Sunday Dec. 4th, 2016
Mr. Ehizonwangie, my predecessor, Mr. Omoregievia, & Pro Issa Odidi, our respected patrons, Chiefs, & Barristers, My elders, my fellow comrades, ladies and gentlemen. I feel so honored to be deemed fit by my fellow members as to be elected to be the president of this organization, more so, humble to be standing in front of you tonight. I affirm myself to you that this privilege will not be taken for granted.
I thank all you for coming out tonight.
Congratulation to all my fellow executives, it is my honor to work with you, and I look forward to our new challenges of working together in the days, week, month and yrs ahead.
As I was thinking and reflecting on what I was going to say here tonight, once it became clear to me that this year, our end of year gathering will be different from the past, one of the things that keep coming to my mind was what would I say that will speaks to the wide range of the invited personalities, recognizing that this gathering will be a spectrum of a cross section of our people. “Thing Fall Apart”, Chinua Achebe of blessed memory, the late international acclaimed poet, professor, came to my mind,
“A man who calls his kinsmen to a feast does not do so to save them from starving. They all have food in their own homes. When we gather together in the moonlit village ground it is not because of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so. Let us find time to come together physically and enjoy the power of togetherness. Let’s us smile, not because we don’t have problem, but because we are stronger than the problem” Chinua Achebe,
It is truly a privilege to have all you take time away from your busy schedule and families lives to come and dine with us under this Western world moon light. I believe that this dinning tonight, much like the one referred to by the late Chinua Achebe will provoke a renew hope of togetherness that will ginger the concept of oneness and propel the true homogenous spirit, like in the olden days.
Let me add my voice to what was said earlier about the founders, Mr. Okungbuwa, and Mr. Okhonmina, know that your vision is still alive, it live in every members of this organization, if not; how else would we be here tonight. Make no mistake, while I acknowledge my swearing tonight with humility, I am equally reminded that this moment is not about me; it is about the collective philosophy that we all shear. Our collective task, though may not be perfect, but continue to move this organization forward on a true path to greater height, with this gathering tonight, we have enter yet another phase in that continuum trajectory path.
I also want to acknowledge all the past presidents, Godwin Imasuen, Franklin Omoruna, David Imalele, and Festus Ehiozownagie, you have all served this club diligently and pave the way for me to be here tonight, I am proud to say that I served under your leadership, and I learned tremendously from you, that which I learned has prepared me to receive the baton of leadership tonight. It is my prayer and faith in God that the light with which you have passed on
will not extinguish under my watch. I look forward to the day that I too will sit over on the other side with pride, knowing that I myself have pass on the flame with dignity.
In seven months from today, precisely in June of 2017 this organization will be 26th years old; we hope all of you here tonight will join us to celebrate the occasion with us.
In 2006, the unic club hosted the Edo National Association, Worldwide, (ENAW) here in Toronto. It is my honor to inform you that the ENAW has once again awarded the Unic Club the mandate to host the convention in 2018, that is less than 2 yrs from today, the task of hosting the event is no small feat, that is why I am proud tonight to say that the unic club is indeed pleased to be co-hosting this convention with three of our local clubs here in Toronto, the Adaze, the Dynamic, and the Evas Club. We extend our gratitude to these three organizations for this collaboration; this partnership is indeed a testament that we are one people with a common purpose. I welcome the opportunity to work with these three presidents and their entire members
This gathering tonight reinforces what Chinua Achebe refers to In Things Fall Apart, I still remember back in the days, sitting under the bright moon light, listening to stories from our elders, some were horror; some were fairy tale with sweet ending. Either way, I don’t know about you, but I was filled with hope and aspiration for the future. Likewise, I see tonight as a new beginning, I ask you all let us began the process of working in collaboration, let us build bridge and mend fences that will flourish progress. I say to you that the Unic club is ever ready with open hands to work with any and all parties.
Furthermore, I want to appreciate everyone that supported us in cash and kinds in 2006 during the first convention, time will not permit me to mention names, we did not forget you, we are grateful, we say thank you, we look forward to your unwavering support and counting on you again come 2018 when we will once again host the world here in Toronto. To our new partners, we say welcome on board, and to everyone else, we will be calling on you, we humbly ask you to please join us to promote our culture and heritage.
Finally, ladies and gentlemen, I am thrilled to be in a room filled with presidents and CEOs of different enterprises and organizations, yes, we all belong to different organizations, yet we are one people. Whether you belong to Adaze, Prestigious Ladies Eves, Edo Association, Dynamic, Ebony, Sweet Mothers, Ishan Ass, or better yet, a professional bodies, like lawyers, doctors, Eng, make no mistake, we are all one people, with one culture, blessed with different feathers to soar like an eagle.
Together we stand
God Bless Unic Club of Toronto
God Bless Nigeria, our father’s land
God Bless Canada, our adopted land
Oba gha to kpere. Ise!
By Emma Aigbedion | Unic Club of Toronto