TOWARDS THE CONTRIBUTION OF CAROLEANS TO ST CHARLES SECONDARY SCHOOL, TAMALE BY GODWIN DOAGBODZIE.
Thanks for the many good suggestions put forward so far. I believe more are yet to follow. Silence can be golden! The impression after testing the various schools of thought are informative enough to conclude that the time is ripe for concerted action to be undertaken. Gathering the various forms of thoughts for some time now, it has become necessary that we devise a means of satisfying the suggestions in the manner in which they have been made. The import is to satisfy each and another of these by compressing them into one project. This is the surest and reasonable means possible to satisfy the objectives of well wishers of our alma mater. It has and is becoming common knowledge that the fortunes of the school are waning. There is no doubt about that. It has therefore become necessary for us to come together to formulate a programme of action. Various discussions have been held on this outside this medium. It therefore comes as a coincidence that similar ideas are being expressed by many. Good spirit! It would not be encouraging to go on making only speeches on this. We must act. Since we believe in and respect the dynamism of Caroleans, we deem it appropriate to create a mutual cafeteria to make the project workable. This is what is revolving now by some unplanned accident. It would be satisfying and rewarding to the efforts and energies that would be put in by all. It was eventually realized that we needed to respond to the facets available in succeeding and making our points good and so in planning any project we have been thinking about the action plans. These would involve the type of project, its timing and nature and other related issues. Historical information that everybody may need to know is that before this great and necessary forum, committees were being considered to come up with views and opinions to shape the way forward. Thanks to the views expressed in the same language but only in different words, those committees have been suspended only temporarily. The terms of reference of the committees may face some variations.
Realizing that there was the need to respond to the needs of the school, we had planned to handle the programme in phases so we could meet achievable and attainable goals.
PHASE ONE: (A TWO FOLD APPROACH)
(A) TO MEET THE HEADMASTER OF THE SCHOOL
(B) TO PRESENT SOME ITEMS TO THE SCHOOL
(A) Due to the fact that the headmaster was in charge of the administration of the school and was more likely aware of the problems and challenges we found it necessary to have a discussion with him so as to find out priority areas of need. This was carried out by a one man committee (Mr. Luke Abatania). (In fact we did not have the numbers and this dedicated Carolean had to combine this activity with his official duty in Tamale)
(B) Mr. Peter Bakunfan had actually visited the school prior to the approval of this plan and had personally acquired some electrical gadgets for the school. It was therefore necessary to combine the two events. The trip and gadgets received significant sponsorship from Mr. Peter Bakunfan.
This action was successfully achieved. The needs, in order of priority were for us to attend to the entertainment hall and a class room block. A budget was therefore prepared in that direction. Incidentally, the first enthusiastic mail about the current concerns was released on the day that the figures were going to be circulated. It therefore became necessary that attention should be paid to responses and further comments. So in order to sample views executives have been quiet on these issues for sometime. Thanks for all the contributions; they have been worth paying attention to.
PHASE TWO: TO CIRCULATE A BUDGET
In giving consideration to this phase, it was agreed that the budget could also be denominated in the form of materials required for the project. For example, bags of cement, wood, nails, roofing materials etc. This would make it possible for those who could contribute in kind either than cash or both to do so. The rationale behind this was to contribute towards a target figure and also ensure accountability. The fund would be managed by Caroleans and not the school.
This phase was about to be rolled out. But following the intervention of well meaning Caroleans in the form of comments, it has to be revisited. It is now suggested that Caroleans in Tamale should be given the responsibility of coming out with a revised form of needs and an accompanying budget. At our last meeting Mr. Dominic Dery was considered to lead this crusade. He has followed that up with evidence of photographs and that already confirms his anticipated enthusiasm. This phase of providing a budget for consideration should be achievable within a period of one month.
PHASE THREE: TO INVITE CONTRIBUTIONS
To solicit contributions from Caroleans, far and near into the fund. Initially we proposed a minimum levy of One Million Cedis or One Hundred New Ghana Cedi (¢1,000,000.00 or GH¢ 100.00). Some Caroleans have already pledged beyond this minimum. Though it is not a contest, we approve of payments that can make us achieve beyond what we could achieve. This would require an account number into which payments would be made. A bank account has been opened with Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB), Tetteh Quarshie Circle Branch with account number 1261130004131. International transfers can be made into this account by swift code GHCBHAC quoting Ghana Commercial Bank, the branch and account number and beneficiary address which is PMB 369 Cantonments Accra. Any evidence regarding payment of money into the account should be forwarded to Mr. Mark Ofori Amanfo for purposes of reconciliation and accountability. Receipts would then be issued and sent by scan or mail.
Considering the level of enthusiasm, it is beyond reasonable evidence that we are right there.
PHASE FOUR: DESIGNING A HOMECOMING EVENT
Originally, we had been planning a Home coming event for Caroleans for this year. The event dates was to span not less than three days and was being slated for 3rd to 5th November 2007. This had to be postponed to year 2008 to give room for adequate publicity and travel arrangements for “Diasporaians”. What would be the most opportune time for us to do this? The belief was that the timing of the event will be conclusive and acceptable to majority of us if not all. This was not difficult to arrive at. Considering our history as students and the nostalgia created after our leaving school, the guess could only be based on revisiting events of our patron saints feast day. It was sufficiently considered that this would be approved by Caroleans and so did not require much debate.The month of November was still decided upon for year 2008. Preparations towards this would start immediately.
It was eventually realized that we needed to respond to the facets available in succeeding and making our points good and so in planning this project we are thinking about the action plans. The main objective of the Homecoming is for us to have a physical assessment of the school. Another idea of a Homecoming has been motivated by the fact that, we want the youngest Carolean to meet the most grey haired Carolean if not the oldest. Indeed, these are not conclusive. The fun of it is to sleep where we slept years ago so we can compare the conditions of then and now. We need to improve the living and academic conditions of the school. That’s why we want to go home. Let’s have a homecoming that will be properly patronized with firm spirit. This would be jointly conducted with the current programme of activities probably reaching a finished stage.
Committees have been suggested for the driving of this project. They shall include the following and shall be aided by the adjoining terms of references;
- PUBLICITY AND PROTOCOL
- Publish the event
- Identify Caroleans and communicate the event and its contents to as many as possible
- Coordinate with other committees and give summary of progress
- Source for media coverage
- Suggest sources of Finance
- Identify and seek and receive funds
- Disburse and account for funds received
- TRANSPORT AND ACCOMODATION
- Determine suitable means of transport for participants to and from Tamale and within Tamale
- Provide accommodation for participants
- Ensure safety and comfort of participants
- FOOD AND ENTERTAINMENT
- Provide food and drinks
- Provide music (with full compliments of a quality sound system)
- Provide entertainment
- Organize fun games
- Coordinate liturgy and all functionaries
Deadlines for these committees have not been established yet. This is because it is positively anticipated that with the current wave of enthusiasm, more people would be interested in getting involved actively and directly. It is being suggested that names are directed to executive members in view of being interested in joining any of the mentioned committees.
Any issue related to this release will be given attention to and implemented appropriately. Please continue with the current spirit in optimism of the task ahead. We have reached a point where though we are maintaining our branches, we should be acting in unison irrespective of categorizations. Let’s not just start the race, let’s finish it. We have benefited from St Charles. St Charles must benefit from us. Please raise issues that I might have omitted for attention.
Is Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas a Carolean? If any Carolean ever hailed from Chamba, could you research on this? May be some politicians could also help. Thanks.
NOTE: We are also consciously aware that we have among us non-working Caroleans. Since we encourage participation in the activities, we suggest that they should not see the figure proposed as a fine and therefore get deterred. We believe in numbers in this particular call to duty and so all are encouraged to participate in other forms.
MENDING THE CRACKS OF THE CRUX V
GHANA @ 50, ST CHARLES @ 54
In 1953, in Wiaga, St Charles was born. That is what we know thanks to history (a subject that Mr. Guy Silo taught with so much ease and confidence and of course why not since he was so good at it). In 2003 St Charles celebrated fifty years. There is a song that is currently running on our air waves as an appetizer to Ghana’s golden jubilee celebrations; “In 1957 a great nation was born in West Africa, in Africa, Ghana. Ghana is 50………………..
What goes into celebrating a golden jubilee? Is it the mere attainment of the fifty year landmark or the pride associated with it? If it is the pride associated with it, then there is no reason begrudging the zeal with which it would normally be celebrated. If the mere attainment of the figure fifty gives reason for a celebration, then what manner of celebration is expected? What I personally can suggest that it calls for solemnity in the case of the latter. Drifting from the two, does it also mean that a golden jubilee is marked for the mere fact of it? Certainly every group or association will be privileged to remember a golden jubilee for its pomp, but the paramount reason why any jubilee would be celebrated is that every body’s (nation, association, group, organization, couple, institution, individual) jubilee year is an acceptable year in the sight of the Lord. Aside that, there may be no better reason to revel. In a jubilee year the Lord is always remembered, graces are asked for, more blessings are expected. These are often ritualized.
The year 2003 was one of the acceptable years of St Charles Secondary School. An acceptable year normally comes along with it its attendant blessings and prospects for the future. It calls for mobilization of resources in the wake of its preparations. Hardly can such a celebration go on without support coming from external sources. These include resources in kind, resources such as finance, manpower resources, collaborative efforts, prayers, best wishes and very importantly participation. Some efforts were really made. Thanks to the planners and organizers of St Charles Golden Jubilee 2003. At least the thought of it ensured the celebration of the event. What went into the celebration is history. But must events always be blotted by history? At this point I wish to point out that historical events can be refined? This will create the path towards development. Refining historical events means improving upon them. Improving upon them means continuing with or from where an event ended. Ending an event does not guarantee its elasticity.
I must say kudos to the organizers of the golden jubilee of St Charles Secondary School. The after events of the occasion depend on the rest of us. What happened during the golden jubilee of St Charles Secondary School? What were the highlights? If St Charles must be trumpeted during anniversaries, it then stands that we have to wait till we celebrate the 75th anniversary. How long will it take to wait? By the time we attain seventy five years as a school the highlights of our golden jubilee might be lost on us. We should display the vision of the last anniversary from which we can develop that of the next. Some lessons could be derived from St Charles when we celebrate what is worth celebrating. Others could become copy-cats when we add value to what we do and do it well. The challenge is for us to be able to achieve what others must envy. After fifty years what is the next plan towards lifting our alma mater? Ghana is celebrating fifty years in wax prints, lacoste, T-shirts. (I am actually not comparing the two because the indices will be inappropriate and unfair). But St Charles is older than Ghana. St Charles is older than so many of the big schools that we know of. If wisdom is associated with age then St Charles is wiser than Ghana (with apologies). St Charles may not be able to celebrate in wax prints etc. St Charles still has an image to uphold considering the retinue of personalities that have benefited from her. Some students eat outside the dining hall for lack of space. The laboratories are used in batches. The recreation hall is not accommodative for its original purpose. Some students sleep outside the dormitories at night. These may be long term but could be achievable with a step. Before sixty years we could have sorted some issues out. Which one first? In order not to jumble them, we shall require planning. It is being done. But hear this. The school has received some items; an amplifier and a few electrical gadgets. Somebody’s widows mite. I give my respects to Mr. Peter Bakunfan of CEPS (1982 year group). Whilst Ghana is fifty, St Charles is fifty four. If Ghana must move forward…………………..