About Dr. George E. Saigbe Boley Sr.
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Who is George E. Saigbe Boley Sr.
By Kathryn M. Boley
Dr. George Boley was born 1949 in Putu, one of the poorest villages in Grand Gedeh County, Liberia, West Africa. Only ten percent of the people from Putu could read and write. Hungry for an education, students were jammed packed into four makeshift buildings; for lack of room the schooling stops at the elementary level. Many students are turned away each year.
George is the eldest of his eighteen brothers and sisters. He achieved his early education attending catholic school where as a child he worked in the rice fields to pay for books and school fees. The work was long and hard, any monies left over were taken to help support his younger brothers and sisters. Even at a young age George’s goal was to educate himself then help educate his brothers and sisters.
Having graduated from high school George realized the only way to help his family was to go abroad to further his education. To raise the monies needed for the trip abroad, George worked as a posting clerk at the bank of Liberia and the Nathan Ross high school teaching night school, there he taught the subjects English, Social Studies and Algebra.
Arriving in New York City in September 1970, having lived most of his life in the interior, George did not take to well to the large city and the city life; he sought to move out into the rural areas, which landed him in Brockport N.Y. With the help of Professor Roy Agte then Director of the Foreign Student Program, George was enrolled in the program at SUNY Brockport but it only paid for his tuition. To live, George took on part time odd jobs of employment to pay his room and board while attending classes; being an athlete he played on the soccer national championship team for Brockport, he was called by his teammates “boom boom” Boley.
A short time later George meet and married Kathryn Manuel his present wife of thirty-eight years.
To support his family, George took on a more permanent job working at Kodak Park, in Rochester NY, while he continued to work an additional two part time jobs and attend classes at Brockport. He took no breaks, he attended classes and worked through the summer. This heavy workload did not detour him from his goal to educate himself and his extended family. Graduating from Brockport with a bachelor degree, George with his family moved to Akron Ohio where he attended the University of Akron. He achieved a doctorate in educational administration. George worked for a year to raise monies for the return trip home. In Liberia, George worked in the Ministry of Education as Assistant Minister.
George was the second person of his tribe to reach such a high level of education and is looked upon with great respect. Because of his educational back ground, George was drawn into the government of the Late President Samuel K. Doe and was appointed Minister of State and Presidential Affairs making sure important international ties and government policies remain stable. George also organized and revitalized other ministries such as the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication and the Ministry of Education. In 1984 George retired from the Ministry of Education, and Government to focus on the family business used to support the needs of his family and extended family (father, mother, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews) both abroad and in the interior.
Retired George relocated his family back to the United States in 1987 to make a way for the two older boys (Todd and George Jr.) to start preparing them for college. During this time George continued to travel back and forth between US and Liberia tending to the family business and helping members of the extended family. George was able to send five of the extended family members to the US ,two of which attended the college at SUNY Brockport. Then in 1989 news breaks of civil war in Liberia. By September 1990 President Samuel K. Doe is dead and Krahn people are being slaughtered. George is cut to the heart, what can he do? His family is safe here in the US, while his people are dying in Liberia.
Depending on his relationship with the US and the international community George set out on a journey; a cry for help to stop the war in Liberia. It was to NO avail until the United Nations and ECOMOG stepped in and sent peacekeeping troops by then many Liberian people had died.
Dr. and Mrs. Boley with Former US Pres. Carter
Abuja Accord 1995 "Collective Presidency"
Six men were appointed in office by the United Nations/ ECOMOG and confirmed by the international community as acting leaders of the Liberian Intern Government known as the "Council of State" or the “Collective Presidency”. George was appointed as one of the six to help establish peace and democracy until elections could beheld to elect one president. Elections were held, in 1997 Charles Taylor also one of the six acting presidents, was elected president of Liberia and confirmed by the international community. With the work done, George returned home to the United States to resume civilian life and refocusing on the needs of his family.
As a Dad he is very active in the life of his children, he attended games and volunteered with the football team boosters, the basketball team boosters, and the wrestling team boosters. He traveled with other parents in state and out of state to many sports events. Spending endless hours helping with homework and correcting the writing of papers. George even volunteered in his community helping with the building of a habitat house.
George raked leaves for the elderly and lent a helping hand to his neighbors whenever they needed it. In his home he helped with the care of his mother -in -law before her death. He was always advising his sons and daughter, their friends, nieces, and nephews whenever they dropped by about how important it was to go to college and he encouraged them to attend college. He was a father, and friend to many relatives on both sides of the family that lived in our home at one time or another. Our home was always open to those in need of a place to sleep or a place to eat. George is a humble man with a humble heart.
He worked in the Rochester City School District with the desire to make a difference.