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General News of Sunday, 4 March 2012

Source: GNA

President Mills attends funeral of late Dr Turkson

President John Evans Atta Mills on Saturday morning attended the funeral of the late Dr Richard Benjamin Turkson, who until his death last November, was Ghana’s immediate past High Commissioner in Ottawa, Canada.

The funeral of the late Diplomat, 67, and former Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana, Legon, was held jointly for his son Richmond, 33, at the Tema St Paul’s Methodist Church.

Richmond had predeceased the father nine months earlier; and the funeral of father and son attracted other top Government officials, members of the Legon Faculty of Law, people from the Foreign Service, family members from the Ekumfi Traditional Area in the Central Region and a cross section of Ghanaian sympathizers.

The late Dr Turkson and Richmond were eulogized for their selfless service to humanity, before they were taken to the Community Nine Cemetery in Tema.

The scripture reading was taken from the Gospel of John 14:1-6, 27.

Preaching the sermon, the Reverend Professor Emmanuel Kwaku Asante, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Ghana, who dwelt on Psalm 49, admonished against futile trust in worldly possessions.

He said worldly possessions could not buy forgiveness of sins.

Rev Prof Asante called on mankind to ponder over the inevitability and universality of death, that worldly possessions have no eternal value, and that there are contrasting destinations for humans.

The cleric urged the mourners and the congregation to invest more in their devotion to God, explaining that there was no condemnation for those who put their trust in Jesus Christ.

“What human beings cannot do, God does it for the faithful”; but the unfaithful have no hope beyond their graves, their graves are their homes forever, Rev Prof Asante added.

Rev Prof Asante stressed the need for the parents to utilize the resources for the need of their children, and posterity, and pointed out that material investment without God had no value.

"Do whatever it takes to place your investment where it really counts,” he said.

The Singing Band and Choir sang songs of comfort and hope.

Tributes read by wife Alice; and the three surviving children described Dr Turkson as loving, leader, visionary, keen sportsman, writer, and very dedicated to the task he was entrusted with.

There were other tributes from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Faculty of Law, siblings, the Monday Class of the St Paul’s Methodist Church, the National Population Council, among others.

In his life time, Dr Turkson served among others as Technical Expert attached to the Department of Law, University of Mauritius, Member of the Ghana General Legal Council charged with regulating the legal profession in Ghana; External Examiner of Law at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology; National President of the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana and Africa Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Richmond was described as a person with calm, likable disposition as well as an welcoming smile.