Several years after it was introduced, the Joy FM Skuuls Reunion, arguably Ghana’s biggest outdoor event, continues to inspire the spirit of giving back to one’s alma mater.
With barely a month to this year’s event, former students of Bishop Herman College (Bihecans), are setting aside three days to honour the most celebrated Ghanaian headmaster of the College, Monsignor J. B. Eleeza who is affectionately called Amakpa on his 80 th birthday, which falls on October 3.
The three- day event which will also serve as a ‘Homecoming’ is slated for October 3-5 on the College campus at Kpando. It will also be used to interact with the current crop of students and staff.
Monsignor Eleeza was the second headmaster of the College after taking over from the late Monsignor Cornelis ‘Kodzo’ Priems, a Dutch missionary who was the founding headmaster. His 16 years as Headmaster of Bishop Herman College from 1975-1991 was characterized by discipline and a strong drive for learning and academic excellence. He earned the nickname Amakpa (leaf in Ewe) after he had introduced green leafy vegetables into the menu of the College, when he was the school chaplain and teacher in charge of meals.
“Amakpa’ had several sayings and slogans with which he motivated us to aspire to higher heights, prominent among them is ‘determination to succeed in spite of all difficulties’. His dedication to work, which was unmatched, reflected in the various types of registers including farm, night studies and mass attendance registers,he kept on students and “our testimonials and terminal report comments were reflections of those registers”, recounted Cornelius Adedze, an Old Boy working with Third World Network-Africa.
The Monsignor, who in 2012 celebrated the 50 th anniversary of his ordination as a priest, is also noted for his simplicity. “He was almost always dressed in cassock unless when he was on the farm where he wore a jeans jacket and a pair of khaki trousers and in some cases white shirt and green khaki shorts’, Ernest Afram, another old boy working with HFC Bank also stated.
Thousands of former students, as well as former students of Ho- based OLA Secondary School, Bishop Herman College’s official sister school are expected in Kpando for the celebrations.
President of the Bishop Herman Old Boys Union (BHOBU) Edem Kpodo, said the decision to celebrate the former headmaster is to recognize his selfless contribution to the College. He said it will also motivate the current and future headmasters to work hard, knowing that they would be celebrated if they excel.
He said as part of the celebrations, the Old Boys will have a career guidance session with the students and also use the opportunity to network and discuss ways of increasing their support to the alma mater.
Bishop Herman College, the first secondary school established by the Catholic Church in the Volta Region was founded on February 28, 1952. The college was named after the famous Bishop of the then Lower Volta Vicariate of the Catholic Church, Bishop Auguste Herman, a Frenchman from the Alsace-Lorraine region of France. His personal motto, Sicut Miles Christi (As a soldier of Christ) was also chosen as the motto of the school. It remains one of the best second cycle institutions in the country.
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