UNIBOA TWENTY SECOND NATIONAL CONVENTION - 2012
May 25 - 28, 2012
Charlotte, North Carolina
CONVENTION THEME: "MAKING A DIFFERENCE WITH HEARTS AND HANDS"
The 22nd National Convention of the United Bassa Organizations in the Americas (UNIBOA) was held at the Hickory Grove United Methodist Church, 6401 Hickory Grove Road in the city of Charlotte, North Carolina from May 25 - 28, 2012 under the theme Making A Difference With Hearts and Hands.
The Convention was climaxed by our National Queen Contest followed by UNIBOA's Annual Banquet and Grand Ball. The Convention was presided over by the National President, Emmanuel G. Smith, with the National Vice President, Mr. James B. Kelly assisting. The City of Charlotte through its Mayor provided full security protection to the convention.
Day One Friday, May 25, 2012 Meet and Greet:
Delegates of the 22nd National Convention converged at the home of the host chapters President, Mr. Robert Hansen and Mrs. Georgia Hansen in Indian Trail, North Carolina on Friday, May 25, 2012 between 5:00 P.M and 10:30 PM, where a welcome reception and fellowship was held. After being treated with sumptuous meals, the delegates retired to their hotel to relax and sharpen their minds to get ready for the days ahead.
Day Two Saturday, May 26, 2012:
On Saturday, May 26th, the 22nd National Convention was declared officially opened by the National President, Mr. Emmanuel G. Smith, presiding. The official ceremony commenced at 10:00 AM EDT with a pray by Ma Photo Joe, the National Chaplain and the singing of the National Anthem of the Republic of Liberia. Following the National Anthem, the delegates were officially welcome to the city of Charlotte by Mr. Robert Hansen, the President of the host chapter and coordinator of the 2012 Convention. After which, the National president, Mr. Emmanuel G. Smith introduced the newest chartered chapter to Union, the Kentucky Chapter to thunderous applause. In the same vein, the National president introduced the newly elected chapter leaders to the Union. The new Chapter Leaders introduced were Mr. Anthony, President North Jersey Chapter, Ms Roberta Clarke, President Maryland Chapter, A Moh Bedo, and Mr. Robert Hansen, President North Carolina Chapter. Also introduced was Mr. Abraham Williams, Acting President Kentucky Chapter.
In additional, the National Vice Present, Mr. James Kelly toke the podium and recognized the guests at the convention, including the Honorable Alfred G. Juweh,Sr., Representative District #1, Rivercess County, Republic of Liberia. The official roll call was done by Mr. Philip Vambran of the Maryland Chapter who proxy for the National Secretary who was tied up with other official duties. Chapters present at the 22nd National Convention were: Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, North Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington DC. Those chapters absent from the Convention were Minnesota, South Jersey and the State of Georgia. The outgoing Chairman, Mr. James Page greeted the convention and outlined his achievements as chairman of the Board of Directors. Moreover, the convention was grace by the present of the Honorable Alfred G. Juweh, Representative of Electoral District #1, Rivercess County, Republic of Liberia and his beautiful wife Mrs. Zoewide Juwweh. In his remarks, Honorable Juweh thank the Union for the invite and admonish the General Assembly to come together as a united force for betterment of the Bassa People.
Chapter Leaders delivered their reports on the successes and challenges in their various chapters for the year in review. Each chapter report contains recommendations to the General Assembly, for consideration, which is required of each chapter of the union. All the recommendations were passed on to a Resolutions Committee for discussion and consideration. The Committee met and reviewed all the recommendations, including the ones made by the National President. The Committee reported to the plenary session of the Convention with a set of proposed resolutions, which were voted upon to become the resolutions of the 2012 Convention.
The president State of the Union Address:
The National President, Mr. Emmanuel G. Smith as require by the constitution, delivered his State of the Union Address before a jammed packed General Assembly outlining challenges, failures and achievements of the Union since his ascendency as National President a year ago. The president indicated in his State of the Union that we stand at the periphery of this decade, (the Bassa Decade), and urged us to begin anew with energy and hope, with faith and discipline; and he encouraged us to work until our work is done.(Click to read the President's speech)
Appointment of Committees:
The president appointed the following committees: Resolution Committee, the Complimentary Committee and the Election Commission. The Resolution Committee was headed by Mr. Benjamin Gbapaywhea of Texas who collected analyzed various report from various reporting officers and made recommendation to the General Assembly for endorsement.
THE RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE:
A Resolutions Committee was appointed by the National President, Mr. Emmanuel G. Smith, which comprised of the following members:
- Mr. Benjamin Gbapaywhea Chairman
- Mr. Albert Travell member
- Ms. Nadine Wilson Member
- Ms. Roberta Clarke Member
- Mr. Jonathan Williams Member
The President also appointed a Resolutions Complimentary Committee which comprised of the following members:
- Mr. Abraham Williams - Chairman
- Mr. Scott Mandeh - member
- Mrs. Sundiwaye E. Kelly - member
- Mrs. Delores Barton - member
- Mr. Thompson Dahnsaw - member
- Mr. James Kelly - Advisor
Election Committee Appointment:
The Election Commission will be headed by the Formal National President, Mr. Alfred Dousuah, from North Jersey who will conduct the 2013 National Officers elections and the Complimentary Committed was headed by Mr. Abraham Williams of Kentucky. The Resolution Committee presented the Convention resolutions to the General Assembly. After deliberations, 5 out of 8 resolutions were adopted by the 2012 Convention and forwarded to the National President. Day One Plenary Session ended on scheduled with a prayer from the National Chaplain, Ma Photo Joe.
The second day was climaxed with a grand social evening which brought together convention delegates, the Liberian Community of North Carolina, friends and well wishers at the Hickory Grove United Methodist Church Event Hall.
Day Three Sunday, May 27, 2012:
The Convention Delegates started the day with a Thanksgiving Service at the Hickory Grove United Methodist Church on 6401, Hickory Grove Road, Charlotte, North Carolina. The Pastor, Rev. Myer Dahn, Officers and Members of the Church were delighted to receive the delegates during the worship service. An inspiring message was preached by Rev. Dahn. In his message, he said we have eyes but we cannot see; we have ears but we cannot hear.
National Board Installation:
The newly elected National Board Members were installed by Rev. Meyer Dahn during the worship service. Those inducted into office were Mr. Thompson Dahnsaw as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of UNIBOA. Also taking the oath of office were Mr. Arthur Soben and Mr. Jacob Myers who proxy for Mr. Glen Cooper (Co-Chairman) and Mr. Emmanuel Vambram (Secretary) respectively. The Pastor Dahn admonished the Board Officers to work in the interest of the people.
Third plenary Session:
At about 2:00 PM, the National President, Mr. Emmanuel Called the General Assembly to order with a prayer by the National Chaplain, Ma Photo Joe. During this session, the North Jersey Chapter was unanimously selected to host the 2013 Convention. Also, the Complimentary Committee report was read by the Second Lady of UNIBOA, Mrs. Sunniwaye E. Kelly. The session was adjourned by the National President and some of the delegates retired to their hotels, while other when site seeing.
ANNUAL BANQUET BALL AND NATIONAL QUEEN CONTEST:
As the sun set over the city of Charlotte, the Bassonian and well-wishers were poised to have another splendid Banquet and Queen Contest. With pageantry, the Annual Banquet and Queen started at 8:00 PM EDT on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at the Hickory Grove United Methodist Church Banquet Hall in Charlotte, North Carolina. The platform guests were ushered to their seats.
After the Banquet protocol, our Keynote Speaker, Mrs. Saya Doe-Sio, who was accompanied by her husband, was introduced. Mrs. Sio ascended to the podium and bemused the crow with an inspiring speech. She indicated that Liberia is crying for help and to begin to help Liberia must help to put our government in order; to do that, she lamented that we must first put our families in order and cultivate our personal lives and have the need to make a difference. (Click to read the key notes speech)
While the money from the Queen Contest was being tally, awards were given during the Banquet and Ball:
As a tradition, one member from each chapter (name recommended by the chapter) received the Outstanding Member Award and the following persons were the recipients for 2012:
NATIONAL QUEEN CONTEST:
- Kentucky Chapter Mr. Lee Gibson
- Maryland Chapter Mrs. Louis Hunt
- Michigan Chapter Mr. Harrison Duncan
- New York Chapter Ms Dolores Barton
- North Carolina Chapter Rev. Myer Dahn
- North Jersey Chapter Mr. James Horace
- Pennsylvania Chapter Ms Charlesetta Siafa
- Rhode Island Chapter Ma Nadine Wilson
- South Jersey Chapter Mr. Agememnon Davis
- Texas Chapter Mr. Albert Travell
- Washington DC Chapter Mr. Arthur Garbla
* Minnesota and Georgia did not send their preferment.
It is through our National Conventions that we are able to raise funds for most of our projects and programs. The main fundraising event during the National Conventions is the Queen Contest. The following chapters were represented by their respective queen:
- Queen Joanna Dousuah North Jersey
- Queen Hannah Davis Rhode Island
- Queen Aletha Campbell Pennsylvania
- Queen Benetus Gar North Carolina
- Queen Catherine Potter Maryland
- Recognition Award for Services to the Bassa People:
Hon. Alfred G. Juweh, Sr., Representative District #1 Rivercess County.
- Recognition Award for Services to the Bassa People:
Mrs. Saya Doe-Sio, Founder and Chairperson of the Annie T. Doe Memorial Foundation, Guest Speaker
- The President 2012 Service Award:
North Carolina Chapter, Host of 2012 Convention, Headed by Mr. Robert Hansen
- Chapter of the Year Award:
Maryland Chapter, Headed by Ms Roberta Clarke
Crowning and Sashing of Miss UNIBOA 2012/2013
When all the dust was settled, the Banquet was climaxed with the announcement of the winner of the Miss UNIBOA, which was the highlight of the event of Sunday Night. After three rounds of intense competition, Queen Catherine Potter, representing the Maryland Chapter was declared winner and crowned Miss UNIBOA 2012/2013.
Day Four, Monday, May 28:
After the farewell lunch at the Home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hansen, Delegates returned to their various home states enlightened with Compassionate Hearts and Caring Hands, rededicating themselves to make a difference in the lives of our people.
Delegates returned to their various home states enlightened, empowered and committed to the actions needed for a new approach to put our house in order and show that the members of UNIBOA are able and ready to attain the goals and objectives of the organization.To conclude, we say many thanks to the hosts of the 22nd National Convention!