A day after the funeral of the international icon Mr. Kofi Annan in Ghana, the Ghanaian Canadian community under the auspices of the Ghanaian Canadian Association of Ontario (GCAO) in collaboration with the Consulate General of the Republic of Ghana in Toronto organized a public celebration of the life of Kofi Annan to honour the Ghanaian born former General Secretary of the UN in the most multicultural city in the world, Toronto-Canada.
The ceremony which was held on Friday, September 14, 2018 took place in the spacious auditorium of the Ghanaian Presbyterian Church in Toronto.
In attendance were Federal, Provisional, and Municipal representatives of government in Canada, members of the diplomatic corps in Toronto, Community Chiefs, Ethnic Associations, Pastors and friends of the Ghanaian community in Toronto.
The side attraction of the program was a marching drill by the Pathfinders of the Toronto Ghanaian SDA Church to demonstrate the disciplined nature of Kofi Annan.
After the singing of the national anthems of both Ghana and Canada, the Consul General of Ghana in Toronto, Hon. Thomas Seshi welcomed attendees to the solemn ceremony.
Tributes were presented on behalf of the Federal government of Canada by Hon. Judy A. Sgro who is the MP for Humber River-Black Creek riding in Toronto; on behalf of the Ghanaian community in Canada by Mr. Emmanuel Duodu, the President of GCAO; and by Osabarima Sasraku La Kumi who is a medical practitioner based in Toronto on behalf of Nananom.
Speaking on the topic ‘The Man Kofi Annan’, Professor Joe Mensah, a lecturer at the York University in Toronto, likened Kofi Annan to a global Pope and an international Monk! He was a man of peace who was both liked and disliked by most world leaders due to the nature of his work.
Professor Mensah traced the career of Kofi Annan from 1962 to 2006 with the UN as an insider who rose through the ranks to become the enviable head of the UN for two consecutive terms! Kofi Annan in 1996 had assumed the role of the leader of Peace Keeping in the world.
Besides Kofi Annan’s legacy to the world in the form of a book titled ‘Intervention’ his achievements among others included Nobel Peace Award jointly won with the UN; Global Impact initiative; the Global Conference in 2002 which led to the Milliemum (MGD) to mitigate the effect of economic development around the world; the Global Fund to combat HIV/AIDS; and the larger freedom to resolve the conflict between individual sovereignty and national sovereignty! ‘No one believed the UN more than Kofi Annan’, Prof. Joe Mensah concluded.
The eulogy was delivered by Rev. Isaac DeGraft Takyi of the Living Word Assembly of God. He described Kofi Annan in the following words, “He was a life well lived.”
Rev. DeGraft pointed out that Kofi Annan’s Christian Faith guided him in all his work and admonished the gathering that like the Kofi Annan, all who have died will on the Resurrection Day rise again! He, however, posed to all this question: ‘What do you want people to say about you when you die?’
There were cultural performances by the Youth Adowa dancers of Toronto and the Canadian Ewe Cultural Organization.
Vote of thanks was rendered by young lady of linguistics, Diana Dickson.
The hostess for the night was the infatiguable Anna Aidoo of the Ghanaian Canadian Association of Ontario (GCAO).
May the soul of Kofi Annan rest in perfect peace Amen.