In 1988, a small group of committed Centennial Secondary School (CSS) alumni in Sierra Leone revived the Centennial Old Students Association (CeOSA) after many years of dormancy. This effort was initiated by Abu-Hassan “Askia” Koroma, freshly out of college. Over the years and through many hurdles and challenges, the group expanded and managed to organize Annual National Conventions to unify and coordinate their efforts as well as help our alma mater. Most active members include but, not limited to the likes of Momoh J. Bockarie, the first CeOSA President, Daniel Fox, Gabriel Sellu, Mahmoud Kamara, Sallay Beckley, Matilda Waye-Williams, Mathew Kpukumu, Betty Rogers, Susan Campbell, Cautilda (Foray) Spencer , Musu Tucker, Tommy Tucker and many, many more.
On August 3-5, 2001, CSS alumni in the United States met under the United Brethren Association nomenclature in Brooklyn Park United Brethren In Christ Church at 201 W. Hilltop Road, in Baltimore, Maryland. This was where the CeOSA, North America Branch was launched. The objectives of the Baltimore conventions were:
- To see people you have not seen for years
- To have a weekend of relaxation with people you used to be with
- To formulate the reunion group into a group or groups through which we can function positively and effectively.
This effort was initiated by Francis K. Mustapha who became the Interim President and Rev. (1494) Joseph C. Abu with support from Mrs. Rachael George Gondo, Abdul Kamara and others, just to name a few.
The Baltimore meeting constituted an interim executive board consisting of President, Secretary, Treasurer and Social Secretary. Active paid up membership was not established and nothing much happened beyond that point, except for periodic get togethers/conventions arranged in Philadelphia by a committed circle of younger alumni headed by Alphajor Barrie.
Until July 10, 2015, CeOSA was still an unincorporated association. Donations were channeled through the United Brethren in Christ Church, the Proprietors of the school in Huntington, Indiana. But no fundraising strategy existed to build the association’s funding, except for the occasional annual fundraisers. All of this will change on Saturday, July 4, 2015 when a combination of events and circumstances brought Askia to a 9 A.M. Philadelphia emergency meeting purposely called to encourage his participation. This move was initiated by Alphajore Barrie. With the advent of Askia, CeOSA was incorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on July 10 and a 501 (C)3 application was made on July 20th. This website is a result of the plans initiated at the July 4th emergency meeting. Sustained mobilization and coordinated publicization strategies have been enacted to advance the mission of CeOSA.
According to the association’s records archival records, a tax-deductible scholarship account was established with the Mission. At the 2001 CeOSA Baltimore meeting, the association agreed that the scholarship account will be turned over to CeOSA North America.
From 1991 – 2001, a devastating civil war raged in Sierra Leone and took a toll on CSS and the national CeOSA groups supporting the school. Many of the regional branches survived the carnage and are still active. These groups are determined to continue working for the progress of our school.
CeOSA North America will join CeOSA UK/Ireland and CeOSA Sierra Leone to combine efforts, communicate plans and coordinate program implementation to help Centennial Secondary School in Mattru Jong, Bonthe District, Sierra Leone.