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Diasporian News of Friday, 10 March 2017

Source: Ghanaian news

Ghanaians in Toronto Mark 6 March with the Raising of Ghana’s Flag at City Hall.

Braving the cold wintery weather of March 6, 2017, a cross-section of Ghanaians living in and around the commercial capital of Canada, Toronto, gathered at the City Hall to raise the flag of Ghana to commemorate the 60th birthday of our motherland. They included the Acting Ghana’s Head of Mission, Mrs. Florence Akonnor; the Consul General of Ghana in Toronto, Mr. John Bosco; the Executives of the Ghanaian Canadian Association of Ontario (GCAO); Chiefs and Queens of the Ghanaian community; the Old Ghanaian Soldiers Association of Toronto and Cpl. George Mintah of Canadian Forces Environmental Medicine Establishment, Toronto ; the Ghanaian Ethnic media; some local Ghanaian businesswomen and some youth of our community. Also present were representatives from City Hall headed by Councilor Michael Ford of Ward 2 Etobicoke North riding.

After a brief welcome address, the Consul General invited Mr. Joe Kingsley Eyiah to offer a prayer to begin the ceremony. The Ghana national anthem was then played while the Ghana flag was hoisted by the Consul General and Mrs. Florence Akonnor, Acting Head of Mission aided by the President of GCAO, Mr. Emmanuel Duodu with the Ghana Ex-servicemen Association of Toronto on guard.

The Acting Head of Mission to Canada, Mrs. Florence Akonnor on behalf of Ghana’s mission addressed the function. She used the occasion to briefly trace the path of Ghana’s struggle to independence from British colonial rule; and the significance of the flag raising ceremony. Mrs. Akonnor mentioned that the struggle for independence started with a protracted nationalist campaign launched by our forebears in the then Gold Coast in 1947.

She said, “A turning point of the nationalist struggle was when Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of blessed memory came on board the struggle, with radical political ideas after twelve years of study in USA and Great Britain, to advance the process of independence for the Gold Coast.” That, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was able to mobilize popular support to declare independence, and re-named the country GHANA after the ancient Ghana Empire!

On the importance of the flag raising ceremony, she said, “On 6th March, 1957 a new Ghana was born and the British flag, the Union Jack, was lowered for the last time, and a new national flag Red, Gold, Green with a Black Star was hoisted to symbolize freedom and right to self-determination. This event brought great excitement and hope that has endured among Ghanaians to date.”
Mrs. Akonnor then thanked the Mayor of Toronto, John Tory and the Toronto City Hall for giving Ghanaians in the city the exceptional opportunity and honor to hoist the Ghana flag on the Courtesy Pole of the City of “this dynamic and culturally diversified City of Toronto.”

Councilor Michael Ford, on behalf of Mayor Tory and the City of Toronto praised Ghanaians living in the municipality for their contributions towards building viable communities within Toronto. He then likened the 60th Independence Anniversary of Ghana to that of Canada’s 150th Independence Anniversary this year and asked for greater co-operation between the two countries which won their independence from the same colonial masters-the British, to bring development and political as well as economic freedom to our peoples wherever they are.

A poem crafted on the Independence was performed by Nana Yaa Yeboah, author, spoken word artist and storyteller, at the function. The vote of thanks was rendered by Wofa Yaw Nyarko, the immediate past President of the GCAO.