——as Archbishop Ibezim tasks old boys
Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
Penultimate weekend precisely Saturday 12th October, 2019 was great at Bishop Crowther Seminary, Awka as the Old Boys Association drew crème de la crème of the society to join them in the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Seminary amidst pomp and ceremony. It was a gathering of great achievers and gentlemen who have done well for themselves and the society.
Delivering his sermon a thanksgiving service at the seminary from the book of 1Corinthians 3 vs 7- 17, the Anglican Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Alexander Chibuzor Ibezim PhD, advised Christians to be labourers for God, so as to harvest the things that God made for his labourers, adding that, most people have sickle in their hand but don’t utilize it in the vineyard of the lord.
Bishop Ibezim commended the principal of the seminary, Venerable Dr Nnamdi Emendu, the Chairman of the Board of the Seminary Dr Sir Emma Emelumadu and 12 man national executive committee of the Bishop Crowther Seminary Worldwide led by the President Worldwide, Dr Churchill Okonkwo for their dedication and commitment in uplifting the seminary to become one of the best schools in Anambra state and South-East at large. He as well commended the PTA chairman, Mr Preston Madu and the 34 member 40th anniversary planning committee led by chairman, Chuka Umenne. The chaplain Rev (Pharm) Clement Izuegbe was not left out.
The Anglican Bishop who is also the proprietor of the Bishop Crowther seminary school said that one must endure suffering to gain the fullness of blessings from God. He said that Jesus Christ has been the foundation of the Bishop Crowther seminary, but insisted that individuals can be used to lay a strong foundation where other people can benefit, adding,” there is no other foundation. Jesus is the foundation. If you trace the history of the school, you will notice that the pioneer set of students suffered a lot to get to their present height of today.”
He however commended the management team for the good work they have done in the school including working in close contact with the PTA which has brought rapid turnaround of the fortunes of the teachers and students through the building of ultra-modern staff quarters within the school even as the conducive study environment of the school today is borne out of the efforts by the management to fully utilize the resources at their disposal.
Bishop Ibezim who is also the Archbishop of Province on the Niger warned the school management against the development of shops in front of the school gate as it will only distract the students from giving their best in the school. He said that efforts should be made to stop things that would endanger the discipline being imparted in the students of the school while he stressed on the need for an extension site of the Bishop Crowther Junior seminary to ease the population of students.
He also said: “Here in Bishop Crowther, there is zero tolerance and Homosexuality. There is no corruption. We want to make this place what it should be; a place for sound academic learning where cultism and immorality is not tolerated. We don’t want the discipline in this place to be tampered with the madness outside”
Also speaking at the event, the Former Dean, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Maxwell Anikwenwa commended the management of the Bishop Crowther junior seminary stressing on the need to resuscitate cricket game in the school. He informed that the school was named after Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther of the blessed memory.
Speaking to our reporter, an old boy from 1972 set, Comrade Igbokwe Samuel, said that the anniversary is an opportunity to address some of the challenges facing the school. He advised the students to take their studies serious and be obedient to the school rules and regulation so that they can learn the morals that will help them cope with the life after school.
Member Representing Awka South and North Federal Constituency, Hon Sam Onwuaso commended the management of the seminary led by Venerable Emendu, Phd for championing serious learning and morals in the seminary even as he reassured the Bishop of Awka Anglican diocese , Ibezim, PhD that he would continue to support the Seminary in any way possible and donated N200,000 .
From Bishop Crowther Alumni in North America , BANA-North America (USA and Canada), BANA led by Dr Chukwudi Buchi Ufondu, they appreciated the zealous and dedicated teachers of the school who gave everything for their sake, assuring that they would continue to support projects in the seminary.
International President of Bishop Crowther Seminary Awka, Dr Churchill Okonkwo in his address reiterated that the Old Boys are committed at sustaining the ideals of the founding fathers, noting that they are targeting making Bishop Crowther Seminary the most sort after post primary school in Nigeria. He called on all and sundry to be part of making the seminary a destination point by its Golden Jubilee.
Chairman , 40th Anniversary planning committee , Chuka Umenne and PTA Chairman, Mr Preston Madu pin pointed different roles the committee and PTA played to see the success of the 40th anniversary of the seminary, appreciating the high standard of education in the seminary championed by management led by Ven Emendu, as supported by his wife Mrs Ebele Emendu. They appealed for more support including landscaping the seminary compound and equipping the science laboratories as well as providing the seminary a bus for the students.
In his address, the Principal Bishop Crowther Seminary, Awka, Venerable Nnamdi Bennett Emendu, PhD thanked the Proprietor of the seminary, Most Rev Alex C. Ibezim, PhD, for his love for education particularly for the seminary as it has contributed to the physical, moral and spiritual standard of the school.
Ven Emendu who is one of the pioneer students of the seminary said the journey of the school started some 40 years ago precisely on 18th September, 1979, reminding that the pioneer Principal late Ven Dr J.P.C. Okeke nurtured, cared and tutored them, hence they were all successful today. He recalled that in their era, that Bishop Crowther was the best school in the entire Eastern region of Nigeria in terms of academic, discipline, and service to God.
He regretted lack of equipment in the Introductory Technology workshop built several years ago and appealed for support in equipping the workshop. He reminded how Canon E.E. Ekwenchi instructed him as a teacher then to mobilize and form the Old Boys Association in 1988. He said Bishop Crowther is reigning all over the world in Cricket courtesy of Sir Victor Obidike who introduced it to the school. He noted that Bishop Crowther Junior seminary Awka was changed to Bishop Crowther seminary, Awka during Obidike’s regime.
The Principal said the school has conducive environment for learning and teaching, hence it has continued to garner excellent results in all external examinations (BECE, WASSCE, NECO and JAMB) and excelled too in games like football, cricket, chess, scrabble, athletics, table tennis, volley ball etc, adding that 9 of their students represented Anambra state in cricket, Athletics and scrabble games in Kwara state.
He said the school has other extra-curricular activities like Boys Brigade, Press Club, Dramatic Literary and Debating Society, Cultural society, Jet clubs, choir , Bible society etc, adding that the students face competitions like STAN science competition, MAN mathematics competition, SPARK National Science Competition, National ICT Olympiads, Chemistry competition organized by Science Chemical Engineers, UBA essay competition, Cowbell Mathematics competition , Awka diocesan quiz to mention but a few. The good news , he said, they all came out in flying colours.
The Acting Chairman, Bishop Crowther Seminary, Awka Management Committee, Dr Sir Emma Emelumadu in his address said it has been forty years of very impressive and continuous all round growth of structures and people of the school; lauding the school’s impressive academic and sports performances, describing the Principal, Emendu , PhD as a pedigree of the ideals of the founding fathers.
After the 40th anniversary thanksgiving service , presentation of awards and fundraising inside the Archbishop Patterson Memorial Chapel , foundation laying of seminary administrative building by the old boys and dedication of seminary 12 Flats staff quarters built by PTA, and Science laboratory complex/ examination hall as well as the Seminary gate by Archbishop, Province of the Niger and Bishop of Awka, Most Reverend Chibuzor Ibezim, PhD.
Bishop Crowther Seminary, Awka has 11 houses represented by colours –Purple for Emendu House with patron Ven Nnamdi Emendu, PhD; Lemon for Kamto Obi House with patron Ven Dr Kamto Obi; Pink for Joel Akunazobi House with patron Ven Joel Akunazobi; Yellow for Chinedu Onyenekwe House with Patron Prof Chinedu Onyenekwe; Sky Blue for Sir Prince Oduche House with Patron , Sir Prince Oduche.
Others were Blue for Echezona House with patron Barr Echezona Etiaba, SAN; Orange for Barr Uche Okeke House with patron Barr Uche Okeke; Red for Arinze Nnabugwu House with patron Sir Arinze Nnabugwu; Green for Benjamin Echendu House with patron Arch Benjamin O. Echendu; White for DSP Chidi Enukora House with patron Rev D.S.P Chidi Enukora and Cream for Rev Canon and Mrs Basil Orji House with patron Rev Canon and Mrs Basil Orji.
There were six categories of the award ceremony including category A for super outstanding contributions to the 40th anniversary project –Barr Uche Okeke and Mr Uche Umezulorah; category B for very outstanding contribution to their 40th anniversary project –Sir Arinze Nnabugwu, Engr Alford Ukaigwe, Dr Chris Igboamalu, Dr Vincent Ebulue, Prince Onyeka Eze and High Chief Dr Sir Prince Uche Oduche.
Other categories C were as well for outstanding contribution to their 40th anniversary project-Mr Emmanuel Ekwechi, Barr Chinedu Igbokwe, Mr Chuka Umenne, Mr Alex Elebo, Mr Chijioke Oraelosi, and Sir Ikechukwu Umunnnakwe. Category D were posthumous award to Late Ikenna Victor Maduka for his contributions to the anniversary before death snatched him away.
While Category E was for appreciation for outstanding Engineering/ Technical Services in support of 40th anniversary project by Engr Echezona Uchechukwu Akanegbu and a Special category F for appreciation of the great leadership support provided for the 40th anniversary to Dr Churchill .C. Okonkwo.