St. Mary’s Old Girls steer Alma Mater to a successful 69th Speech and Prize-Giving Day

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The 94 and 96-year groups of the St. Mary’s Old Girls Association (SMOGA) have steered their alma mater to a successful 69th Speech and Prize-Giving Day held on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at the premises of the school at Korle-gonno in Accra.

The annual event held to award hard working students as well as hard working teaching and non-teaching staff of the school, has been scheduled on a rotational basis for each year’s organization to be spearheaded by a particular year group or groups.

The 2019 edition of the event, celebrated under the theme, “Dare to Dream: Unleash the Potential Within to Impact the World”, was spearheaded by the 94 and 96-year groups under the leadership of their President, Shiela Assibey-Yeboah.

As part of their contribution to support the school’s infrastructure upgrade, the SMOGA 94/96 year group have reconstructed an old dilapidated gate which will allow food and other materials to be easily carted to the kitchen and the Dining Hall area. They have also reconstructed part of a broken down fence wall to provide some level of protection for the girls in the school.

Sheila Assibey-Yeboah, in her remarks, admonished parents against the temptation to shirk their responsibilities towards their wards due to the Free SHS initiative currently being implemented by the government. She urged them to organize themselves into an association to identify ways in which they can contribute to the academic and social nurturing of their girls in the school.

“Now that we’re blessed with a ‘no fee’ initiative, I would urge parents to do more to support the smooth running of the school including contributing to sanitation and other amenities that would enhance the living conditions of our own beloved wards.” She indicated.

In her address, the Headmistress of the School, Grace Mansah Eshun, showed appreciation to the 94/96 year group of SMOGA for giving a face-lift to the gate at the Dining Hall and parts of the wall around it and also offered a congratulatory message to them on the celebration of their 25 years of leaving school and for co-hosting this year’s event.

She informed the gathering that the school has maintained high academic performance over the years with over 90 percent pass for their students in the 2018 West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). She, however, lamented that core mathematics was one of the subjects that have remained a bane for the qualification of the students to the University.

Stating the challenges faced by the school, Mrs. Mansah Eshun, observed that some miscreants and criminals in the vicinity of the school, have turned certain portions of their compound into a thoroughfare and a rubbish dump because of their broken fence walls. She, therefore, used the occasion to appeal to parents, old students, government and all stakeholders to help the school complete the 450 meter fence wall around the school to provide for protection and security to the students.

The Headmistress also appealed to the city authorities to ensure that the storm drains which runs through the school is taken care of since it has been posing a lot of danger to the school girls during the raining season and also serves as an opening for criminals to have access to the compound and dormitories of the students.

The Keynote Address which was delivered by Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama, a member of the SMOGA 94/96 year groups, touched on the need for the students to embrace their gifts, enhance their gifts and embrace failure if they truly want to ‘Unleash The Potential Within them To Impact The World’ according to the theme of the celebration.

Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama is an Author of seven books, Entrepreneur, Teacher, Explorer and Travel Expert who is currently on an expedition to be the first African to travel to every country in the world haven been to 80 countries on five continents so far. She is the founder of The Mad Duck Company.

The Chairperson for the occasion, Major Bernice Ama Darkoa Khemchand, who is also a member of the SMOGA 94/96 year groups, shared her fond memories of their school days and how they were nurtured by excellent teachers with the strong foundation, knowledge, skills and values of St. Mary’s which has molded them into what they have become today.

She indicated that the Executives of the 94/96 year groups deliberately chose to use some of their alumni to steer the affairs of the occasion to mentor the girls to believe that they have all the power within themselves to be whatever they want to become.

“Making me chairperson for today’s programme is a way of sending a message to you girls that we have what it takes. Abiding by the school’s motto of “truth and virtue” alone, each one of you has the potential to become what or who you want to be.” She said.

In all, about fifty people received forms of awards ranging from books, provisions, cash, refrigerators and cookers among others. The awardees included both students, teaching and non-teaching staff members who had distinguished themselves in their various fields of endeavor.

The very eventful and colorful ceremony of the all-girls-school located close to the coast of the city of Accra, was heralded by a parade by the School Cadet which was effectively coordinated under the leadership of Parade Commander, Nana Afua Affon Annan in Form 3 Science 2.

She led the all-girls cadet corps and drummers to a much-disciplined parade to the admiration of all invited guests, parents and teachers alike.

The gold and blue decorated attire donned by the 94/96 SMOGA year group, added some extra shine to the event which was interlaced with musical and artistic performances from some Old Girls and the St. Mary’s School Choir.

SMOGAN Fafa Hammond of the Fafita fame gave a wonderful rendition of the song “Grace is Thy Faithfulness” which moved the whole gathering unto their feet in a worship mood. Next was another SMOGAN, the indefatigable Dr. Patience Obeng of the School of Performing Arts at the University of Ghana who wowed the crowd with her combination of poetry recital accompanied with the beating of the talking drums.

It was soon time for the cutting of the cake and popping of champagne for the 69th Speech and Prize-Giving Day and handing over of the Baton to SMOGA 95 year group who will spearhead and co-host the 70th Speech and Prize-Giving Day with the entire SMOGA body come the next year 2020.

Source: Clement Akoloh ||

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