- 73 years old
- Date of birth: Oct 18, 1941
- Place of birth:
Freetown, Sierra Leone
- Date of passing: Mar 15, 2015
- Place of passing:
Freetown, Sierra Leone
|I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown." He answered: "Put your hand into the hand of God. It is better than light and safer than the known way."|
This memorial was created in loving memory of our dear mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, cousin and dedicated friend, Lolita Nance M'Jamtu-Sie, 73, who passed away on March 15, 2015. She will remain in our hearts forever.
"Miss Nance, London has not been the same since you left us for yonder shore, in a land that I believe is fairer than day. A land with sweet fields beyond the swelling floods, that stand dressed in living green. A land of unimaginable delights, where pain and aches are forever gone. A dwelling where you now rest in the loving bosom of our Master, Your Heavenly Father. Ah, but what an aching void of indescribable proportions your absence has left. "Forever missed" sums up my pain, most perfectly. And, if my tears could have created a stairway to heaven and back, I would have reached and touched base with you for just one more time, before the final goodbye. But death like a narrow sea now divides your heavenly land from ours. Goodbye Miss Nance; and do give my love to all our loved ones on that shore, loved ones whom I no longer see. You are forever loved and forever missed. Much love, Your brother Victor.xxx."
"A year has gone by and we have not received the telephone calls, emails or texts checking on how we are doing. It is hard to accept that this is it until we meet again. We love you, Ms Nance. Thank you for all you did for us, always wanted us to be happy. Sleep on, dear sister and friend. Sleep and take a well-deserved rest. We love you."
"Dearest Aunty Nance,
I’m thinking of you often…as I always do, but this time it’s different. It’s taking me a while to process that the realm of your journey has shifted. You were always so gracious, so I am sure you’ll have so much grace for me as you read this. I want to say how sorry I am that I did not get this out to you before you left us. We chatted briefly after Aunty Lorna passed away last year and I felt, quite strongly, that I needed to tell you how much you have been such a beacon of life, light and hope in my life. I tell so many stores about time spent with you and I wanted to share some of those with you, while you were here with us, so you would know how precious you are to me and so we could have a good laugh at some of the treasured moments we shared together.
I cannot remember you in my life pre age 8, but all of a sudden there was Aunty Nance! This force of joy, vitality and ease, snagging me away from Grandma and Grandpa at Ross Road for countless weekends at Alford Street, parties, family celebrations, church services and so much more. You knew how much I was bored being the only child in the house so any chance you got, you'd to take me away for some excitement.
I remember early Morning Prayer times at the house. All your girls making our way to the living room in the early hours of the morning, half asleep but appreciating your passion and reminder to give over the day to God before all our tasks and commitments begin.
I remember one Palm Sunday you took me to Holy Trinity Church. I learned the hymn “Ride on, Ride on in majesty” as we shared a hymnal and sang together. I found the word “pomp” quite funny at that time. I think of you every year on Palm Sunday since then. We shared many such times together. We’d make our way home and I still remember the unique taste of Aunty Nance’s Sunday Fry Soup.
I was a bit of a terror to your girls Sia, Edna but especially Finda and Yema. I was the terrible little cousin who’d go looking through their things, mess up their rooms, read their magazines, wanting to use their nail polish and be all grown up like them. Looking back, phew I sure drove them nuts. They’d knock on your door complaining that I was troubling them and you’d defend me and ask them to be patient with me or find something else to occupy my mischievous mind. You’d invite me into your room to cuddle up in your bed and read or talk or tell stories.
I remember you gave me my first real “play cooking” experience. You asked me to go down to the kitchen and get some empty tomato tin cans and gather any leaves or ingredients that had dropped on the ground and “play cook.” That was exciting enough but then you took it to a whole new level by asking one of the girls to give me a few hot coals and some sticks to make my own little tiny, fireplace with firewood and take whatever I had picked up and cook it in the tomato can over real fire!!! That was such a wonderful day and it will always be imbedded in my mind.
I remember coming home from Olabisi Winston Webber’s confirmation celebration one evening, and a few moments later, that Sunday night, we were gathered in your living room around a radio listening to the news of the first rebel attack on Sierra Leone…another day and memory that will forever be imbedded in my mind.
I can still see your hand marking my homework and practice math problems. You always gave me such a good balance of play and work. I remember being fixated by the scar on your right hand as you graded my work.
When it turned out that I was switching my choice of Secondary School from St Joseph’s to the Annie Walsh Memorial School, you were elated!!! I remember Shetu coming to you for a weekend and you sent her over to me armed with everything to prepare me for becoming an Annie Walsh student, full of dignity and poise. We spent the day learning the school song, motto and anything that was important for me to make it through those gates on my first day of school set to maintain and continue the legacy of AWMS.
And over the years you were my advocate and champion. I remember doing my first solo with the school choir at a thanksgiving service at Holy Trinity Church. As I walked down the aisle, at the end of the service, you reached out and took my hand, beaming with such joy, pride and delight. The following year I was only able to act in the school play and not make the choir because of a clash in schedules and I remember you approaching me with such concern to find out why I had not sang that year.
You never hesitated to track me down at prizegivings or thanksgivings for photos together.
As the years grew and the distance between us increased, your fond thoughts of love and kind messages did not cease. You still somehow found a way to clothe me with African Attire and shower me with encouragement. You sent me one poignant e-mail Aunty when I first moved out to prairie world that still sustains me to this day.
I just finished looking back at our e-mails and correspondences…oh you are a treasure Aunty Nance. How you manage to stay so current and caring to so many and make each individual feel they are the only person on the planet you care about, is unreal Aunty. Your care and connection with family and friends will last for generations.
You truly lived the motto of your Alma Mater: Non Sibi Sed Omnibus – Not for self but for all. You truly gave your life.
We got to see each other a couple more times on different continents and the warmth of your smile and hugs will always remain with me.
I’m real sad you are gone. I want more time with you. I know you are alive, revived, soaring with your Lord and I rejoice for you. I celebrate you Aunty. I thank you Aunty for your immense love, generosity and kindness.
Aunties don’t last forever…a sad reality. I have been blessed to have some of the most incredible Aunties in the world. Aunts like you who have been a constant pillar, fortress, lifeline, beacon, fortitude, full of joy, stories and zeal for life. I forget you are all just humans; I think you will last forever and it sure shakes me when you all begin to make your way to your eternal home. I’m glad that you shared your love and faith with me so deeply and I know that eternity is really going to be an incredible party and celebration as all our lives with brand new bodies and perspectives come together.
As family and friends on this side of the globe come together to celebrate your life this weekend, I pray you will know that yours was a life well lived, full of incredible impact. I want to be an Aunt like you and I pray for the grace to impact the younger generation the way you did mine.
I don’t want to say goodbye Aunty. I don’t want to because I know somehow I am going to keep telling stories about you, remembering you, and in all of that you will always be alive to me.
Thank you for all your prayers, all the memories, your legacy, hard work, fight for life, faith and all that is you Nance, Lolita.
Hugs and cuddles till we meet again.
Your dear niece,
"What moves through us at a time like this, is a silence, a quiet sadness, a longing for one more day, one more word, one more touch. We may not understand why Miss Nance left this earth so soon or why she left before we were ready to say Bon voyage. But little by little, we begin to remember not just that she passed away, but that she still lives. And that her life gives us memories too beautiful to forget. “A death is not the extinguishing of a light, but the putting out of the lamp because the dawn has come” Anon. As the Psalmist says, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." Psalm 116:15. We know that Miss Nance is now resting peacefully in the arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
"J’aimais t’appeler grande sœur !
Je t’ai connue au congrès AIBSA de 1996 à Brazzaville avec Mme Lucilda Hunter et ensuite, à d’autres congrès.
De toi, je retiens une dame qui force le respect en raison de ton engagement pour les bibliothèques africaines…
Le mardi 25 juin 2013, en compagnie de mon collègue Papa Mamadou DIOP, je conduisais une mission à la bibliothèque du College of Medicine (COMAHS) de l’Université de Sierra Léone.
Avec ton staff, vous nous avez réservé un accueil chaleureux. De nos échanges, tu m’as dit « Aminata, je souhaite voir le ROADIS prospérer à la différence des nombreux projets et réseaux qui naissent et disparaissent après seulement quelques années d’existence…
Bas – toi pour que ton institution l’Organisation Ouest Africaine de la Santé assure la pérennité du Réseau Ouest Africain de Documentation et d’Information Sanitaires…»
Ce jour-là, grande sœur Nancy, te souviens-tu ? Ta voiture était en réparation chez le mécanicien mais tu as voulu louer un taxi pour aller déjeuner et ensuite pour nous faire visiter la ville de Freetown!
Mes condoléances les plus attristées à ta famille et à tous les collègues.
Puisse ton âme reposer en paix !
"Lolita, the day we met, our lives changed forever. You became not only my friend, you became my sister and confidant. Though there was a bit of an age difference, it never affected our friendship or mattered to either of us. We were there for each other and we kept each other's secrets. Through adversity, triumphs and failures, we supported and held each other up. We had good times and we laughed a lot. The years apart on different continents did not affect our friendship; we stayed true to each other as sisters do.
Little did I know that when you called me on my birthday, that it would be our last conversation. I wake up daily thinking, I will never get to see or talk to you again and it makes me very sad. However, my sister you are "safe in the arms of Jesus" no more suffering and no more pain.
I little knew that morning, 3/15/15
God was to call your name.
In life I loved you dearly,
in death I do the same.
It broke my heart to lose you,
You did not go alone.
For part of me went with you
The day God called you home.
You left me beautiful memories,
Your love is still my guide,
And though I cannot see you,
You are always at my side.
Our family chain is broken,
and nothing seems the same,
But as God calls us one by one,
The chain will link again.
Love always Mattie"
"Miss Nance I remember the 80s when you lived in Guard St and we lived in Hagan St. You became such good friends with my mum Mama Abie now deceased. That was the beginning of a life long friendship. Thanks for all the support you gave especially to my daughter as I had to leave her at the age of 2 with my mum when coming to the UK. Yesterday she said to me 'mum I will miss Miss Nance as she was so caring, she will always remember all the dates of my exams much more than you'.
I can still hear your voice of support encouraging me with my school project for the kids in Kamagbengbeh when you attended a quiz night I organised last Sept in London. Miss Nance thanks for your love and for being so natural. Sleep on Miss Nance and take your rest."
"The Day Thou Gavest Lord is Ended.”
Lord our sister, Lolita put you first in her life
And served her neighbors as herself -
Her church, her family, friends
Her Alma Mater too.
Receive her into the place
You have reserved for her
And give her sweet repose
In peace, perfect peace.
We mourn her loss
As those with faith, knowing
That someday we will meet again
“In the sweet Bye and Bye”
Sleep, Lolita sleep. Your work is done!"
"The day God created you, He looked at you tenderly and smiled, then He said, "This is Good." Miss. Nance, thank you for touching many lives in positive ways. May those you have touched, as well as those who have crossed your path, treasure your blessed memory.
My sincerest sympathy to the entire family.
"My dearest Ms. Lolita, you knew me even before I was born...having been my Mother's dearest friend and sister. Because of that friendship she entrusted you with the role of being my godmother. You assumed that role and became not only my godmother but my "other" mother. You loved me unconditionally and cared for me even when we were miles apart. It was always a joy to be in your presence, whether we were having an ordinary conversation, you were giving me advice or inspiring me to pray and always have faith in God. When Mummy and I visited and stayed with you in 2005, for three weeks, was one of the best moments of my life. We had a wonderful time; as always, you took good care of us and cooked wonderful meals. The three of us enjoyed being together and we had a "grand ole time."
You were the epitome of style and grace; I always admired and respected how selflessly and willingly you gave your time and talent to help others. You will be greatly missed. I love you and wish you could have been with me and all who love you a little longer. However, I know you have run life's race and reached the finish line. God needed you now.
You were my mother, friend and confidant and you will be "forever in my heart." May your gentle soul rest in perfect peace!
Love always "your dear Ayodele""
"Aunty Nance you had such a kind soul. you were very easy to talk to . your hugs would bring so much joy. You had a soft voice, a loving personality. you accepted me into the family and became my auntie. I will miss our talks. But I know that you are now seated in heaven. you will always be remembered.
sabine and crispin"
"AUNT LOLITA AS WE FONDLY CALLED YOU, YOU WERE MY MUM'S BEST AND DEAREST FRIEND FOR 60 YEARS. I NEVER HEARD HER SAY ANYTHING NEGATIVE ABOUT YOU. YOU WERE ALWAYS THERE FOR HER AND FOR US. YOU STOOD BY HER THROUGH THE THICK AND THIN. ALWAYS GENTLE, ALWAYS CARING AND EXTREMELY GENEROUS. MUM MISSES YOU AND SO DO WE. I KNOW YOU ARE SAFE IN THE ARMS OF THE ALMIGHTY. WE LOVE YOU DEEPLY AND WE MOURN YOUR LOSS."
"It is a sad news I have just learned. Receive my sincere condolences. RIP"
"Miss Nance, as i usually call you, You were such a wonderful person to me and my family, you had so much faith, but God knows best, We shall surely miss you
good bye Miss Nance and May Light Perpectual shine upon you.RIPP"
"Dear Nance, I thank Mum Lucilda Hunter who shared the news of your death. We met several times during AHILA Congresses. Your contribution to AHILA and to the African Index Medcus will remain in our hearts. Librarians from Sierra Leone, Africa and the World will always remember you. Peace."
"Dearest Ms Lolita, sleep on and take your rest! Thank you for being one of the few friends that stayed true and close to mom and our family throughout the years. Your sweet and gentle spirit will always be in our hearts as we cherish every memory we have of you. I'm sorry that I didn't get to see you in person during your last trip here but so glad we spoke on the phone and I got to hear your sweet and calming voice unknowingly for the last time. You have run your race, and what a fabulous job you did running it! You completed your course in such grand style as no other can! No more in pain....you have taken your place with the angels.....Rest in perfect peace! Goodbye...til we meet again..."
"A gallant Trinitonian. ڿڰۣ✿Rest In Peace✿ڿڰۣ¸.•*´"
"Aunty Nance, I never knew that last July 2014, when you visited me in Luton, would be the last time I saw you, You were such a wonderful Lady, you had so much faith, but God knows best, We shall surely miss you
Adieu Aunty Nance and May Light Perpectual shine upon you.RIPP"
"Aunty Nance as I always call you. You have been part of my life for so long . I can remember the days I use to spend some of my Summer holidays in the early 80's in Guard Street. Your house was full with children then you had your Kono daughters with you as we use to call them. You were so loving and caring to all of us .I also remember your time at the Law courts library , I spent most of my time with you after school waiting for my dad to finish work to take me home. My Dad now being late your wonderful Uncle Livesey. I left for the UK for further studies in 1985 that's the time we parted company for a while, but you always kept in touch . Whenever you are in the UK , we will always visit each other , always bearing gifts , you will always bring the latest Awoga ashobie in the latest fashion and other outfits as well as you knew my size. I was always in the latest Sierra Leonean style. You never forgot my birthday , will always get a card ,a phone call and you will say I will send your gift later with my mum the Late Aunty Rachel .After my Mum died in 2004 , you were so supportive. You then took the role as a big sister , mother , confidant and friend .You would tell people i was your younger sister.
You were always around, can remember the shopping trips in London and Luton. You love coming to Luton to visit to spend time with me and buy the beautiful hats you loved.
I finally moved back to Freetown in March 2011.,Yes again you were always around , if I am not feeling well you will turn up to check on me . If I don't visit you will call me . When I go to town if I don't stop by your office I am in trouble .
You were a god fearing women you loved the lord , a prayer warrior who love to pray. We spent time praying as we have always done.
You were so caring, generous , loving , someone you can lean on .You have touched so many lives . It was sad saying good bye today but i knew it was your time. You have fought for so long it was time to meet your maker, no more pain , no more hospital trip , no more treatment . My Big sister and best friend i will miss you. May your soul rest in peace."
"Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.
When we asunder part, It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again."
"'May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.'
Lolita my friend of 60 yrs, we met at form 1 at the AWMS and we remained friends. May your dwelling place be the new Jerusalem.
Fondly remembered......Emilda Stronge and family."
"Tribute to Mrs Nance Lolita Mjamtusie, nee Barlatt [Our Miss Nance]
The Church of The Holy Trinity in Freetown, Sierra Leone, opened its doors today, for a Thanksgiving Service and farewell for an illustrious member, daughter, and sides-woman, Nance Lolita Mjamtusie, who died on Sunday 15th March 2015.
Miss Nance as she was affectionately called, was like a big sister to me, all her life. Her late mother Mrs Chrissie Barlatt and my mother, Mrs Elizabeth Chapman shared such a unique bond that many people thought they were blood relations. It all started in the 1950’s when my mother was posted as a junior teacher to an Infants school where her mother was Headmistress. My mother’s dedication to duty, love for her little pupils and willingness to go the extra mile, plus her smiling face and pleasant demeanour soon endeared her to Mama Chrissie, who became her mentor, and later, adopted mother. This relationship developed into a close and lifelong friendship from which we, the next generation benefited. My mother became Miss Nance’s much loved Auntie Lizzie, and we children became her younger siblings. When Ms Nance’s parents passed on my mum stepped into the role of surrogate mother and was unstinting in her love, devotion and support.
Following a course in Librarianship at Liverpool Polytechnic in the early 1960’s, and a subsequent MA at The University College of Wales, Aberystwyth in 1989, she had a glittering career in the field of Information and Libraries Management, spanning over 50 years. Miss Nance worked in the UK in the early and late 60’s, and on her return to Sierra Leone, worked as a Librarian at The Sierra Leone Library Board, The Library of the Central Statistics Office, The Law/Judiciary Library and at The Centre for Medical and Allied Health Services at the University of Sierra Leone. Hers was quintessentially a dynamic and selfless role, which always meant giving her all, and putting her institutions before self. Non sibi sed omnibus, the motto of her alma mater the Annie Walsh Memorial School, was her mantra throughout. In recognition of her contribution to the world of Library, Information and Knowledge Management, she was duly recognised, lauded and rewarded with the award of the Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals [CILIP] in the UK. That was the professional icing on the cake, for one who’d given so much to the field of Librarianship and Information Science. She was my role model, and one after whom I planned and crafted my own career as a Librarian, and to whom I owe an awful lot and will forever be grateful. The world of Libraries has lost a great professional, and Sierra Leone a great and irreplaceable daughter.
My late mother always referred to Miss Nance as my foremost Career Planner and Guidance Counsellor. And true to form, was the woman who dictated the first ever application letter I wrote for a job; and needless to say that I got the job. In fact, it has to be said, that that fateful move of ours at the family residence, 14 Alfred Street decades ago, put something in motion, that the entire family and I have always been grateful and thankful for, to this day.
And who could forget the joy with which she greeted my return to Freetown after my becoming a Chartered Librarian, and the welcome she laid out for me at her residence! Yes! “When for vanished days we yearn; days that never can return. Teach us in thy love to learn; love forevermore.” Priceless are those memories, for the rest of my days.
I could not thank her enough for all her illustrious deeds, but am glad that I was able to tell her, and to show her how much she meant to me, and how much I loved and cared for her. Our Tuesdays, were always special whenever she was in these parts. Having lunch together, nattering endlessly and visiting my mother and Darius Crispin Webber’s [DC’s] graves, in East Finchley and Enfield respectively. How pleasant and rewarding our communion and fellowship in both London and Freetown were! And how blissfully delightful our last time together in London, last December was!
My successes were her successes, and my sorrows were also hers. What a fabulous child of God she was and a great and loving daughter of humanity. Hers was a love that was extended to her numerous friends, professional colleagues and of course her beloved alma mater, The Annie Walsh Memorial school, in Freetown, Sierra Leone. And how fitting it was today, that the emblazoned green and orange sash with the inscription “Past President” of AWOGA, adorned her beautiful casket in which she lay so peacefully, in that pristine blue shroud, as a bride of Christ.
Miss Nance was a committed Christian who fervently believed in the power of prayer. She loved singing hymns of praise to God whom she firmly believed, controlled her life with unfailing goodness and mercy. Her faith was one she shared most faithfully, and lived the sort of life many Christians would aspire to live. She was an epitome of goodness, epitomising the life that Christ Himself would have us His children live. A kind, loving, generous, selfless and compassionate soul, whose happiness was bound up with ours, throughout! She loved family and friends, and her devotion to all and sundry was legendary.
Over the years, Miss Nance proved a loving, caring and forthright confidante on whose wisdom and willingness to help I could always rely. I consider myself blessed to have known her and to have been able to spend some quality time with her, singing hymns, praying, reminiscing and sharing jokes, even after I emigrated to the UK. She has now gone to her Lord and her God. Though we shall all miss her touch and smiling face, so firm was her faith in God’s resurrection power that we cannot think of her as dead, just gone to live in another place; out of our sight. If we listen carefully, we might hear her say, “The Lord had need of me.”
Her death was felt within the depths of my being and copious tears shed; but she would have been the one to remind me of the following quotation. One which she quoted in her tribute to my late mother, her one and only, Aunty Lizzie:
‘Please do not grieve and shed wild tears
And hug your sorrows to you through the years,
But start out bravely with a gallant smile
And for my sake and in my name
Live in and do all things the same.
Feed not your loneliness on empty days
But fill each waking hour in useful ways;
Reach out your hand in comfort and in cheer
And I in turn will comfort you
And hold you near.’
Nance Lolita Mjamtusie, Well done thou good and faithful servant. Take your rightful place above, beside your Master and your Friend. After a life well lived and accounted for, no better hymn comes to mind than
“Fight the good fight with all thy might;
Christ is thy Strength and Christ thy Right.
Lay hold on life, and it shall be
Thy joy and crown eternally.”
Rest in perfect peace,
Victor Chapman [You small broda]
London, 18 March 2015"
"My dear Ms Nance, Thank you for teaching us how to love each other and how to depend on God. Your strong faith, epecially during difficult times, cannot be compared. You believed that because Jesus lives you would face tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. You gave the little you had so that we will all have. With a call from any of us for help, you were ready to act, walking the streets of Freetown on our behalf.
Your departure is too soon leaving wide open our plans to settle in Freetown and do things together. I know you are going home so sleep on my dear sister and take your deserved rest. We will always love you. Chrissie"
"Ms. Lolita, you had a good soul and a kind spirit. You were a Mother, Sister, daughter, friend, parent, guardian, you name it to an innumerable audience. In your soft spoken and melodious voice you passed on words of wisdom to all of us. There was always an aura around you when we were in your presence. I will always love you and cherish you. I loved and admired you so much and I appreciated the love you showed to our Mother, Matilda, Olayinka, Leslie, myself and above all your goddaughter, Ayo. I wish we could have kept you with us for ever and ever; but after being such a worthy ambassador of our God and Father, you deserve to be with him in a special place. I will never forget the wonderful advice that you gave me throughout my life and whatever I have achieved in life is thanks to your words echoing in my mind about how to comport myself. Thank you very much for all the gifts you gave me especially the beautiful outfit that fit me like a glove. Any time I wear it I get so many compliments and it looks so new. May God bless you and may your Soul Rest in Perfect Peace. Onikeh"
"Death always seems so sudden
And it is always sure.
But what is oft forgotten
It is not without a cure
We've known lots of pleasure
At times endured pain
We've lived in the sunshine
And walked in the rain
But now we are separated
And for a time apart
But I am not alone-
Baby Nance, forever in my heart."
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