At Class 77 reunion, GCU head teacher tasks alumni on infrastructural development

Principal, Government College Ughelli (GCU), Evangelist Godspower Odenema has commended the 1977 set of the school for contributing immensely to its development.

Odenema who spoke at the 40th reunion grand dinner of the Class of ‘77 held at the school’s assembly hall, tasked them to sponsor projects that would further add to the infrastructural development of the college.

As part of the proposed infrastructural development, the principal identified the construction of staff quarters (ten rooms and parlors-self contain); procurement and installation of streetlights along the road networks of GCU and repair of all the six mono pumps in Oleh, Ashaka, Sapele, Warri and Forcados houses.

Areas of need include: The completion of the Orerokpe house master’s residential quarters being built by the school and Parent, Teacher Association (PTA); procurement of a new school bus; renovation of the wood/metal workshop, renovation of Agbarho and Obiaruku houses among others.

He said: “When my employers deployed me to GCU on the recommendation of the National Executive Council of GCUOBA, I promised my God that I will do everything humanly possible to make this school better than I met. I prepared a development template which I am meticulously implementing.”

The chairman of the occasion, Captain Bob Hayes who is the first Nigerian pilot and a product of GCU expressed joy that the school was living up to the expectations of its founding father, V.B.V. Powell.

Hayes, represented by retired General Obada, said: “With the solid foundation of the highest standards of character and learning, it is no surprise that the products of the college are champions in their chosen endeavors.

“This happens to be the first time I am visiting the college since I graduated from here in the early 1950s. But somehow, I have never completely lost sight of my beloved GCU, as all through my 40 years of flying aircraft, which debuted at the age of 19, I made it a habit to drop the plane low enough each time I was flying past this area, so I could take a good look at the school. It is an experience that always evoked lasting nostalgic memories in me.”

The head boy for the 978-1979 set, Moses Arumemi-Johnson spoke on The Challenges of Stewardship: An Expository Account of my GCU Experience as Head of School.

He remarked: “We got this education in Nigeria paying minimal fee. Our parents invested in our training, so did Nigeria. Looking back now, I would say times were not bad. However, money, as always, was in short supply for most of our parents; they continued to have belief, faith and hope in us; supporting us throughout.”

He noted that core principles of duty, service, organisation, discipline and leadership were the watch words that enabled various achievements in the school stating that these keys enhanced their ability to meet various government policy and agenda while delivering better outcomes.

Arumemi, however, urged the present students to stop, think and reflect in all they do, adding: “The school rules and regulations are there for a reason. In most cases, they are in place to enhance your productivity and efficiency. The training and learning you are getting now at GCU, will always stand you in good stead in your later years. So, please embrace it with purpose and zeal. You are in capable hands within the best environment possible.”

The reunion ended with an inter-denominational thanksgiving service on Sunday October 29, 2017.

The GCU’77ers, with Mr Cyril Ogude as Chairman  of the Reunion Planning Committee had, in their deliberations on the social media, articulated several intervention projects they would embark on to add value to the institution while also resolving that the get-together would avail them an on-the-ground assessment of the state of the school’s infrastructure, with a view to rendering reinforcement support where needed.

A bouquet of activities was lined up to make the reunion a memorable experience. They included daily physical exercises, a business session, general inspection of the college building and equipment infrastructure, lunch and interactive sessions with the staff and students as well as a novelty football match, among others exciting activities. The reuniting classmates were decked in the prevailing college wears corresponding to every period of the day, including badged uniforms and sportswears.

As aforementioned, there was also a Grand Gala Dinner under the chairmanship of Captain Hayes, OON (GCU Class of 1948 who is also Chairman, GCUOBA-UK Branch). The Guest Speaker was Arumemi-Johnson while the Special Guest of Honour was Hon. Chinedu Ebie, Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Delta State of Nigeria.



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