When God Gives You a Talent, Use It for Good

first_imgLast Saturday, Willis DeFrancis Knuckles, Jr. was laid to rest following a funeral service during which a rainstorm of  praises were showered upon him for his many contributions  to his family, country, church and people.Amidst all of the tributes paid to this fallen national hero, no one, not even his closest family members, said that he was perfect. But unlike the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, at whose historic funeral Mark Antony remarked, “We have come to bury Caesar, not to praise him,” the audience that overcrowded the Seys United Methodist Church in Careysburg last Saturday came to bid a glowing farewell to a man who used his extraordinary talents as an organizer, manager and fundraiser to accomplish great things for his family, country,  church and people.His wife Hawa, Willis’  Cuttington College sweetheart whom he married 45 years ago, two years after his graduation, wept bitterly as she departed the gravesite  saying, “He was a good man.”The funeral was attended both by the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and the Vice President, Joseph N. Boakai.  The President was also at the gravesite, and tarried with the widow and family during the repast.All could see and behold that Ellen was gravely shaken by the loss of the man who twice organized her successful presidential campaigns that won her two successive elections to the Liberian presidency.  She appointed him twice to the Cabinet, first as Public Works Minister and later as Minister of State for Presidential Affairs.  After that he remained her confidante because she appreciated his wise counsel and his ability to get things done efficiently and quickly.  Willis had only one academic degree, the Bachelor’s in Natural Sciences from the prestigious Cuttington College and Divinity School (now Cuttington University); but there are not many most highly educated people that possess his extraordinary skills as an organizer and manager or, simply put, as a man who knew how to get things done.That is why in her obituary on Saturday she told over a thousand who had gathered for the funeral something she had never said publicly: that it was Willis DeFrancis Knuckles that she had earmarked to organize the transfer of the Liberian capital from Monrovia in Montserrado County to Zekepa in Nimba County!Speaker after speaker marveled at the distinguishing feature of Willis’ personality, aptly summed up by his son Willis III: “My father was a manager and organizer par excellence.”Willis the younger recalled the bouts he had with his father over football.  Willis, Jr. passionately supported Barrolle, while the son and the rest of the family were adherents of Invincible Eleven (I.E.).  Willis, Jr., the democrat, allowed his son to have his way, though the father spent a lot of time striving to get his son to cross over.  The son recalled how his father, as a leader of the Liberian Football Association (LFA) inspired  many, including George Weah and Salinsa Debar on to international stardom.Family members recalled how Willis, Jr. for 37 years served effectively as head of family, organizing, especially during the 14-year Liberian civil war the departures of scores of Knuckleses through Danane and Abidjan to asylum in the United States. His daughters called him their “personal hero.”  The Advance Committee of the United Methodist Church hailed him as one of its most effective  workers and fundraisers.But it was the Seys Church that was the greatest beneficiary of Willis’ fundraising prowess.  He was still in exile in the USA when in the early 2000s he began organizing the rebuilding of the church following the war.  That having been accomplished, the edifice was later destroyed by fire.  As distressed Careysburgians tearfully crowded around the gutted edifice on the afternoon of the fire, Benoni Urey, then Mayor of Careysburg, recalled Willis having declared, “We will rebuild the church again.”He immediately began organizing and strategizing the fundraising and within a few months he raised nearly a half million dollars, both nationally and internationally.  The rebuilt church is far bigger, far more beautiful than the first.The reason for this editorial is not so much to sing Willis Knuckles’ praises, but to remind everyone reading it, especially Liberians, that when our beneficent Creator gives someone a talent, he or she should use it for GOOD.That is what Willis Knuckles did with his, and the world is better for it.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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ROAR OF THE TIGERS OVER AS KILDRUM KNOCKED OUT OF THE CUP

first_imgFROM PADDY O’MAHONEY IN CORK: KILDRUM Tigers superb FAI intermediate cup run is over after being beaten in Cork today.The St Johnston men lost out 2-1 to College Corinthians in a 5th round tie they should probably have won.In fact the Donegal men were well on top when their hosts snatched the lead in the 14th minute through Mark Murphy. And the Cork side doubled their lead through the same player when a mix up in the Tigers’ defence saw a Paddy McLaughlin back-pass being tucked away.Despite shading the first side the east Donegal outfit went in 2-0 down.They came roaring back into the game in the second half but found it difficult to find the Corinthians net despite several opportunities.And their cause wasn’t helped when Matthew Crossan was sent off for the Tigers in the 69th minute in what looked a very harsh decision. Despite being down to ten men, the Co Donegal man fought out, earning a last minute penalty which Oisin McMenamin converted. But it was too little, too late and a second sending off saw the Tigers reduced to nine men.After the game Tigers’ manager Raymond McDaid was clearly disappointed.“I’m annoyed at the way we gave away those two goals because we had been on top of the game,” he said.He said the sending off of Crossan made their task even harder.“It was never a red card,” said McDaid. “It’s the rarest one I’ve ever seen. In my opinion, these referees have been watching too much TV.” LEAVE YOUR COMMENT BELOW© 2011 donegaldaily.com, all Rights ReservedThe copying, republication or redistribution of donegaldaily.com Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited by law.Follow us on www.twitter.com/donegaldaily Follow us on www.facebook.com/donegaldailySell anything on www.donegaldailyclassifieds.comROAR OF THE TIGERS OVER AS KILDRUM KNOCKED OUT OF THE CUP was last modified: January 29th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalfai intermediate cupkildrum tigersSt Johnstonlast_img read more

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