Liberia’s 170th Independence Anniversary Calendar of Events Released

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Monrovia – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has released the calendar of events in observance of Liberia’s 170th Independence Anniversary under the theme: “Sustaining the Peace”. Dr. Herman Beseah Browne, President of the Cuttington University, has been named as this year’s National Orator.

According to a Foreign Ministry release, activities celebrating the 170th Independence Anniversary begin on Thursday, July 20, with the Golden Image Awards and Dinner, which take place in the Ballroom of the Monrovia City Hall, at 6:00 p.m.

On Friday, July 21, the Muslim community will host Thanksgiving and Intercessory Prayers at the 72nd Central Mosque, Paynesville at 12:00 noon.

An Investiture ceremony will take place at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion, Ashmun Street at 4:00 p.m.; followed by a Reception for the Honorees hosted by the President of Liberia at the Executive Pavilion, Ashmun Street at 6:00 p.m. 

On Saturday, July 22, there will be the dedication of the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville at 9:00 a.m.; followed by kickball and football matches at the same venue from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

On Sunday, July 23, at 11:00 a.m., a Thanksgiving and Intercessory Service will be held at the Sacred Heart Cathedral on Broad Street.

On Monday, July 24, beginning at 9:00 a.m., President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will dedicate development projects around Montserrado County including the Google Project Link, John F. Kennedy Eye Clinic, and the National Museum; followed at 2:00 p.m., by an Interactive Young Mothers Dialogue at the University of Liberia Auditorium on Capitol Hill.

On Tuesday, July 25, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will dedicate more development projects including the Pipeline Community Hall and the Bentol Peace Park.

Beginning at 12:00 noon, a Traditional Honoring Ceremony will be held for the President at the Bentol City Hall in Bentol, Montserrado County.

At 4:00 p.m., an Investiture Ceremony, recognizing partners who have contributed to Liberia’s development agenda over the years, will be held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ C. Cecil Dennis, Jr. Auditorium.

On Wednesday, July 26, Liberia’s 170th Independence Anniversary celebration begins with the shooting of the cannon at 4:00 a.m., 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., sharing the dawn of the Independence Anniversary, and at 6:00 p.m., announcing the end of the Day.

Also at 6:00 a.m., programs begin with the hoisting of the National Flag.

At 7:45 a.m. the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and President of the Republic of Liberia will arrive and review the AFL troops at the Barclay Training Center. This will be followed by Honors to the National Colors.

Official ceremonies in observance of the 170th Independence Anniversary of the Republic of Liberia take place at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion (Government’s Square) on Ashmun Street, Monrovia at 11:00 a.m.; followed at 2:30 p.m. by an Independence Day Reception hosted by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the Executive Pavilion on Ashmun Street.

On Thursday, July 27, at 10:00 a.m., there will be a book launch by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo; followed at 12:00 noon, by a Children’s Socialization Day with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, organized by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection. (Series of activities will be held simultaneously in Bentol, Brewerville, Monrovia and Paynesville Cities.)

On Saturday, July 29, activities for the 170th Independence Anniversary will be climaxed with a National Kukatonon Peace Festival at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium beginning at 5:00 p.m.

National Orator, Liberia’s 170th Independence Anniversary

Dr. Herman B. Browne was born in Gbarnga, Bong County unto the union of Mrs. Clavender Railey Browne and the late Archbishop George D. Browne on March 11, 1965.

He graduated from the St. Patrick’s High School in 1982, and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology (Cum Laude) from Cuttington University College in 1986, he was ordained Deacon the following year in the Episcopal Church of Liberia and served as Assistant Director for Christian Education, Chaplain to Bromley Mission and Curate of Grace Church, Clay Ashland in 1987.

Dr. Browne, 51, acquired a Bachelor of Divinity (Honors) degree from Kings College, London in 1990 from the University of London.

He also earned a Ph.D. in systematic theology from the University of London in 1994, becoming the first clergyman from the Episcopal Church of Liberia to earn a terminal degree in Theology.

He lectured for four years at the Simon of Cyrene Theological Institute in London (1990-94), and served simultaneously as Curate of the North Lambeth Parish, Kensington in South London, becoming the Dean of the Institute (1994) where he served for another two years, until he was appointed a Research Fellow of Yale University (USA) in 1996.

Dr. Browne was Chairman of the Liberian Community Organization in the United Kingdom (1995-6). In June 1997, he was priested in Canterbury Cathedral.

For five years (1996 – 2001), he served as the Archbishop’s Senior Advisor on Anglican Communion Affairs; and made Canon of Canterbury Cathedral, the first African (or non-westerner) to hold a position of such significance in the British aristocracy. That preferment landed him a permanent entry in 2005 into the International Directory of Who’s Who. He returned home in January 2005.

Since his return, from 2005 to 2008, Dr. Browne served as Vicar, Grace Episcopal Church, Clay Ashland and Vicar, Chapel of St. George, Caldwell. He also became Dean of the School of Theology at the School of Graduate and Professional Studies, Cuttington University; Vice President for Academic Affairs at the African Methodist Episcopal University from 2008 to 2010; and from 2010 to 2016, Dean of the Trinity Cathedral.

He was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf from 2012 to 2016.

He took over as President of Cuttington University in 2016 succeeding Dr. D. Evelyn Kandakai who acted for a year.

Dr. Browne has authored eight theological books: Theological Anthropology: A Dialectic Study of the Africa and Liberation Traditions; 50 Things Your Pastor Forgot to Tell You: about God, You and the Bible; Grasshoppers No Longer: critical essays in western cultural history, theology and philosophy; and A Theologian’s Advice: how to avoid sincere, but misguided talk about God.

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