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General News of Thursday, 18 March 2021


Ghana Month: ABUGISS, Aquinas, Aggrey Memorial, others and their fascinating histories

Crests of Aquinas, Porter Girls, Aggrey, St. Louis and Aburi Girls Crests of Aquinas, Porter Girls, Aggrey, St. Louis and Aburi Girls

11 schools gone, many more to come. GhanaWeb’s Ghana Month series has these five schools for this edition.

We find out how they came about their names, who founded them, where they are located and everything else.

Aburi Girls:

Aburi Girls, usually known as ABUGISS, is an all-girls boarding school located in the Eastern Region of Ghana.

It was established in 1946 with only seven students by the Basel Missionaries of the Presbyterian Church studying on the compound of the Presbyterian Training College in Aburi.

Before then, the Basel Mission opened a primary school for girls at their mission station in 1852, which operated until it was taken over by the Scottish Mission during the First World War. Then a teacher training school and kindergarten section and a middle school was established in the 1920s, and secondary classes were introduced.

Shortly after, in 1950, the Presby Church of the then Gold Coast took over the Management of the school when its partner missions left.
The Secondary school was separated from the teacher training classes and moved to Aburi.

The Methodist Training College (Metico) which was located close to the school at the time was closing down in 1972, and first Ghanaian Headmistress of the school, Mrs. Joyce Asibey, negotiated with the Methodist Church to acquire the school’s premises for the school.

The school’s motto is “Bepo so Hann”; a local phrase which means Light on the Hill. Students of the school are known as “Beacons”.

The school has 8 houses; Irene Anderson House, Edinburgh House, Royal Park House, Barradale House, Kilsyth House, Aberdeen House, Chapel House, Sylvia Asempa House.

Some Alumni of the school include; Gloria Akuffo, Attorney-general of Ghana and Minister of Justice, Vida Akoto-Bamfo, Former justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana, Dr Ernestina Naadu Mills, Dr Naadu Mills is a former First Lady of Ghana and renowned educator, Deloris Frimpong Manso, (Delay), TV personality, Elsie Effah Kaufmann, host of the National Science and Maths Quiz, Adwoa A. Amoako Adjei Esq, lawyer, among others.

St. Thomas Aquinas:

St Thomas Aquinas is a day and boarding Catholic boys school located at Cantonments in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. It was established on February, 28, 1952, by the Catholic missionaries whose mission at the time was to establish schools nationwide, to educate boys in the Catholic faith.

It was established by then-Catholic Bishop of Accra, Most Rev. Adolph Alexander Noser, at a two-storey house at Osu-Anohor, with some 50 students.

The school was named after Saint Thomas Aquinas of the catholic tradition who lived from 1225 to 1274. He was one of the greatest teachers of the medieval Catholic Church, honoured with titles of doctor of the Church and Angelic Doctor.

In March 1954, Father Clement Hostse became Headmaster with 130 students and staff strength of eight.
About a decade on, in September 1961, Chiefs of the Ga land released a parcel of about 10 hectares of land at Cantonment to provide a new site for the school.

The necessary steps were taken and the site was quickly expanded with facilities established for the school.

The school's motto is Veritas Liberat, a Latin word which means "The truth shall set you free” is from the Latin variant of Veritas vos liberabit from the Gospel of John chapter 8 verse 32.

Old students of the school are called, “OldToms”

Its slogan is "beebɛ", a word in Ghana's native Ga language, meaning "There is no time to waste " or "waste no time".

Some Alumni of the school include; Professor Nii Ashie Kotey – Supreme Court Justice, DJ Vyrusky Kofi Amoako, Professor George Hagan – academic and politician, Laud Quartey, Footballer, Lord Oblitey Commey, Politician, among others.

St. Louis:

The St. Louis Senior High School is located in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The establishment of the school stemmed from a necessity for equal educational opportunities for both girls and boys.

In 1952, the colonial government of the then Gold Coast built the Opoku Ware Senior High School as a boys’ secondary school and asked the Catholic Church to own and run it. To give the girls in the region the same opportunity to education, the Diocese of Kumasi decided to open a girls’ secondary school in the same year in Kumasi.

In 1947, four Sisters of St. Louis who had earned a name for themselves as exceptional educationists in Ireland and France came to Kumasi, at the invitation of Bishop Hubert Paulisen of blessed memory. They started teaching at the already-established St. Bernadette’s Girl’s Elementary School, now popularly known as “Roman Girls”.

In 1952, the Sisters decided to establish a new secondary school on the same compound. In 1952, the St. Louis Secondary School was opened with some 12 girls for a start.

The school was housed in the present accommodation of St. Louis College of Education at Mbrom until 1960 when the first three buildings, sponsored entirely by the Diocese of Kumasi and the St. Louis Sisters, were ready for occupation.

The foundation stone was laid by the late Otumfuo Osei Agyemang Prempeh II, Asantehene, on March 25, 1960, the feast of Annunciation, and was blessed by Rt. Rev. Andrew van den Bronk (SMA), the then Bishop of Kumasi.

Emphasis, in the education of girls, was placed on excellent performance in professional subjects and harmonious relationships in the whole community.

In the early 1970’s, the school began admitting boys into Sixth Form. This ended in the early 1980’s due to the problem of control.

The motto of the school, “Dieu Le Veut” which means “God wills it”, is inspired by the principle of the Sisters of St. Louis. In accordance with this motto the dream of the founders has been in all things to please God and not man.

Students of the school are called SLOPSANS.

Some Alumni of the school include;
Elizabeth Adjei, diplomat, Patricia Appiagyei, politician, Lydia Forson, actress, writer and producer, Dzifa Gomashie, actress, producer, screen scriptwriter and politician, Afia Schwarzenegger, Ghanaian media personality and others.

Aggrey Memorial:

Aggrey Memorial A.M.E Zion Senior High School is a mixed school located at Cape Coast in the Central Region of Ghana.

The school was founded on 22 January 1940, by the late Rev. Dr. A. W. E. Appiah with six boys and was named Aggrey Memorial College by Rev. Appiah, after his late Uncle Dr. J. E. Kwegyir Aggrey.

His aim was to perpetuate the memory of his uncle by means of an institution, which would give young boys and girls adequate secondary education, fitting them into higher fields of learning.

The school, during its first few years, occupied a number of buildings in Cape Coast, with the first being “Tandon Kuma”.

With about 10 boys in April 1940, the school moved to “Bucknor Villa”. The first Headmaster, Henry Abaidoo-Brew, was appointed in 1944, and with the help of a rich merchant at the time, Kofi Bentsi-Enchill, he paid for rent of the then school’s premises.

In 1945, a Board of Trustees and Management team known as the "Aggrey Society" was formed and the school’s management came under this Board. In 1947, the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Zion Church took over the realm of affairs of the school as a result of an agreement between the "Aggrey Society" and the A.M.E. Zion Mission.

The name of the school was then changed from "Aggrey Memorial College" to Aggrey Memorial A.M.E. Zion Secondary School", and the first two boarders were also admitted.

The School moved in October, 1948, to a three-storey building on the premises of the old Cape Coast Post Office near the Cape Coast Castle. The School occupied this building known as "Old Russell" from 1948 to 1958. In 1958, the A.M.E. Zion Church acquired a 43-acre land, released as a Deed of Gift by the then Nana Attobra of the Nsona Stool Family of Brafo Yaw, to the school.

After eighteen years in temporary premises, the school moved to its present site near Brafo Yaw, Cape Coast in January, 1958.

Girls in the boarding house were however housed in Cape Coast Township on premises formerly occupied by the "Prospect Printing Press". On 21 January 1966, the girls moved into their new dormitory blocks across the boys from the Accra-Takoradi road at Brafo Yaw.

Old Students of the School are known as 'Nkor" which means Eagle in Fante.

The school’s motto; Semper optimo Nitiri means “Always aim high”.

The school has four male houses namely: Watson, Enchill, Pinanko and Casely Hayford, and tfour female houses namely: Annie Lucille, Segbefia, Katherine Aikin and one new one which has not yet been named; New House.

Some Alumni of the school include: Kofi Acquah-Dadzie, academic and judge, Kojo Asemanyi, politician, Mustapha Essuman, footballer, Abrewa Nana, musician, Yvonne Nelson, actress, among others.

Archbishop Porter Girls:

The Archbishop Porter Girls' Senior High School (A.P.G.S.S.) is a girls’ secondary school in Takoradi in the Western Region of Ghana.

The school was established in 1965 by His Grace, John Kwadjo Amissah, under the name St. Louis Secondary School. This was later changed to Archbishop Porter Girls.

The school is sited on a hill in Fijai, Takoradi, in the Western Region of Ghana and it has come to be known as "the hill of tranquillity" for its peaceful and serene academic atmosphere.

The school’s motto is “Puritas Mentis Et Corporis”, a Latin word which means Purity of Mind and Body.

The school has 8 houses; Aggrey, St. Louis, St. Jude, Ferguson, Marian, Lady Teresa, Joseph Mary, Sterlin Nduom

Some Alumni of the school include Actress and TV Personality, Joselyn Dumas, Zita Okaikoi, Politician, Millicent Clark of the Standard Chartered Bank, Ama Ampofo, an Actress, among others.

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