Gregory D. Bass: Making A Difference for his Generation

By J. Kpanneh Doe

The Perspective

September 20, 2001

Like a lump in one's throat that is so difficult to swallow, it is almost surreal, so hard to believe, so unimaginable, that the lights have gone off for a comrade and a friend. But this is a fact of life of one's mortality that must be accepted: that one day all of us will have to say good-bye and retire to the other world. Gregory Dafatama Bass life has expired. He died last Friday, September 14, 2001, in Accra, Ghana, after suffering a heart failure.

According to family and friends, Greg had just returned from a family reunion in Atlanta, Georgia, during the Labor Day weekend. A week later, he traveled to Accra, Ghana, in pursuit of some business interests. It was there that his maker called him.

Always a businessman at heart, Greg believed that economic freedom was the answer to Liberia's political conflict, and of course, Africa. He dabbled into several business initiatives where he succeeded and failed. Not deterred by failure, and being a driven man, he continued to experiment with new ideas that had practical meaning. His greatest desire was to return home and pursue his business ambitions as a way of making his contributions to his country. But like many others with the best of ideas and determination to do something for their homeland, Liberia, his country failed him and was not prepared to do for him.

Fiercely independent, assertive, blunt and forthright, Greg was no man's fool. He was equally loyal and dedicated to his network of relationships. His family, friends, acquaintances and organizations he associated with could count on his presence, reliability and trustworthiness at all times. This was the true character and hallmark of the man.

A youthful 44 year-old, Greg's view of life was based on what he perceived as a generational responsibility. It seemed he was captured by the revolutionary calling of the Algerian philosopher, Frantz Fanon, who said: "each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it."
In his usual gravelly voice, he was often fond of saying that "our generation must make a difference," and he was determined to make himself that example.

Greg was always a consummate community and organizational person, Liberia organizations vied for his talent and leadership. As a member of the Liberian People's Party (LPP/USA) in the Americas, Greg served in the capacity as Treasurer; as a founding member of the Federation of Liberians in Ohio (FOLAO), he was instrumental in bringing together Liberian organizations with varied interests and agendas under one umbrella; and as a member of the Saint Paul's River District Association in the Americas, he helped raised its profile and became one of its bridge builders. Greg held memberships and associated with numerous other Liberian and American organizations.

Greg Bass is a 1976 graduate of the College of West Africa (CWA) in Monrovia, Liberia. He matriculated to the US after completing high school and attended undergraduate college in Cleveland, Ohio.

Greg is survived by two sons, his mother and several brothers and sisters. His family has announced that his remains will be laid to rest in Cleveland, Ohio, his home away from home, on Saturday, October 6, 2001. In lieu of flowers, the family request contributions made to Theo Bass, 370 Rocky Cove Trail, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30044.

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