«ACHIEVEMENTS, THE 2010 ADISADEL CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS, AND ISSUES OF ALUMNI-ALMA MATER RELATIONS By Dr. Albert O. Ebo Richardson August 24, 2010 ...»
STRIVING FOR EXCELLENCE AT
ACHIEVEMENTS, THE 2010 ADISADEL CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS,
AND ISSUES OF ALUMNI-ALMA MATER RELATIONS
Dr. Albert O. Ebo Richardson
August 24, 2010
Table of Contents
ACADEMICS AND THE ADISCO STORY
MATHEMATICS, SCIENCE AT ADISADEL, A FOUNDATION FOR SUCCESS
THE „ASPAU‟ SCHOLARS
SANTA STARS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF GHANA, LEGON, AND BEYOND
THE INTELLECTUAL AND CHARACTER-FORMING POWER OF MUSIC
CLASSICAL MUSIC : THE ADISADEL ORCHESTRA
CHORAL MUSIC: MESSRS. Essah, Wood, Abaidoo & The Wainrights
JAZZ & POPULAR MUSIC: MR. D. GODFREY & THE ADISCO JAZZ BAND
GIVING CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE I: ADISCO OVER THE YEARS
GIVING CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE II: THE FRENCH CLUB
SPORTS, THE MOTHER OF PERFECTION IN THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE
THE ADISADEL CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS, JULY 12-18, 2010, CAPE COAST
OBSERVATIONS ON THE SUBJECT OF „GIVING BACK‟ TO ONE‟S ALMA MATER................ 14 CONCLUSION AND SOME OBSERVATIONS ON THE CENTENARY WEEK
BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY: DR. ALBERT O. EBO RICHARDSON
The paper also reports on scenes and key activities at Adisadel College during the centenary week (July 12-18, 2010), as seen through the eyes of a 1960s Alumnus (the author). And finally, it describes, and attempts to philosophize on, how the whole centenary celebration‟s planning and execution reflect on the nature and quality of the „bond‟ between Santaclausians (the name forstudents and alumni of Adisadel College in Cape Coast, Ghana), and their Alma Mater.
The motivation for doing this project derives from my strong belief that the business of nation-building is the business of education. The US-based magazine, „Newsweek‟, has just published an article, a cover story, entitled, “The World‟s Best Countries.”
A quotation from that article goes thus:
“Topping that List (of the world’s best countries), is Finland, which is also the top ranked country in education. Second (in education) is South Korea; the magazine credits its (Korea’s) “focus on education” for lifting it from a nation as rich as Afghanistan in the 1960s to its third on its list of “economic dynamism”.
For the on-line version of the article and rankings, please go to:
www.newsweek.com/feature/2010/the-world-s-best-countries.html Therefore, any occasion and opportunity to celebrate education, such as the just-concluded Adisadel College‟s Centenary Celebrations, ought to be embraced and supported wholeheartedly by those who believe that education is what builds good, prosperous and peaceful nations.
About a quarter of the material in this paper was presented by the author in the Adisadel Centenary Lectures Series held at Adisadel, Cape Coast, Ghana, in May 2010. The current paper has been significantly revised, expanded and reworked. This has made it possible to include experiences and contributions of more Santaclausians, and to open a small window into the centenary celebrations for the benefit of those Santaclausians who could not be there in person, or who had not been able to follow closely the centenary activities.
A considerable amount of what has been written so far on the history of Adisadel College and its achievements (this paper being no exception), has leaned very heavily and rather disproportionately on the Adisadel years from its founding in 1910 up until around the early part of the 1970s. Therefore, a future project which reminisces on, and chronicles the achievements of Adisadel of the 1980s and beyond, would be tremendously beneficial for the Santaclausian community. Needless to say that such a writing project would be exceedingly rewarding for whoever volunteers to undertake it.
The author does not claim any endorsement, explicit or implied, of the contents of this article by any Official Adisadel Authority.
ACADEMICS AND THE ADISCO STORY.The decade of the nineteen sixties at Adisadel could arguably be considered a prime example of the „golden age of science, mathematics, and music‟ in Ghana. The nation‟s „Independence‟ from its colonial master, Great Britain in 1957, had ushered in self-government and a spirit of self-determination. There was exuberance on the part of the people, and a belief in a policy, aggressively promoted by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first Prime Minister of Ghana, that science, technology and industry held the key to Ghana‟s future development and prosperity.
MATHEMATICS, SCIENCE AT ADISADEL, A FOUNDATION FOR SUCCESS.Durirng the 1960s, because of the premium placed on the study of science by the school, a typical year group of students preparing for their „Ordinary Level‟( the fifth year national examinations) had about two-thirds of the students classified as science students. Similarly, during the two „Sixth Form‟ years, two thirds of the students preparing for the „Advanced Level‟( at the time used as the qualifying exams for entry into a University) were labeled as science students.
That Adisadel was a pre-eminent Secondary School in Ghana for the study of science and mathematics as foundation for careers in industry, health science and other technical professions was clearly evident, as the series of stories below will attest.
One person who‟s career story illustrates well the foregoing statement is Sir Dr. Sam Jonah, member of Adisadel College class of 1967. Having been born and raised in the Ghanaian gold mining town of Obuasi, and having gone back there to build up a supremely successful career in mining, Sam Jonah can be said to be a true "son of the African soil", figuratively and literally. A dormitory building, Jonah House, that he built and donated to Adisadel in honor of his late father, is a fitting symbol of his gratitude and humility.
Dr. Sam Jonah‟s numerous qualifications and awards include: KBE (a British Knighthood), ACSM( Mining Engineering at the Camborne School of Mines in England), MSc. (Mine Management, Imperial College of Science and Technology in London), Honorary Doctor of Science( D.Sc.), awarded by Camborne School of Mines and the University of Exeter, U.K.
He is currently Executive Chairman of Jonah Capital and Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.
For centuries Africa has been recognized as being rich in mineral resources. So for a young Ghanaian teenager, Sam Jonah, in the late 1960s to dedicate his life to learning about, and working within the environments of Africa's mineral resources and their industrial and commercial exploitation, was a significant development.
One can only hope that with the recent discovery of oil in commercial quantities in Ghana, many young Ghanaians will be motivated and feel encouraged to engage in formal and practical studies of the science, technology, industry and commercial exploitation of oil for the benefit of Ghana.
THE ‘ASPAU’ SCHOLARS.
Santaclausians won a large share of „ASPAU‟(African Scholarship Program for American Universities) scholarships to study science abroad. When Ghanaian students from all over the country competed for only eleven scholarships to study science in 1967 at the most prestigious of America‟s Universities, Adisco alone won five. „ASPAU‟ Scholarships were sponsored by a joint program of American and specific African governments. The program was executed by the African American Institute of New York on behalf of the US government and a group of US Universities.
The ASPAU Scholars from Adisco in 1967 were: Godfred Otuteye, who went to Harvard(B.S. Mathematics), University of Southern California( MBA), CEO, Money Mailer, Southern California ; Robert Baafi, who went to University of Connecticut(B.S.) and Lehigh University(M.S.) for Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Currently Oracle Corporation Software Professional, previously worked for Cullinet, Digital Equipment Corporation; Emmanuel Ablorh, who went to Princeton University ( B.S. Electrical Engineering) and New Jersey Institute Of Technology( M.S.), Electrical Engineering,former Seagate Technology Engineer, Currently Telecommunications Designer and Engineering Manager, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Nii Saban Quao, who went to Yale( Pre.Med Studies, and M.D), George Washington University Residency, Vanderbilt University ( LL.B), Practices Internal Medicine in Tennessee; and finally, the author of this article, who went to Yale University( B.S. Engineering & Applied Science), Case Western Reserve University( M.S.E.E), Pennsylvania State University( Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering), Currently, Tenured Full Professor and Coordinator of the Computer Engineering Program at the California State University, Chico.
Furthermore, during the two previous years (1965/66), the same ASPAU scholarship program had brought other Santaclausians to the US. These were: Victor Pappoe, who went to Yale University( Pre-Med Studies, M.D., Yale), Cornell University Hospital Fellowship, Harlem Hospital Residency, Practices Internal Medicine in Pomona, California; Tralance Addy, who went to Swarthmore College( B.S., BBS Chemistry and Mechanical Engineering), M.S., and Ph.D. University of Massachusetts, former Vice President, Johnson and Johnson, Southern California; and William Mould, who went to University of Connecticut( B.S. Electrical Engineering)
SANTA STARS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF GHANA, LEGON, AND BEYOND.Apart from the ASPAU Scholars, who went outside Ghana for University education, the 1967 Adisco „ALevel‟group which started their University education in Ghana, counts among them, some highly accomplished Scientists and Medical Practitioners and Specialists as well as Engineers. Among them are: Godfrey Gaisie( Degree in Medicine, Legon, Pediatrics training at Howard University Hospital, Pediatric Radiology at University of Pittsburgh Children‟s Hospital, for 14 years was Chairman of Radiology at Akron (Ohio) Children‟s Hospital until 2005, Currently Associate Professor of Radiology, Northeast Ohio University‟s College of Medicine; Jason Ofori ( Medicine at Legon, Postgraduate specialization in Ophthalmology in New York, Ophthalmology practice in Toledo, Ohio with the group “Vision Associates”).
The academic prowess in science of some of the early 1960s Santaclausians has also been eloquently chronicled by Rev. Prof. John S. Pobee.
Writing in his comprehensive, fascinating, and captivating book titled: “Adisadel On The Hill—The Story (1910-2010)‖, published by Sam-Woode Ltd., 2010, he points out on pages 137 and 138 that:
“In 1969 the Ghana Medical School produced its first 37 Medical Doctors. Seven(7) of these were Adisadel College Old Students, namely: 1. Dr. J.T. ENIM; 2. Dr. YAW ADU-GYAMFI; 3. Dr. J.K.L. METTLE; 4.
Dr. E.K. AHINKORAH; 5. Dr. E. A. KISSI; 6. Dr. J. TWUM; 7. Dr. C.S. GRANT. “ In a similar vein, over the years the author of this paper has encountered quite a number of the Adisadel 1964 year group members who had studied and qualified as Medical Doctors from the University of Ghana Medical School, and have had highly successful careers as Physicians in and outside Ghana. They include: Professor Amonoo Kuofi (current Dean of Cape Coast University Medical School), Dr. Ankobea (Quaque House, was a Physician at Korle Bu for many years), Dr. Kwesi Hanson( based at Tema), Dr. Joseph Blankson (Canterbury House, has been practicing Medicine for many years in Alabama, in the U.S.).
THE INTELLECTUAL AND CHARACTER-FORMING POWER OF MUSIC.And now, here is where science converged with music at Adisco in the 1960s! Among the 1965 O-Level science students, there was the group which combined the study of science and music with the kind of vigor, enthusiasm, and passion that was hitherto unheard-of and was simply awe-inspiring.
On a typical school day, some would dissect frogs in the morning‟s biology laboratory, while others would delve into the mathematics of differentiation and integration of calculus functions, while still others performed titrations in late morning chemistry classes. Then, after mid-afternoon extracurricular activities, several of these same science students would join their colleagues from other non-science subjects for Orchestra practice. All would then seamlessly switch on and focus their attention like a laser beam on the musical notes of famous classical pieces such as the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart‟s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”.
The sweet sounds of their well-tuned violins, violas, flutes, clarinets, cellos, would fill the air, either in the Canterbury Hall, or in the home of Father Gillett, near the Adisco School Dining Hall. Occasionally, we would be so wrapped up in the music that we would miss the School dinner, at which time Father Gillett was more than willing to offer us all dinner!
CLASSICAL MUSIC : THE ADISADEL ORCHESTRA.The Orchestra members were the founding members of the Adisadel Orchestra, under the teaching, mentoring, conducting and directorship of Rev. Father Vincent Gillett. The Orchestra was formed with instruments that Father Gillett solicited as donations from England. Just like the students who have been described above, this group also achieved impressive success in their subsequent higher education and professional careers. First, there is Rev. Prof. Dr. Seth Ayettey, the violinist in the Adisadel Orchestra. Rev. Prof. Ayettey studied Medicine at Legon, and also obtained a Ph.D. in Anatomy from Cambridge University. He has been a Past Provost of the Ghana Medical School.
Then there were two Cellists, Dr. Nii Saban Quao (already noted above as an ASPAU Scholar), and the author of this article( also already noted above as an ASPAU Scholar).