The meeting was well attended by both old and new members. The association is mainly comprises of young handsome men and wonderful beautiful Temne women, especially those that have identified themselves as Temne (Themne) in NSW, particularly Sydney. The patriotic peace and development loving hard working Temne Elders in Australia, especially in Sydney are working round the clock behind the scene to see that the organisation achieve its goals.
The Chairman of the meeting was Mr. Abdulrahman Yellah who is currently the organisation’s working Committee Chairman. In his opening remarks, he welcomed members present and thanked them for their dedication and commitment towards the progress and development of their organisation. “Nobody will protect or promote our organisation, unless we have to do that. Therefore, we should continue to redouble our efforts in order to make our present in NSW, particularly Sydney felt. Let us pay our dues and tell others to come and join us. The organisation is open to any Sierra Leonean that may identify him or herself as Temne. As long as he or she is ready and willing to obey the rules of the organisation, he expressed.” He informed his members about the fire disaster that took place at Punchbowl where one of their members, Mr. Amadu Bangura’s properties been burnt down. “What are we going to do for Mr. Bangrua as a group?” he asked.
Mr Mohamed Billey-Kamara, who is one of the elders of the organisation said that the sorrowful plight of Mr Amadu Bangura, the fire disaster victim was a test case to the organisation. Never mind the association is too new. He said that father for bid it, such situation could happened to anyone of them in a different way, including death. In view of that we have to give our support towards his plight. Whatever, big or small the support may be we have to provide it for him so that he will feel belonging to a kind, caring, grateful, brotherly and sisterly group,” he pointed.
Another unique and dynamic hard working elders of the group Mr Unise Sesay buttressed the idea of providing support for Mr. Banagura. He said that one of the main purposes of forming the organisation is to give support to one another in a time of dire deed. (Ta marra neh). The organisation’s formation is not based on tribalism as others may think, no, it is far from that. “Every Sierra Leonean knows that the Temne tribe is one of the largest tribes in NSW, especially Sydney and in the country, Sierra Leone. Therefore, there is no need for us (Temnes) to be tribalistic.”
He said that tribalism doesn’t produce any good fruits in any community or country rather than self-destruction, we are completely against it. “In view of that we are powerful peaceful people, accommodating and development oriented. So we should hold on to our good norms and cultural values for which we are well known for which are peace loving, unity and progress.” He added that the organisation is open to all peace and development loving Sierra Leoneans, particularly those that will like to identify themselves as Temne.
However, a question was raised by one of the observers about the language that to be spoken during meetings. Mrs Beatrice Sesay-Barry one of the main pillars of the organisation and who is also the Secretary General of the working committee in her response to the question, stated that one of the unique qualities of the Temne ethnic group in Australia, especially Sydney and Sierra Leone is the none discriminatory attitudes and behaviour of them, particularly in terms of language or tribe. “Anybody if you think you can express yourself very well in speaking our mothers tongue (Temne language) so be it, you are welcome to speak it. But if you think you can only be able to express yourself well in our most commonly spoken language, which is Krio, you are also welcome to speak it. We have no qualms about it. That makes us who we are in NSW, especially Sydney and in the country, Sierra Leone. We don’t normally like to speak a language that others who are in our midst cannot understand.”
She also added that because of intermarriages, the Temne tribe has extended families that many finds it a bit difficult in expressing themselves in speaking their Temne language fluently. In view of that they would also like to emphasise that any Sierra Leonean who will come and identify him or shelf as Temne he or she is warmly welcome in their group.
She also admonished members not to allow enemies of peace and unity to divide them. In view of that they should learn to solve their problems or differences within themselves if there would be any rather than going out to discuss it with outsiders, she emphasised.