Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Milton Findley has admonished newly trained protocol freshmen to be steadfast in their duty to the country as they would be called upon to perform some stately functions.
Mr. Findley, who presented certificates to the 50 trainees who had undergone prescribed two-week courses in Protocol and Etiquette, stated how excited he is with the trainees, whom he said are going to work for their country.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, in Foreign Minister Findley’s brief remarks, he disclosed to them that their first assignment was right around the corner after being thought by the “who’s who” in Liberian Protocol.
“Your first assignment is right around the corner and it’s on July 26. Some of those things that embarrassed us in the past as it relates to protocol are not going to happen again,” he assured the audience, who included family members, wellwishers and officials of the Foreign Ministry.
The Dean of the President’s Cabinet assured the trainees that his Ministry would work closely with them so that protocol can be better in Liberia.
Speaking earlier on the significance of the program, Ambassador George W. Wallace, Jr., Adviser on Foreign Affairs to the President of the Republic of Liberia, stated that the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) was established in 1951 by former Secretary of State Gabriel L. Dennis.
“It was established for staff development. From that time till now, we are still into it,” he added.
“You came and said you want to be protocol officers. It entails a lot. You are to have sharp ears, eagle eyes and sealed lips. It doesn’t mean, you aren’t going to speak, but when you speak, you must speak wisdom, so that your colleagues in other foreign protocol will see your country as important, too,” Ambassador Wallace, Jr. stated.
The President’s Foreign Affairs Adviser, who is also a lecturer at the FSI, told his trainees that over the coming days, they are going to be watched.
The veteran diplomat, warned them to be tolerant; adding: “People are going to constantly test your patience.”
“The President must have a reason for asking us to train you, so if you don’t put into practice what you were thought than you are going to disappoint him and not only him but also us, too, who spent hours lecturing you all the rudimentary of a protocol officer,” he emphasized.
While marking remarks on behalf of her colleagues, Ms. Musu D. Freeman, gave thanks to the President, the Foreign Ministry family, FSI and others for impacting knowledge unto them.
Ms. Freeman, on behalf of her class, ÀDEHBLEH, a Kru language word to mean, “wake up,” presented to President Weah a plaque with the same Kru word inscribed on it. They also presented to the institute a huge wall clock.
Ms. Freeman promised that they would do all to put into practice what they have learned.
Also making remarks, Senior Ambassador-At-Large Mr. Jarjar Kamara, who also lectured the 50 men and women, reminded them about some of the cardinal things they had learnt including good mannerisms at all times.
“You are potential representatives of Liberia, so you have to at all times be ready.”
Ambassador Kamara urged them to move forward with their studies as the two-week lecture is not all to it.
Deputy Foreign Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. B. Elias Shoniyin, earlier told the trainees that their certification day marked the beginning of their career in protocol.
While urging them to curtail good mannerisms in all that they do professionally, Hon. Shoniyin further encouraged them to also exhibit good leadership attributes because they are going be leaders.
“Always come with an attitude of service and not to make money. As you take in this new journey of your life, for a moment before you talk to the that person, who comes to see you, turn the table around and be in that person’s shoes for that moment before you answer him or her,” Mr. Shoniyin advised them.
Earlier, Mr. John S. Yormie, Acting Coordinator, FSI, spoke of how the last two weeks of lectures have been intensive and how prepared the 50 freshmen protocol officers are.
He thanked President Weah and Foreign Minister Findley for asking the FSI to mold the new protocol officers.
After all the speeches, Ms. Antoinette Wolo, Acting Chief of Protocol, R/L. presented the 50 persons from various government agencies to the Foreign Minister, who received and presented certificate to each of them.