The First National Convention of River Gee County Association in the Americas
By Siahyonkron Nyanseor
September 6, 2002
During the Labor Day holiday weekend, August 30 - September 1, 2002, citizens from River Gee, one of the newly created counties of the Republic of Liberia had their first national convention. River Gee County was originally a part of Lower Grand Gedeh County. It became a county in 2000.
According to Mr. Tarty Teh, a citizen of River Gee, and one of the speakers at the Convention, those from River Gee County "are known as Bush Grebos."
The First National Convention was organized by the founding National Association of River Gee County in the Americas, in association with the Minnesota Chapter and sponsored by the Georgia Chapter of which some of the prominent members are Michael Henson, David Johnson, Taiyee Quenneh, Yancy Sieh, Alfred Davies, Elizabeth Nyepah, Louise Dweh Bolia and Bermina Benson Quenneh.
Currently, there are two established chapters in the U.S. - Minnesota and Georgia. An interim National body was elected to serve for a one-year period. During the next convention, which is slated for 2003 Labor Day weekend in Minnesota, a permanent national structure will be elected.
Those elected to serve as members of the Interim body include: Alphonso Tarue - President, Yancy Sieh - Vice President, Kirpatrick Weah - General Secretary, Kayee Norwanie - Chaplain, and Cecelia Elliot - Treasurer. A 12 persons Interim Board is chaired by Cllr. Chea Cheapoo. A constitution committee was selected by the interim body and headed by Cllr. Kirpatrick Weah of the Minnesota chapter.
The Convention brought together more than 100 persons. They came from Minnesota, Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. The Convention was held at Curry & Kabob House, 2615 Briarcliff Road, Atlanta, Georgia.
There were six speakers at the convention that spoke on various topics:
1) Mr. Chea Cheapoo spoke on "The History and Political Struggle of our People (Geepo)"
2) Mr. Tarty Teh spoke on "The General History of River Gee (Bush Grebo)
3) Dr. Moses C. T. Jarbo spoke on "The Plight of River Gee Refugees: A Strategy for Assistance"
4) Mr. Daniel Johnson spoke on "Education and Agriculture: A Strategy for Development"
5) Dr. Dougbeh Nyan, spoke on "Medical Facilities In War Torn Liberia: The Case of River Gee County"
6) Ms. Cynthia Chea-Foster spoke on the "The contribution of women to River Gee's development"
7) Mr. Conmany B. Wesseh was unable to attend due to prior engagement, but he sent his speech, which will become part of the association records. He was to address the topic: "Civil War and Development in Liberia: The Case of River Gee County"
The Convention was climaxed by a ball held on Saturday, August 31, 2002 at Curry & Kabob House, Atlanta, Georgia, and a cookout
on Sunday, September 1, 2002, at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Henson, Snellville, Georgia. At the cookout, there were T-shirts and other souvenir items sold as part of their fundraising efforts.