Jul 29, 2015, 11:44 AM
This piece is a flashback into the past about a Gambia of great integrity who is none other than Samuel Horton Maurice Jones. He is popularly known as Sam Jones because of his simplicity notwithstanding his age, education and positions held and importance in society.
I recalled that he started life as a graduate teacher, the only Gambian of that status at that time teaching at Methodist Boys High School (his Alma Mata). He then enrolled as a member of the Gambia Teachers Union (GTU) which at the time was nearly dead. He took over the helm of affairs and immediately revived and strengthened the organization.
I also recalled that even though he was not a politician, he contributed constructively in removing the impasse created by the mistrust/distrust of the 1961 Governor Sir Edward Windley Constitution.
Sam Jones as an enlightened and educated Gambian patriot in the midst of controversies and arguments took the bull by the horn by organizing a mass meeting at Albion Place in then Bathurst. The meeting was well attended by a wide spectrum of the Bathurst community who had wanted some knowledge and information of the imports of that Sir Edward Windley constitution.
Sam Jones delved into the nitty gritty of the constitution and highlighted the bright side of it explaining that the Governor Windley constitution was capable of ushering the much political advancement that was being sought. Indeed the constitution did just that opening the gate for the first time of creating the office of First Minister/Premiere.
Some of the positions held by him included the following:
• Representative of the Gambia to London during Colonial days
• Deputy financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance after independence.
• Director of education
• Representative of the West African Examination Council in London
My impression is that great and patriotic men like Sam Jones should be exalted. We praise the lord who now and then showered greatness on him. The nation has benefitted a lot in his wisdom in choosing a teaching career and counseling young people who passed through his able hands. In his mission, he helped in the building of the Gambian nation and setting a model for a strong educational system in The Gambia.
The Gambian people severally and jointly in one voice expressed their sorrow for the death of his dear wife the late Elizabeth Letitia Jones. The late Mrs. Jones came from a good home. The author of this tribute was a frequent visitor to her family house and can vouch to that. Sam Jones and his four children all born to the late Elizabeth Jones flew over to Banjul for her one year memorial service held on the 30th April 2014.
To Sam Jones the children and the late Mrs. Elizabeth Jones’s siblings, we wish them good health, prosperity and the strength to continue to bear this irreparable loss.