutes were ready but just not compiled.


           At this time, the president asked the assistant secretary to recognize and welcome all guests attending the convention.  Mrs. Maybelline Lloyd did welcome and recognized the guests present at the 8th national convention of the association.


           The president called on the various chapters for their annual reports.  The president of the PA chapter Mrs. Victoria Washington said she was happy to report that the chapter was fully represented.  She said members have been actively involved in having sips, cookouts, and teleconferences.  She said membership range from 1 – 50; active members range from 1 – 20; off year assessment plus present assessment were all paid in full.


       GA president reported that they were successful in recruiting new members as far as Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina.  She said they encouraged youth participation in their chapter; said they recommend that there should be a conference call for all members


      MD chapter reported of less participation of members in their chapter.  Reporting for the chapter was the Vice President, Mrs. Zoe Wilson.  She said though they have a good number of members, it was just a very few who were active and carrying on the affairs of the chapter.  She gave an example as the




      president was busy running after things and could not be there to give report.  She also said that after the former president left, no one wanted to take the responsibility to head the chapter.  Mr. Morris Marshall had just taken over the chapter and that he was still learning.


      The president of RI chapter reported of the loss of one of their staunch members Mrs. Antoinette Brooks. She said they recommend that there should be recognition of active members.


      The president of OK chapter reported a complaint of the national body’s failure to give his chapter the requested fund that was budgeted for the hosting of the last convention.  He said the body decided to give only $500 instead of the approved $1,500 because the chapter was in arrear of $1,000.  The president of the chapter said even though the budget was $3,000, the body was supposed to print the tickets that was supposed to cover the balance $1,500 which they did not, they said that since the tickets were not printed, they recommended that the national provide them with the $1,500 and they will fill up the rest with their arrear and present assessment but the body refused.  He said the executive body violated the convention guidelines and established their own guidelines.  He also said he’s disappointed and discouraged and to the point of being non functioning.  He said his chapter decided not to part-take in any convention until the body can investigate the problem.


      It was noted that all chapter reports were either handwritten or verbal, therefore the body decided that it be noted in the convention minutes that it will no longer accept verbal or handwritten reports.  All reports should be typewritten and copies be distributed to the national president, secretary and committee chairpersons.


           The president asked for a motion for the acceptance of the reports.  Mr. Eric Whisnant stated his disappointment over the reports.  President Emeritus Martha Moore noted that the report should be opened before any discussion.  Rev. Whisnant moved that the incomplete reports just read be turned over to the appropriate individuals.


           The president asked Mrs. Williemae Elliott to police the convention.  The president then set up the committee on chapters’ reports.  Members were:


                                          Michael Moulton                    Chairman

                                          Martha Moore                        Member

                                          Carmen Gibson                       Member

                                          Ethel Kamara                          Member

                                          Maybelline Lloyd                    Member

                                          Victoria Washington               Member

                                          Thumbelina Biah                     Member

                                          Elaine Johnson                        Member

                                          Jemima Peal                           Member

                                          Nathan Biah                            Member

                                          Tonia Duncan-Lathrobe          Member

                                          Barku Tarpeh                          Member

                                          Williemae Marshall-Elliott     Member





           The committee on president’s message was set up.  Members were:



                                          Eric Whisnant                          Chairman

                                          Alex Guyea                              Member

                                          Ivy Guyea                                      

                                          Naomi Capehart-Harmon            

                                          Zoe Kamara-Wilson                      

                                          Morris Marshall                            

                                          Gretel Rauls                                 

                                          Kemah Washington                                


           The gable was then turned over to the vice president who then asked the body to stand as we welcomed the president for her annual report.  In her report, the president admonished the members to turn the vision into action as only we as people can.  She continued that we need to partner with Liberia, Virginia and ourselves.  She extended thanks to all Virginians for their tireless times working with her for the past 9 years.  She said projects undertaken cost $10,000, including wells, clinics, bus stops, school materials, Christmas parties and contribution to the Virginia market project.  She said we are still striving to accomplish our goal for a future town hall.  She told the body that she visited with the commissioner and was given the deed for the old town hall.  In conclusion, among other things, she said we need to encourage others to be part of the association.


           The vice president asked for a motion.  Mr. Nathan Biah moved that the report be accepted and turn over to the committee for discussion.  It was seconded by Ms. Moore.  The VP thanked the president for a fruitful report.  She then turned the convention over to the president for continuation.


           Mr. Moulton asked to make a comment.  He reminded the body that our goal should be what we can do to contribute to the township.  He suggested that a parliamentary committee be set up.  Ms. Moore asked if other committee can be set up at this time.  The president asked Rev. Whisnant if he can enlighten the body how to go about doing certain things.  Ms. Moore recommended that the list of names be read so as to set up committees for deliberation.


           It was suggested that funds be raised to help energize the chapters.  The pastor of the church Rev. Clark was asked if he had anything to say to the body.  He welcomed the convention to the People’s Community Lutheran Church.  He invited the body to their service the next morning or whenever we are in the neighborhood.  He also said the Liberian community church is trying to purchase the building.


           After a ten minute break, the committees went in for deliberations.



                                                                              PART II



           The session was called to order at 2:39 p.m.  The president said we need an election commission before we start.  The commissioners were:




                                                      Eric Whisnant                          Chairman

                                                      Patricia Worjloh                      Member

                                                      Michael Moulton                           

                                                      Elaine Johnson                                


           The committee on chapters report was called.

      RECOMMENDATIONS from the committee on chapters’ reports:


                  1.  That each chapter’s report is typed and copies be given to the national president,  

                        secretary and chairpersons of the various committees.  If a chapter did not bring a report,

                        before the close of the convention, that chapter should have their report presented.    


                  2.  That if a chapter is in arrear with their assessment, it cannot host the convention, tentative  

                        date be set to December 31st of that year.  The next chapter in line will be the host;


                  3.  That the convention goes back to being held every year;


                  4.  That participation of membership in local chapters has a database.  We need to connect with  

                        the new comers that have migrated to Virginia and have families in the U.  S.  Revisit the

                        constitution for admittance.


                  5.  That when a chapter is hosting the convention and cannot afford a hall, upon the approval of

                        the national body, they could use an alternative;


                  6.  That we reinforce the policy to empower the local chapter to be represented to the

                        convention by delegates;


                  7.  That the chapters invite other organizations to our balls and church activities.  Also all

                        friends and sympathizers of Virginians.


           These recommendations were read and presented by the secretary of that committee in person of Mrs. Carmen Moore Gibson.  After discussion the body voted on each recommendation.  They were as follows:


                  Recommendation one (1):   17 voted in favor; nil against;

                                                  two (2):  22                    ;               ;

                                          three (3):   15                   ; five (5) against;

                                            four  (4):    8                    ; 7 against

                                                  five  (5):    unanimous

                                              six   (6):            

                                        seven  (7):            


           The president asked for a motion for acceptance of the recommendations.  President emeritus Moore made the motion and it was seconded by Nathan Biah.  The president said a point was missed on




      RECOMMENDATIONS from the committee on president’s report: 


                  1.  That the old town hall be evaluated to see if it is strong enough to be renovated and can hold

                          our project; including the land;


                  2.  Tear down the old town hall and erect a new building.


           These recommendations were read and presented by the secretary of that committee in person of Ms Kemah Washington.  After discussion, the body voted on each recommendation.  They were as follows:


                  1.  Recommendation one (1):   unanimous

                  2.                                  two (2):         


           After the acceptance of the recommendations, president called for a 30 minute lunch break.


           After the lunch break, the treasurer was called for her financial report.  It was as follows:


                  GA chapter  10 tickets @ $75                         $  750.00 +  $500.00 assessment

                  PA                14             @  75                                    1,050.00 +   500.00         


                  MD                5              @  75                                    375.00 + working tool

                  RI               13              @  75                                    1,075.00  +   500.00

                                        2              @  50                                        

                  OK                  1  ticket   @  75                                       75.00


           The treasurer gave the rough estimate as:


                              Building fund                             $14,000+

                              Checking Acct                           4,000+

                                                                           OTHERS     TOTALING $19,000.00+






           The election was held with 35 voting members.  Below are the newly elected officers:


                                          Rupel Marshall                                   President

                                          Naomi Capehart-Harmon       Vice President

                                          Zoe Kamara-Wilson                Secretary

                                          Marie Marshall-Browne                     Treasurer

                                          Jemima Peal                           Financial Secretary

                                          Michael Moulton                    Chaplain


           The chairman of the elections commission thanked all and congratulated the officials before turning the gable over to the president.  She made several announcements concerning the time for the ball and service.  She also recognized little Kemah Washington for her hard work and intelligence exhibited both in Virginia and the U.S.A.  She said she was impressed with both her and little Alex Washington.


           The president declared the business session officially closed and called on the newly elected chaplain Mr. Moulton for the closing prayer.





           The meeting was adjourned at 5:54 p.m.



      PART III


           The day was climaxed with a dinner, ball and queen contest held at the Charles Evering POST.  The program commenced at 10 p.m.  The youth coordinator served as MC.  During the program, the contact group was honored with certificates awarded to individuals of the group.  The group was praised for its hard work and dedication to the community.


           The queen contest was conducted by Rev. Whisnant.  He told the body that the contest will run with three (3) rounds.  The queens were as follow:



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