It was a joyous celebration for the Chairman and Members of the University Of Calabar Alumni Association, Ika Chapter, as they joined one of their Senior Malabite; Mr. Kogwuonye Michael Ike and his family to thank God for a successful retirement from the Civil Service after 35 Years of Meritorious Service to his fatherland.
The Thanksgiving Mass which took place on Sunday, September 6, 2020, at the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Power line, Boji Boji Owa, Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State; was to appreciate God for His grace, protection, guidance and direction over Mr. Kogwuonye Michael, for the past 35 years in service and asking for God’s continuous direction and blessings all the days of his life.
In a brief exhortation, the Parish Priest, Rev. Father Benjamin Okafor, who spoke on the message, “Love Is The Fulfilling Of The Law”, took his Bible reading from the books of Romans 13:8-10 and Matthew 18:15-20.
Admonishing the congregation, he stated that God has made them to be Watchmen for one another, explaining that they are responsible for whatever happens to any of their brethren, because as individuals they are gods to each other. Continuing, he urged the gathering to live and relate in love, for in love they will find peace and unity; emphasizing that it is in love that the commandment of God is being fulfilled. While outlining the characteristics of a Watchman, he stated that the Watchman or woman is that person standing in the midst to warn the people about an impending danger; disclosing that God has placed every individual as a Watchman in their profession and in their various families.
Speaking further, he stated that a Watchman must be someone who is prayerful, one that can communicate effectively with God; the Watchman must be a loving man a loving woman, who during fraternal correction to an earring member must be done in Love.
Rev. Father Okafor, warned parents not to push their children/wards to anger so that they will not become violent. He urged the gathering not to lose confidence on anyone. He however, noted that in every human society there is bound to be conflicts, but when properly harnessed; it will always lead to positive change, peace and progress in the society.
Highpoint of the ceremony was the Special Thanksgiving offering by Mr. Kogwuonye Michael and his family, who were accompanied by the “Great Malabites and Malabresses”, with other well wishers who in praise and worship danced on their toes to the beautiful song rendition by the church choir as they appeared before the Altar of God to thank Him for His grace and benevolence.
At the reception party which took place at the Power line residence of the celebrant, invited guests, family members and everyone who graced the occasion were lavishly entertained with sumptuous meals and choice drinks.
In a chat with Ika Mirror Newspaper reporter shortly after the evergreen event, Mr. Kogwuonye .M. I., thanked God for His bountiful blessings upon him and his family. Recounting his experience during the service years, said, “It was wonderful, there were ups and down but I was able to conquer. I started the job on September 2, 1985, and I rose to the rank of Principal Excellent; a position that Principals can rise to in Delta State. I thank God; although there was a lot of hurdles but I surmounted them and to the glory of God, I achieved my aims and purposes in life as a Principal of Schools”.
He appreciated everyone who honoured his invitation for the successful retirement thanksgiving service, especially members of the Great University of Calabar Alumni Association, who came out in their numbers. He urged them to always be focused in their pursuits, believing that with God on their side, Victory is sure. Mr. Kogwuonye, prayed God to bless them and grant them journey mercies to their various destinations.
Speaking with Ika Mirror Newspaper reporter, Mr. John Idon, the Chairman of the University Of Calabar Alumni Association, Ika Chapter, who was all smiles, said he was very happy and grateful to God for making it possible for the Senior Malabite to work and be retired in good health; noting that there are several of his colleagues whom they started the job together but were unable to get to retirement.
Continuing, he advised members of the Noble Association to always be committed and dedicated to their jobs and to continually pray to God to sustain their lives to enable them attain the age of retirement.
Rev. Father Benjamin Okafor
Mr. & Mrs. Kogwuonye M. I. (middle) with members of his family in a group photograph
Members of UNICAL Alumni in a group photograph with Mr. & Mrs. Kogwuonye and their children
Members of UNICAL Alumni in a group photograph with Mr. & Mrs. Kogwuonye M. I. (middle)