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Diasporian News of Thursday, 9 March 2006

Source: Emmanuel Atta Adu

Ghanaians in Strasbourg, France celebrate Independence day

Ghanaians in Strasbourg, a city found in the north/eastern part of France last Sunday, the 5th of March, celebrated the 49th anniversary of Ghana's Independence in grande style. A large crowd of Ghanaians of different backgrounds pulled up in traditional dresses and native styles for the occasion, albeit defying the cold weather condition.

It was said to be the most colourful event since the new executive of the Ghanaian Friendship Association took over a little over a year ago.

A special Thanksgiving Service organised by the Association enjoined all the four main Churches in the city. A sermon by Evangelist Seth Boateng of SDA Church took the centre stage. He stressed that any time Jesus Christ leaves a city, he had His disciples and "crowds" following Him. As such, modern-day Christianity should not be seen as a "vehicle for communal rivalries," and consequently, a way to despise the non-Christian. Summarily, Ghanaians should towardly learn and be able to move together irrespective of religious affiliation.

He therefore urged Ghanaians in the diaspora to place development of their native country as a priority by combining their determination and, of necessity, strengthen ties with families back home.

Pastor Kojo Anokye of Divine Church of Christ(DCC) spearheaded prayers for the nation and its leaders and Elders Victor Banahene(Chuch of Pentecost) and David Bekoe(SDA) respectively anchored the prayer line with requests to God to protect all Ghanaians in the diaspora and the nation's future leaders.

A 'Tribute to Mother Ghana' by Miss Leticia Obeng Asante left the entire congregation on its toes, amid shouting and clapping, and was met with a standing ovation as she left the stage. The 20-minute tribute in the form of a recitation by the teenager contained the history of Ghana which dated back from the Bond of 1844 through successive governments to date.

In her speech, the President of the Association, Mrs Vivian Acheampong(at the same time the wife of the headpastor of Bethel Prayer Ministries), pointed out to the whole congregation to make unity the basis of the "Friendship."

She urged Ghanaians present to take a cue from the good old Tetteh Quarshie who brought cocoa to Ghana and Nana Yaa Asantewaa who led the Asantes to fight oppressive rule against our colonial masters. Cited she, these two respective figures set extra-ordinary examples which all must follow. They did not act for their own personal ambitions, but for the unity and development of Ghana. And even decades after their death, their names still remain common in everyday political abnd economic life in modern Ghana.

The service ended with refreshment.