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Tribute to Hon. Justice Edmond Kadoni Cowan (GOOR)


February 13, 2018 By Titus Boye-Thompson

The Late Justice Edmond K. Cowan

A simpler man you could never meet but his quiet composure hides a very remarkable personality and a man of many talents and experience. Hon. Justice Edmond Kadoni Cowan was a Law man highly respected and renowned for his sense of humour in his own practice of dispensing justice. He was known to be a person who wanted to see the pragmatic side of things and according to he handled the matters that came to him with the conviction that the person at court must see that indeed justice has been done to him. Many who knew him and gave tributes to his memory speak of Justice Cowan a a kind and gentle man. Some of us come to know him through his children and on a personal note, being friends with his son Cowie Jnr gave us a glimpse of his generosity to his children and family.

It was at Samaria West African Methodist Church that I got close to this man of such great strength. His name had however been household to us growing up and spending time with a late Uncle Ekundayo Lynch, a man with glowing tales of his childhood and boyhood days and stories that he was fully endowed to embellish to bring out his prowess, especially when it came to his relationships with girlfriends. It was Uncle Eku who would tell us tales of the days spent in England with Justices Cowan, Tolla Thompson and other friends from Prince of Wales School. At those times, Pa Cowan was at Rice Corporation, Colisee building – the tallest building in Freetown at the junction of Westmoreland Street and Wilberforce Street and with the distinctive Volkswagen car at the very top which causes us to always look up at it wondering how they manage to get the car up there.

Justice Cowan was widely respected in his career and professional life to the extent that he had served every government since he returned back from England. His early years as a lawyer in public and private practice culminated in his appointment as a Justice of the Appeal Court. His commitment to his country was undiminished by politics or tribe. He was open to every influence and he helped along as best he could. In this way, his life demonstrated true statesmanship, loyalty to friends and family and dedicated to his church and social life. At Samaria, he would be involved in every church activity yet shied away from public participation. His moral and financial support is always one to depend on and as a proud J2J member he managed to cast the winning bid to own the coveted 001 membership number auctioned to raise funds for the Church. Even though he refrained from open membership of church organizations, he was a life Patron of almost all of its organisations and a proud supporter and patron of the Samaria Choir.

In all of the fine words said of this great man, none can better be said about the love that he shared with his wife, Aunty Marian, who took him lovingly to Samaria. Aunty Marian comes from a family of Samaria West African Methodist Church Reverends and wardens. Her bringing Justice Cowan to Samaria is therefore a blessing on both their lives and that blessing showed throughout their time together. The Church has lost one of its patrons but his family and others who remain are sure to keep up the good work their father did for his beloved church and society.

On a personal note, it had always been a pride for me to stand beside him on or around the middle of March each year as the birthday song is sang for both of us separated only by a day in the calendar. Thus knowing him for his astute statesmanship, generosity and love for country and society, the Choir rendered the hymn “I vow to thee my country, “in a manner reminiscent of the Welsh all male combined choir during state festivities in the United Kingdom. Samaria Choir gave of its best in sending off a man celebated for his greatness yet lived a very simple existence.

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