The Randalls were strong members of the Christian faith. Lawrence and his siblings grew up attending the Sacred Heart Cathedral Catholic Church with their parents. In line with family tradition, his father would always have birthday dinners for the kids at Diana Restaurant, which was then located on Broad Street. These occasions were always lively and fun-filled with presentation of gifts while the kids had dinner.
Growing up, Lawrence was not really gamesome but he had great interest in soccer, for which his father bought him a soccer boot and ball so he could practice the game after school hours. But Lawrence hardly touched the ball as he was then a bit docile. On many occasions, his older brother Augustus Randall Jr. would fight for Lawrence whenever he got into an argument with his colleagues. Though he avoided physical confrontation, Lawrence had the gift of gab even from childhood.
As his elder brother Augustus recalls, the two not only lived as brothers but as partners in progress and upheld their family values. As an 11th grade student enrolled in the afternoon track, Lawrence spent his mornings teaching French classes to elementary school students at his former school, the Russell Foundation School of Christ. Augustus also taught classes there to help sustain the family as their father who was the primary bread winner became incapacitated and couldn’t continue to fend for them. “We both would combine our minimum salaries at the end of the month to get clothes and food. Being the elder brother, I was the one getting clothes for the both of us. Even though he was slim then, but we managed,” remembers Augustus.
The most memorable moment in their lives, Augustus says, was when he and Lawrence obtained their bachelor’s degrees from the University of Liberia, despite all the campus struggles, and with both parents deceased.
Lawrence started primary education at the Seventh Day Adventist High School, which was a Junior High School when he enrolled. There he stayed up to 3rd grade, until his father transferred him to the Russell Foundation School of Christ Elementary and Junior High School. Mr. Randall Sr. chose the Russell Foundation School of Christ for his son primarily because the founder and administrator, Mr. Mac John Russell, assured him that he would pay very close attention to Lawrence’s academic performance.
Under the tutelage and mentorship of his instructor Mr. Emmanuel Russell, Lawrence greatly improved in his studies, to the extent that he was asked to head the school’s Press Club. Lawrence led the Academic Principal List up to the ninth grade, where he became the valedictorian of his class.
At the onset of the Liberian Civil War, Lawrence was among many Liberian children whose lives became disrupted. When the combat in Monrovia accelerated around April 6, 1996, Lawrence was forced to flee the country for neighboring Cote d'Ivoire where he enrolled at the St. Jean Catholic School in Danane. With his results-driven mentality, Lawrence won various awards while in the 10th grade, amongst which included awards in Chemistry, Language Art, History, etc.
In anticipation of completion of his high school education, Lawrence returned to Monrovia after the fighting had ceased and schools had reopened. Arriving well after the start of the school year, Lawrence enrolled in afternoon classes at the A.G.M. High School on Buchanan Street in the 11th Grade. He later enrolled in the Seventh Day Adventist High School where he was soon elected as Senior Class President.
Unfortunately, as fate would have it, Lawrence lost his father during his senior high school year. Though challenging for a young man who relied on his dad to pursue his education, this life-changing event did not stifle his academic prowess. Upon graduating from high school, Lawrence immediately matriculated to the University of Liberia, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication (with emphasis in Economics) in 2009. Not satisfied with the level of education acquired, he immediately enrolled at the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law and earned Bachelor’sDegree in Law (General Law) in 2013.
Between the period 2008 to 2015, Lawrence underwent a wide range of self-enhancement training programs around the world to make him the well-rounded individual that he would become. From the United States, Lawrence received a diploma certificate from Penn State University in Developing Managerial Effectiveness; and a certificate from John W. McCroach School of Public Policy Studies, University of Massachusetts, Boston for completing the Media Internship Program.
Lawrence later travelled to Bosnia and completed a Media Center Cultural Exchange training program that covered Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia. Lawrence also obtained a diploma for completing a Transitional Justice Training Course in Cape Town, South Africa, under the auspices of the International Center for Transitional Justice. He also obtained a certificate in Development Communication from the World Bank Development Communication Division.
Not satisfied with the aforementioned achievements, Lawrence, as a committed and results-driven development practitioner seeking to contribute to policy and research enterprises particularly in Africa and his Motherland Liberia, gracefully solicited a scholarship through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), which was granted in 2015, thus affording him the opportunity to study at Georgetown University, in Washington, DC, USA. At Georgetown University, Lawrence pursued a Master Degree in Policy Management. His coursework included Monitoring and Evaluation; International Trade Policy and Negotiation; as well as Private Public Partnership. He was in the process of completing his final set of courses when he suddenly fell ill in March 2016 and did not recover until his untimely demise.
Fun Times Magazine (Contributing/Staff Writer)
From an early age, Lawrence knew he had the gift of writing as well as speech. While still in the 10th grade in the Saint Jean Catholic School in Danane, Ivory Coast, Lawrence became a contributing writer of the then famous Fun Times Magazine. He would later become Fun Times staff writer when he returned to Liberia to continue his education. At Fun Times, Lawrence helped to organize Fun Times fan clubs at various high schools around Monrovia. He also organized a Fun Times pageant which attracted brilliant high school female students around Monrovia.
Ecotech Internet Systems (Staff Writer)
Lawrence’s journalism work intensified in April 2001 when he got recruited by Molley Paasewe who was then editor-in-chief at Ecotech Internet Systems on Capitol Hill. Paasewe would later become a mentor, confidant, buddy, workmate and business associate to Lawrence. “From the day he walked into Ecotech and started cracking the keyboard, I knew this lanky kid was destined for great things,” Paasewe would reminisce.
At Ecotech, Lawrence steadily rose through the ranks – from a typesetter to a reporter and on to one of the most senior staff writers. Despite being the youngest staff member, Lawrence was always eager to learn new things, a trait that made him more versatile in both print and broadcast media production systems. He would spend endless hours preoccupying himself with script writing, editing, audio production and voice streaming, news and events coverage, as well as documentary production. Lawrence worked with Ecotech Internet Systems until 2003 following the escalation of intense fighting in the city of Monrovia.
Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration - NCDDRR (Senior Communications Officer)
On August 18, 2003 the Accra Comprehensive Peace Accord was signed in Accra, Ghana, signaling the beginning of the end of a brutal 14-year civil war. The CPA, among other things, called for the disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration of the fighting forces. Due to his undisputable communication skills, Lawrence Randall was again recruited by his mentor Molley Paasewe who was by then Director of Communications of the NCDDRR. During his one year stint with the joint UN-Government run DDRR program, Lawrence served as senior communications officer, a job he handled with distinction and professionalism. Lawrence’s role with the DDRR Commission included planning and implementing communications programs, troubleshooting and mitigating communications defects and bad press, as well as providing feedback to policy players at the level of the TCC (Technical Coordination Committee), which comprised representatives from the UN, government, donors and implementing partners.
Ducor Broadcasting Corporation (Radio Talk Show Host)
As host of Liberia’s then premier talk show (DC Talk) on Ducor Broadcasting Corporation, Lawrence worked from May 2005- December 2006 to produce and present a one hour radio talk show, where he provided editorial and technical assistance to studio and news room crew. The show was a landmark platform that allowed the public to interact with and scrutinize various political actors during the 2005 national elections.
Liberia Media Center (Founding Executive Director)
Realizing the need to further strengthen and develop the media landscape, Lawrence left the NCDDRR early 2005 and founded the Liberia Media Center in March 2005. From sharing a one room space within the headquarters of the Press Union of Liberia, the LMC, now situated on 1st Street Sinkor, blossomed under Lawrence’s watch into one of West Africa’s most notable media development institutions. With a dedicated team, Lawrence succeeded in establishing an excellent working relationship with international development partners who readily assisted the LMC implement myriads of media development programs across the country. Some of the landmark interventions that the LMC undertook with Lawrence’s guidance included the INFORMOTRAC Project which provided equipment and training to community radio stations across the country. Others included the Media Quality Barometer Project which monitored the print and electronic media to enhance quality performance and professional coverage; the Citizens’ Voices and Accountability Project which provided visibility to civil society interventions in the country, and a platform for citizens to be heard. The Strengthened Media for Transparent Elections Project was another landmark LMC intervention that provided an unprecedented opportunity for people here and overseas to monitor results of the 2011 presidential and general elections results in real time.
Electronic Communication and Consulting Services
After serving the LMC for eight unbroken years with distinction, Lawrence joined the private sector in 2013 when he co-founded along with his friend Molley Paasewe e-Comsult, a strategic communications firm. As Managing Partner, Lawrence and his team spearheaded several strategic communications processes, one of which led to the merger of the functions of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Finance into the new Ministry of Finance and Development Planning. The process also included the establishment of the new Liberia Revenue Authority.
The African Peer Review Mechanism Secretariat
Before his travel to the United States to pursue a Master Degree in Policy Management, Lawrence served as Executive Director of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Secretariat, a position he held until his untimely demise, providing leadership on the policy and strategic direction of the APRM Secretariat.
Matrix Media Inc.
Being an innovator within the media landscape, Lawrence became a founding partner of Matrix Media, Liberia’s newest one-stop media hub which comprises a radio station, a newspaper and a magazine. Lawrence was just about to activate the television component of Matrix Media when he fell ill in the United States.
Despite his daily hectic workload, Lawrence always found time to engage in several consultancies for various organizations some of which include the World Bank, the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the Port Sector Reform Program, the Forestry Reform Monitoring Committee, Radio Netherlands Training Center, as well as the Liberia Media Women Action Committee.
Lawrence was the ultimate family man. Between his heavy work load and academic pursuits, Lawrence was a treasure not only to his immediate family but also to his extended family and friends. This is what his wife Mrs. Ralphlyn B. Randall had to say about her dear Lawrence.
“Lawrence and I met in June of 2006 on Somalia Drive when he offered me a ride to the University of Liberia.That's how we started our beautiful love affair which advanced quickly and the rest is history. Lawrence and I got married in November 2009. Lawrence was a very good, caring, loving husband and daddy to our kids. He became the father I lost in 2002. God first in my life, my husband was my hero, my protector, my inspiration, my everything. I love Lawrence in life and in death. Nobody can take the place of Lawrence in my life. ‘Babe’ as we affectionately called each other, I will never forget the love we shared.
Even on your sick bed for the past five months I was holding your hands, you were never alone. You died knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and savior. You were still saying on your bed of affliction, I love you Ralphlyn, God bless you. God bless you too my Togar. If prayer, crying, fasting could bring you back, I know you will be in my arms. My Babe, my Togar, my T. Law, my Pa, my everything, go good yah. I love you but God loves you more.”
The late Attorney Lawrence Togar Randall leaves to celebrate his short, yet impactful life, his wife, Mrs. Ralphlyn Tarpeh Randall; his children, Justin Gaysue, Albert Randall, Lawrencia Randall, Israel Randall, and Togar Lawrence Randall Jr.; adopted children, Abraham Williams and Patricia Davis; special guardian, Mrs. Bessie Toe Smith; brother, Augustus Pinton Randall Jr.; sister in-law, Stephanie Dorbor Randall; sister, Shelly Randall; aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of other relatives and friends including Grace Randall, Julia Randall-Hance, Markind Randall-Boryue, John Nester Randall, Patience Randall, Julia Randall-Townsend, Jaclyn Randall, Jacquelyn Q. Randall, Melvin P. Gobah, Jeeppelle S. Page and Oliver G. Toe. His father, Augustus Pinton Randall Sr. and mother, Musu Bah Randall predeceased him.