- By Anayo Ezugwu
ANTHONY Akaeze, journalist with Tell magazine, Lagos, has initiated a prize for Best Graduating Student in St. Patrick College, Emene, Enugu. Akaeze, who graduated from St Patrick in 1990, said the prize was his own way of giving back to the school that moulded him.
At the inaugural award on Thursday, November 30, Akaeze said St Patrick’s played a critical role in his formative years, so, it’s payback time. The award winning journalist said life shouldn’t be about just receiving and expecting favour, it should also be about giving back.
“In the last twenty-seven years since graduating from St Patrick’s Secondary School, Emene, now St Patrick’s College, Emene, I had, prior to this moment, visited the school two times. The first was in 1998 when I came to collect my certificate on my way to pursuing a university education, and the second was in 2015 when I arrived on a sight visit. This third visit, however, is for me, the real homecoming.
“The truth is that, although I graduated from St Patrick’s in 1990, the school never left me. There are times when I simply look back on my days here and think how really privileged I am to have passed through this school, and wondering whether there’s any way I could show appreciation to it. I remember Reverend Bro. F. P. Okeke, the school principal, a great administrator and disciplinarian of the first order, Mrs. Ubani, Literature teacher, Mr Madu, Dom Aziude, Mathematics teacher and Mrs Bridget Ibe, English Language teacher.
“In respect to this prize, which carries a value of N30,000 for now, it is simply my humble way of identifying with my alma mater which I consider an extension of my family. Whichever way we look at it, family takes precedence for the end is inextricably linked to the beginning. St Patrick’s marked my first major beginning in life in terms of knowledge acquisition and I consider it both an honour and privilege to institute this prize which I hope will outlive me. I believe I owe it to the school, after all, whatever I may be today, and whatever I hope to be, it’s thanks to St Patrick’s as I think that the real foundation of my life was laid here,” he said.
Akaeze used the opportunity to congratulate the Okolo William Chibuoke, winner of the inaugural award. He urged him to go on to achieve greater success in life and fly the banner of the illustrious school as a worthy ambassador. He also advised other students not to give up on their dreams, no matter the odds.
On his part, Father Chijioke Eze, principal of the school, thanked Akaeze for remembering the school. He said the award was geared towards picking the best student in the West African Examination Council, WAEC, and appreciating him with a cash award. He stated that he noticed Akaeze’s interest in his alma mater when he paid an unscheduled visit a couple of years ago and since then they have been on talking terms.
According to him, the award coincided with the launch of the school magazine, the Patriarch, and orientation for new students. “Today we are celebrating a tripartite event: first is the orientation of our 2017/18 new students. It is said that if there is no graduation, there will be no matriculation. Life is also mainly about birth and death. In this college we are privileged to maintain an unbroken tradition of experiencing admission and graduation each academic year. Second in our celebration today is the solemn unveiling and launching of the 6th edition of our college magazine, The Patriarch.
“Finally, third in our celebration today is the inauguration and award of Anthony Akaeze Prize for the best graduating student in St Patrick College Emene. This programme is first of its kind in the history of this great college. Anthony Akaeze is noble SPACO Old boy currently making waves as the senior associate editor of the prestigious TELL Magazine,” he said.
– Dec 8, 2017 @ 17:45 GMT |