From Mokwugwo Solomon, Nnewi

Members of the Old Girls’ Association of Loretto Special Science School, Adazi- Nnukwu, in Anocha Local Government Area of Anambra State, will not forget 2020 in a hurry, like every other person in the world.

For that, they slated a day of thanksgiving recently in Awka, the state capital. That day was really special and remarkable as members of the Anambra State chapter of the association came from far and near, and from all walks of life, to thank God in grand style for seeing them through a turbulent 2020.

The reunion and thanksgiving at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, GRA, Awka, attracted, among other people, president of the group, Dr. Jane Ezeonu, and her husband, Prof. Emeka Ezeonu; national vice-president of the association, Dr. Ada Okeke, former manager of the school, Rev. Fr. Francis Udeh; Nollywood star, Bob Manuel Udokwu; president of Rotary Club of Awka, Somadina Okweluogu, and many old students who represented different sets that passed through the school.

President of the old students, Dr. Ezeonu, said the event was organised to appreciate God for preserving members through the turbulent years, especially 2020, which, according to her, came with myriads of challenges. She said that God was faithful in answering the prayers of the association and in preserving all members throughout the period of COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges that came with the year.

Ezeonu also saw the get-together as special opportunity to reunite members after a long time of separation, adding that the gathering of old girls was very important as it availed members the platform to interact and seek areas of mutual cooperation and assistance among them.

She said: “The association has a series of projects lined up for 2021, which will incorporate welfare packages for widows, orphans and the downtrodden in society. The association has cause to help humanity.

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“Our association has a ‘think home’ agenda geared towards giving back to our alma mater that made us who we are in society today.  The strength of our association lies in the unity of our members; therefore, all of us should be fully committed to the visions and missions of this association.”

Dr. Okeke described the thanksgiving and reunion the first of its kind. She said: “We have to thank God for being among the survivors of the year and for his benevolence and love towards us. God has been the strength of this association.”

In his homily during the thanksgiving mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, GRA, Awka, assistant manager of Loretto Special Science School, Adazi-Nnukwu, Fr. Michael Obi, tasked Christians on the importance of thanksgiving, as against grumbling and complaining.

“2020 was a nightmare of a year, when Christians were subjected to all sorts of hardship and persecution. For this reason, many Christians, who had received Holy Communion have drifted from God’s presence. They have resorted to grumbling and complaining, as against thanksgiving for God’s unending love. This should not be the case. We must embrace thanksgiving, no matter the circumstances,” the priest advised.

Chairman on the occasion, Dr. Chioma Awuzie Odidika, a board of trustee member of the association, extolled the efforts of the executive members of the association for organising the programme that brought the old girls together, after years of separation.

Bob-Manuel Udokwu admonished participants, especially parents, to stop influencing their children’s career choice. He noted that, most times, children understand their talents, but their parents block them from their visions in preference for high-sounding professions. He warned that posterity would judge or blame parents, if they failed to give their children the chance to pursue their talents.

The special get-together, which later held at the Geo-Gold Hotel, Awka, was a moment of reminiscences as members interacted with one another, did some catch-up and also forged the way forward for the association.