It was celebration galore, Monday, at the Festac Grammar School Class of 1998 alumni dinner and awards night as members converged to rejoice and share memories of their days in the school.
The event, organised as the maiden edition of an annual get-together party, held at Rockview Hotel, 23 Road, Festac Town, Lagos.
Tagged “Home Coming Party”, the event witnessed the coming together of old classmates and friends who have gone ahead to record numerous life accomplishments in their various fields.
Eighteen years after they graduated from the school in 1998. It was also put together to recognise outstanding staff and students of the school.
Anchored by Mazino Appeal, ex-Smooth FM on-air personality and a 1998 alumni, the event kicked-off around 4:25 p.m. after members of the association had been ushered in and the stage set. A
short prayer session was observed followed by a recitation of the school anthem, led by current students of the school.
Invited guests and other dignitaries present were introduced afterwards.
The red carpet session had begun a few minutes earlier and members took time to take group pictures with former classmates. Others exchanged witty banters with their old friends backstage.
A DAY TO RELAX, NETWORK
In his address, Adekunle Osobu, the president of the association, stated that the purpose of organising the get-together was to provide members with an avenue to relax, unwind and ‘network’.
“Today is a day to relax and network among ourselves. This is to give us opportunity to move to the next level,” he said.
Taking members down memory lane, Mr. Osobu described the school as the most prestigious secondary school in Festac then. He urged members to always remember their alma mater and strive to give back to the institution that produced them.
“The white uniform was a sign of prestige in those days,” the alumni
For Agbor Gerald, the Chairman, Board of Directors, BOD, the gathering was for recognition of current outstanding students and staff of the school.
He added that a monetary prize has also been arranged for each of the students and staff selected for recognition.
Speaking on the projections of the association, Mr. Gerald said that there are plans to execute numerous community development projects in the coming year. He said the projects include visitation to orphanage homes, control of traffic light in and around Festac area, visitation
to general hospitals to offset bills incurred by the less privileged, among other projects.
He also enjoined alumni members to contribute their dues, stressing that the association is now fully registered and members would be expected to pay an annual due of N10,000 beginning
from January 2017.
Commenting on the essence of the get-together, the BOD chairman urged members to network and synergise with one another for their individual and collective development.
“Share your business contacts and your networking reach. Synergize with one another; that is why we are here,” he said. “We need the support of one another to succeed.”
One major side attraction of the event was the presentation of books by two alumni members, Babatunde Raimi and Ahamefula Mark.
Mr. Raimi’s book, titled “Planning your retirement”, dwelt on the need for Nigerian youth to prepare for their retirement while still actively in service.
Commenting on the book, the author said he was inspired to write the book because his father died a poor man.
Mr. Raimi, who disclosed that he is already retired at 38, said the book had received rave reviews from respected academics and professionals.
He also urged the audience to take its contents seriously.
“I gathered all my experience into that book. All I want young people to realise is that the time to prepare for their retirement is now,” he told PREMIUM TIMES in an interview.
On its part, Mr. Ahamefula’s book focused on inspirational messages that would make young professionals become better thinkers.
Titled “The Better Man”, the 34-page book dwelt on issues that could help people wake up inspired every day and operate in a way that their ideas are driven by their talents.
Both books were sold at the rate of N1,000 each.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
The main highlight of the event was the presentation of awards to outstanding staff and current students of the school. The session was moderated by the duo of Messrs. Gerald and Mazino.
Students and staff awarded include M. Okunade (Bomafaa Pedro award for the most
outstanding teacher in Festac Senior Grammar School 2016); Eucharia Udo (Gerald Azonbo award for most outstanding female student in Festac Senior Grammar School); and Paul Dabo ( Gerald Azonobo award for most outstanding male student in Festac Senior Grammar School).
Other winners are Okunbanjo Israel (Idris Akinbajo award for overall best student in Festac Senior Grammar School) and M.L Okunade (Bomafaa Pedro award for the most outstanding teacher in Festac Senior Grammar School 2016).
The biggest prize of the night was FGSCAA’s award for the most outstanding teacher in Festac Grammar School 1998, which went to Mr. Okeke.
While speaking with PREMIUM TIMES after the award presentation, the duo of Okunbanjo Israel and Paul Dabo thanked the organisers of the award. They also enjoined other students of the school to work hard to attain success in their academics.
“I will advise other students to put in more efforts and pray hard,” Mr. Dabo told PREMIUM TIMES.
One interesting moment at the event was what was termed the ‘throwback moment’, an avenue for members to regale the audience with stories of their days in the school and recollect fond memories of the time spent with friends.
Members responded by telling different tales of interesting moments spent. Others recollected names of classmates and teachers who impacted them.
“Okeke and Kabiyesi’s cane was memorable,” the programme anchor, Mazino, said amidst laughter.
Dinner was served afterwards and, having exchanged contact and banter, members of the association were invited to the podium for the cutting of cake. Group pictures were taken on the podium, too.
In an interview with PREMIUM TIMES after the event, the president of the association, Adekunle Osobu, described the event as a success.
Mr. Osobu however urged alumni members to intensify their efforts on giving back to the school that nurtured them.
Commenting on the huge turnout of members, the president said it was impressive and advised members to continue to identify with the school.
“It is quite impressive for a set of 1998. And we started this meeting
just a year ago. We have over hundred persons in there.”
While delivering her vote of thanks, the Vice Principal of Festac Grammar School, O.O Lawson, enjoined the association members to
monitor the progress of the school. She also urged them to allow their
wards attend the school. She however described the event as laudable
and urged members to continue to give back to the school.
“On Childrens’ day, your set gave us N50,000 and a printer; we appreciate it. I can tell you that no set has ever come up with what you have done,” Mrs. Lawson told the alumni members.
“You have been a wonderful set.”