A RE-UNION OF 31 YEARS OF BEING APART

It was a moment of recollection of old faces; good memories of the past and reflecting on moments when the minds were still innocent and too naïve to understand what the bigger picture of future looks like.

The most genuine period of a lifetime, when destiny pulled and connected the young and naturals together and afterwards with the eventual dispatch to the unknown world of realities beyond the walls of mortal classrooms and playgrounds, we all explored. At long last, the social media, now available, was able to bring together personalities that were once physically together for minimum of five years together again after thirty-one years of individual sojourn. This union brought together old mates from across continents of the world and from the nooks and crannies of Nigeria.

Orogun Grammar School set of 89 members came together on the 16 January 2021, to celebrate the second re-union with a get-together party. This gave a reflection of past moments of their youthful days and the reality of today as grown adults. At the sight of one another, attendees immediately became the very youth they once were. This was the only way to reconnect and remember themselves. The good, the bad and the ugly but fascinating memories of that time. These were the better part of the fun and interesting thought that engulfed their moments.

According to Etomi Egbeama, the General Coordinator of the association, the idea all began during the gathering of few members of the alma mater at the residence of a valuable asset to the union, Ifeanyi Akim the current deputy general coordinator of the group. Present at the gathering then also were Amos Chinedu, Etomi Egbeama, Paulinus Etafor, Noble Kowu, Jimoh Audu and Femi Awopetu. Having about six members of this group which has now grown to over fifty (50) members, the idea to locate old colleagues to form a solid union became a thing at that gathering and was pursued vigorously.

Thanks to the dedicated and believers of this vision as well as the social media that has made the world a global village. Little drops of water which make an ocean paved way to the new reality witnessed last Saturday at the Trans Amusement Park, Ibadan. After a journey of thirty-one years of being apart pursuing different goals in life and travelling from one end to another, an idea which was at the beginning in finding lost mates, a discouraging exercise where some members were found and then lost again due to coordination challenges, is today a huge success when on August 8, 2020, a proper coordination of the tasks ahead were delegated to members to handle different portfolios. The meeting produced: Etomi Egbeama as general coordinator, Ifeanyi Akim as the deputy. Others are Ayodele Adegunle secretary, Audu Jimoh internal auditor, Funke Akande treasurer, Kazeem Oladejo project manager and Shola Philips previously known as Shola Morakinyo, the financial secretary.

The idea to delegate specific people to handle the various activities outlined, led to the proper functioning of the association with respects to finding other group members through various contact means available and more importantly, restoring hope in every member found that the rest of the members would soon be part of the body. The bigger picture at the point was the expectation of members to get to know the whereabout of others and to be our brother and sister’s keeper.

While the eagerness to see others became the norm of the day, the newly formed group began to think of impacting the Alma Mater, Orogun Grammar School which is located in the ancient city of Ibadan, Oyo State-Nigeria. It is about five minutes’ drive from the first university in West Africa, University of Ibadan.

The activities of the group became divided in three key areas; the need to find old mates; the need to help find solution to the many challenges faced by the school and see to member’s welfare. It was at this point that the group executive members met with the school management to discuss areas of interest and the contribution for financial help made to a member of the group.

One of the steps taken to help the school was the renovation of some dilapidated classrooms. Members were requested to make contributions in kind and cash. Immense, diverse and collective experience gained over the years were brought to bear and as a result, it was very easy to get the work underway. The number of members is growing on a daily basis and there is so much commitment to deliver on the promises made.

While still seeking for other old mates to come on board, the association also expresses its gratitude to all members who have contributed in one way or the other to see the fruition of earlier goals, plans and the bringing on of members together under one roof for celebration. It is indeed a good success and according to their common voice, the task ahead has just started.

Written by Okhaimor Affar
Edited by Mayowa Oyedele

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