Ladies of the prestigeous FGGC ABULOMA Alumni association made headines recently in Houston, TX as they convened in Honor of their fellow Alumni, Ex Miss World, Agbani Darego .
The former beauty Queen was presented with the Most Distinguished Alumni Award . In her welcome address, Alumni Coordinator, Joy Onyeukwu said the Award was well deserved as Agbani not only made the Nigeria proud with her winning of the Miss World Pageant in 2001 but the Alumni in Diaspora.
“The MissWorld Pageant is one of the most prestigious Pageants in the World. We are proud to identify with our very own Agbani Darego as the 51st Beauty Queen of the Competition. Yes, its been 10 years but for life, her name will always be remembered. Her win made History and serves as inspiration to the many young Nigerians and African ladies with aspirations for the MissWorld title.
Today we are glad to come together and give honour to whom it is due.”
As she collected her award,in her soft spoken voice, Agbani told the audience it was an honor to receive the Most Distinguished Alumni Award.
“Its a great honor to be here tonight but an even greater honor to receive this award from my peers. This award will hold a special place in my heart next to the memories of Abuloma. Thank you.”
In a greeting message signed by Texas State Governor, Rick Perry and First Lady Anita Perry, the Governor welcomed the Alumni to the State of Texas and expressed their well wishes to the Alumni on their Reunion.
The Honourable Mayor of the City of Houston, Mayor Annisse D Parker also extended a warm welcome to the Alumni.In her letter, she commended Federal Government Girls College, Abuloma for prvoviding education to the girls of Rivers State and beyond. She cited that the school had produced notable women in the society including Wife of the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Lady Judith Amaechi and Former MissWorld, Agbani Darego.
She also thanked the Alumni for their continued support as they hosted their Reunion event in the City of Houston.
The evening was a fun filled event as the Ladies reminisced on their schoolmemories. Mrs. Ebele Owo (nee Obi-Ofodile),an ex-roommate of the Beauty Queen threw the room into a fit of laughter as she recounted how the former always had a convenient excuse each time they were called for punishment.
“Anytime they wanted to purnish us, Agbani always had an excuse to get out of the purnishment. Each time it was an excuse of dismenorreah which Agbani deliberately used because she knew Room Heads or School Predects did not know the meaning of the word and because it sounded like a big medical problem, they always let her go.”
The programme proceeded with an informative and lively panel discussion with audience participation from members of the Alumni.
Chaired by Ms.Geraldine Anyanwu from the Pioneer graduating class of ‘81, it centered on the various ways Alumni in diaspora could contribute to improve the School. She stressed the need for a Bore-Hole system to be installed in the School to enable the young ones have clean drinking water.
She recounted that in her days at Abuloma, they enjoyed the best amenities. “We didn’t need to go out of the school to fetch water. All we had to do was to turn in our Buckets and it would be returned to us filled to the brim. We also had air-conditioned school buses designated to take the students to the main city when we needed to go shopping. Its sad that those luxuries are no longer available.”
In response to her remark, Alumni Coordinator, Joy Onyeukwu mentioned that during her time at the school, they had to walk miles to the neighbouring village to fetch water. “Looking back, I can say it was a form of exercise for us. Carrying that bucket on my head really helped in toning my arms so I can’t say I regret those days but, times are different now,With the frequent Rape stories we hear these days; it is no longer safe for our young girls to be sent wandering into the villages for water. Agreeably, the responsibility for the upkeep of the school lies withthe Federal Government but today, I stand inspired by the words of Martin Luther King, Jr “Ask not what the Government can do for FGGC Abuloma rather, our question is, what the Alumni can do collectively in restoring the lost glory of our Alma Mater. “
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