Greater Lowell's Sierra Leonean-American Community Celebrates 51 Years of Independence
On Saturday, April 28, Greater Lowell's Sierra Leonean-American community came together at City Hall in Lowell to commemorate 51 years of independence for Sierra Leone, a former British colony.
The event was marked by both Muslim and Christian prayers, speeches, and excellent renditions of both the U.S. and Sierra Leonean national anthems. It was followed by a reception at the Mercier Center.
Sierra Leone is located along the west coast of Africa. A former British colony, its official language is English. Sierra Leone was once one of the major world exporters of industrial and gem diamonds. A civil war in the 1990s, however, destroyed much of the nation’s infrastructure.
“We have always been grateful that the City allows us to do the events. It’s a way for us to recognize the independence of our former country. This is dedicated to the Sierra Leonean community so they can rejoice. We want to do anything we can to help the country move forward from the ravages of the rebel war,” said Lowell resident Rosaline Willie-Bonglo, a prominent member of the city’s Sierra Leonean-American community.