Liberia: Veteran Journalist, Former Police Lieutenant & Master of Forensic Psychology, Richelieu B. Harris, Sr. Passes

The late veteran Journalist Richelieu B. Harris Sr

MONROVIA – A veteran Liberian Journalist and Doctoral candidate  Scholar in Forensic Psychology at Walden University, Minnesota U.S.A, Mr. Richelieu B. Harris Sr, has passed. 

The late Mr. Harris, who was born on 20 November 1946 in Greenville, Sinoe County, served Liberia when he worked at the Liberia National Police with the rank of Lieutenant in the 1970s and up to the 1980s. He was Chief Information Officer, producer/presenter of the Police Report Program (Police Reporter, ELBC). The Police Report was aired on state radio ELBC, Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) Radio and the radio station of Liberian-American-Swedish Mining Company (LAMCO). 

Born unto the union of Samuel Harris Sr and Eliza Smith Harris, the deceased veteran journalist worked at the Daily Listener Newspaper, Liberian Star Newspaper and Liberian Age Newspaper. He was the Proprietor and Managing Editor of the Liberian Sportsman Newspaper, a family-run newspaper\magazine. He freelanced at the San Diego Union Tribune Newspaper in California, USA. Mr. Harris also held the position of Director of Information and Public Relations at the Ministry of Labour, and was also Director of Information and Public Affairs at the Ministry of Youth & Sports.

Working at the Liberian National Red Cross Society (LNRCS), he was the Information Dissemination Coordinator and worked in cooperation with the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Society (IFRC&RCS), and the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC).

He had a Master of Philosophy in Psychology, an MA in Forensic Psychology, and a BSc in Criminal Justice. He also earned several qualifications in Journalism and Mass Communications. At the time of his passing, he was a Doctoral candidate and Scholar in Forensic Psychology at Walden University, Minnesota, U.S.A.

Alongside all these career achievements, the late was a participative member of the Presbyterian Church in Liberia, where he was an Elder at the St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Gardnersville. There he directed and helped the building of the St. Paul’s Presbyterian School. Upon moving to the US, he became a founding board member of the Growing Liberia’s Children, a charity organization which raised and distributed funds and practical support for the education of Liberian children at the St Paul’s Presbyterian School in Gardnersville, Monrovia.

At a memorial service on Saturday, January 16, at St. Paul’s, the Moderator of the Presbytery of Liberia, Rev. G Boimah Freeman, described him as an astute Elder who wanted to see the church progressed. Moderator Freeman recalled Dr. Harris supporting the National Presbyterian Youth and Young Adult Fellowship during its formation stage both financially and morally. He praised the deceased for his advisory role played since he became Moderator of the Presbyterian Church.

Several others, including Judge Judge Roosevelt Willie, paid tributes during the memorial service.

He died on December 21, 2020 at Paradise Valley Hospital, California, USA and was buried January 7, 2021 at the Mount Hope Cemetery in San Diego, California, USA.

One of his sons remembers his father to be focused, committed, loyal, disciplined, hardworking, tough, a no-nonsense and determined man who put God first, then his family.

“He drew great strength from his faith and taught his children Godly principles and in leading by example. He was very jovial, always cracking jokes and enjoyed telling old stories from Poe River and during the war,” Richelieu Jr, added.

His daughter Eliza, who is head of Curriculum at the College of West Minster, UK, describe him as being strict during their younger days, but won’t argue that her father’s discipline played a huge role in positively shaping their lives. And even after years of fathering his own children, he without a beat stepped into a second father role for his four grandchildren – Keivon, LL, David and Lorene – upon the passing of their father Lorenzo. A role he executed well, lovingly and committedly until the time of his passing. To them, he was not just a grandfather, he was their ‘Buddy’ as they called him.

He was very proud of his children, an encourager, counsellor, with an unbiased listening ear. He made his grandchildren laugh with his booming strong voice cracking jokes with the much younger ones, Judah, Richlyne and Dr Rich.

Veteran Journalist Harris leaves to mourn his loss: his wife Malia E. Harris – with whom he was married for nearly 50 years and shared the same birthday, which they had just celebrated a month and one day before his passing. Five children: Reuben, Elizabeth (Ma Zoe), Eliza, Richelieu, Jr and Malia; 17 grandchildren: Keivon, LL, David and Lorene; Frances B, Eliza Blessing, Bearic Prayer and Frances Munah; Vashti Kyma, Elias Sarno, Urias Jr and Eric Mawola; Judah Richelieu, Richelieu, The Third and Richlyne Malia; Blessing and Trinity. A number of foster children who were all part of their family, including Martha Harris, Marpu Diggs, Ethnerel McGill, Beatrice Williams, Naomi & Pinky Dillon, Francis Flomo, Makai, Beatrice, Abel, Samuel, Gargor (Mariam), Lemuel, Sando, Varnie, Annette, Joseph, Sai, Ida and Ezekiel.

The eldest of nine siblings, five of whom pre-deceased him: Samuel, Gurly, George, and Eleanor, leaving four to mourn him: Edwin, Eliza, Nora and Ezekiel. His role as the eldest brother extended well beyond rank, into being their support and champion, who was there whenever he was needed and could be counted on – always.

Also mourning him is his sister-in-law Stella Hoff, his nephews and nieces, a host of relatives, including the Harris, Hoff, Johnson, Deensie, Smith, Greene, Browne, Bing, Bing-Kajue of Manchester, UK, McDonald, Addo, Tucker and families; a host of friends in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

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