Diasporian News of Thursday, 16 August 2012
Source: Ashun-Codjiw, Tony
The Ghanaian and the entire African Community of Calgary came together under one roof in an unprecedented exhibition of solidarity and support on Saturday August 11th, 2012 to celebrate the life of Late President J.E.A Mills of the Republic of Ghana. The Memorial and Thanksgiving Service which attracted various religious leaders and senior citizens in the community was attended by over 200 people from all walks of life.
The event commenced with the introduction of the moderator for the occasion, Pastor Yaw Asa Yirenkyi, the Head Pastor of All Nations Full Gospel Church, who happens to be a former Ghanaian diplomat and a team mate of the late president at Veteran Hockey Players Association. He recounted a particular game in which he gave a pass to the late president which resulted in a goal and added that President Mills was a good man who should be celebrated and there was no need to mourn.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Augustine Boahen, CEO of CITA Enterprises Ltd, urged Ghanaians to uphold the values of the late president and eschew selfishness and divisive behavior which does not augur well for unity and progress of the community.
The highlight of the day was a video tribute, produced by Mr. Tee Mensah who was a former student of Prof. Mills at the University of Ghana, Legon, Accra. As part of the video, the reaction of Prof. Mills after the Tema Harbour Corruption investigation by Anas Aremeyaw Anas was played. This was received with great applause and it was then that it dawned on all of us what a great and selfless leader we have lost.
The Deputy Minister of Environment of Saskatchewan, Mrs Elisabeth Naa Baake Quarshie paid an emotional tribute to the late president. She shared with the congregation a discussion she had with the late president when they met in Ottawa the last time he visited Canada. According to her, the president mentioned that he could have stayed in Canada and lectured at the University with lots of opportunities available to him but decided to go back home because that was “where his heart was”. Prof Mills added that his desire was to go back home to create a conducive environment that will attract Ghanaian professionals abroad to return home and contribute their quota.
In his sermon, Rev. Dr. Kofi Debra of Royal International Ministries encouraged all Ghanaians present to work towards unity within the community since much could be achieved when united. He also urged Ghanaian Churches around to encourage their members to engage in Ghanaian community activities.
Muslim prayers were delivered by Dr. Ibrahim Abu and Dr. Abu Shiraz, both of University of Calgary. One of Calgary’s most cherished citizens, Mr. Archie Adams led the congregation to sing the Ghanaian and Canadian National Anthems.
Present at the service were Dr. Ellis Quarshie, Coach E. K. Afranie, Prof. and Mrs Hagan, Mr. Anthony Manful, President of Ghanaian Canadian Association of Calgary and his vice Miss Magma Adu, Lawyer Mrs. Mercy Amanoh and her husband Mr, Paul Amanoh.
Dr. David Boadi gave the closing remarks and reminded the congregation of what the president stood for. According to him humility and respect are the greatest legacies the president left with us and encouraged all present to take a cue from that.
Reaction after the occasion was phenomenal as most participants were of the view that this was a perfect opportunity to see a revival in the community. They were in praise of the organisers especially Dr. David Boadi, Mr. Lawrence Asiedu, Mr. Augustine Boahen and Mr. Theophilus Aryee.
May Jehovah, shower them with additional strength and wisdom to provide good services to our community. They are great instruments to the community and we cherish them.
God Bless Ghana
God bless Us All
Damirifa Due Uncle Fiifi.
By Tony Ashun-Codjiw