2013 Homecoming: BIFOBA President’s Speech
The Special Guest of Honour, the Governor of Lagos State and member of BIFOBA Guild of Awardees MR. BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA (SAN). The Chairman of today’s Homecoming/Thanksgiving & Fund Raising Event, Chief Kessington Adebutu, the Chief Launcher for our Multipurpose Hall Fund Raising, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, (GCON), The Co-Launcher Mr. Femi Otedola (OON), members of BIFOBA’s Body of Past Presidents, Distinguished members of BIFOBA’s Guild of Awardees, members of BIFOBA’s Executive Council, all our Guests here present, Fellow Old Boys, Ladies and Gentlemen.
On this occasion of our Association’s Homecoming/Thanksgiving Celebrations & Fund Raising Dinner, I bid you all a warm welcome while extending all due Courtesies as appropriate.
Our Homecoming Celebrations have over the years become an Event that all Old Boys of Birch Freeman worldwide look forward to. The Homecomings have become an annual gathering where Old Boys (with our Spouses) come together once a year to enjoy each other’s company, re-live our old days at School and discuss opportunities to give back to the School that played a pivotal role in what we have become Individually and the achievements we have made. I make bold to say that some of us have truly made remarkable achievements as will be seen by all later, in the course of this evening when some 4 Distinguished Old Boys will be conferred with Awards for their Professional achievements which has brought our Alma Mater in good light and some others who have shown Exceptional and extraordinary commitment to the cause and ideals of our Association and School. The Awards to be given to these distinguished Old Boys and their subsequent Admittance into the Prestigious Guild of Awardees, will be one of the high points of this evening’s Event.
MULTI PURPOSE HALL FUNDS RAISING
While coming together in an atmosphere of conviviality during our Homecomings, we have always remembered our Source (Birch Freeman High School) which in turn informed our resolve to assist in re-developing our Alma Mater through various Projects that will restore the School’s glory while improving the learning conditions of the present crop of Students to be able to achieve Excellence in their undertakings. Ladies & Gentlemen as part of the developmental Programme put together by Old Boys for our Alma Mater, a befitting Multi Purpose Hall Project has been planned to complement the modern 21-Classroom Block that His Excellency (himself an Old Boy of the School) through the State’s Ministry of Education has put in place. One major item of this evening’s Event is the continuing Fund Raising towards the construction of this Multi Purpose Hall to be named after the School’s 1st Principal, the late Ambassador M.J. Etuk.
We will therefore in the course of this evening be calling on our Guests, the Chairman our Chief and his Co-Launcher, known for their public spirited philanthropic activities, especially in the area of education to assist us in the realization of our dream and be part of this noble cause through your generous donations to this Hall Project, – trusting that God will bless and replenish you several folds as you help our cause.
This is a new concept introduced by the Association’s Exco to add flavour to our Homecoming and get Old Boys all over the Globe to come home especially in years when their Class Sets must have graduated some “milestone” years from the School to celebrate and give Thanks to God for their achievements/ accomplishments thus far. This Evening, (the Pioneers of Thanksgiving Celebrations), the 1988, 1983, 1978 and 1973 Class Sets will be celebrating 25, 30, 35 & 40 years of graduation from our great Institution and God’s faithfulness in their lives.
On behalf of the members of the Executive Council and Old Boys worldwide, I congratulate members of these Celebrating Sets, trusting that the celebrations will get bigger, better and more encompassing in the years to come.
CONFERMENT OF AWARD
I congratulate the 4 Old Boys to be conferred with BIFOBA’s highest Honours today and to assure them that they have been picked as Bests amongst equals as BFHS have a long list of Old Boys that have reached the top echelons of their Professions and others who have served this Country at very top levels to choose from. After a rigorous and extremely competitive screening process, these Gentlemen have been found worthy and deserving of the Awards to be conferred today. I must state clearly that these Awards should not be construed as a grand-standing show-off to be taken for granted, rather they must be seen as a serious and additional call to service towards the ideals of BIFOBA and the upliftment of our Alma Mater. BIFOBA’s Executive Council will consequently continue to call on and make demands of the Awardees in the above respect for as long as you live, So help you God!
Our Association has grown in leaps and bounds over the years especially in the last one year of this Administration. Our recruitment drive has yielded good results with membership strength across the Globe in Nigeria, North America & U.K Chapters increasing tremendously within the last one year. Our Financial position as at today is unprecedented and remains strong and healthy. It is my hope that by the end of this evening, through the generous donations of all present, so much more would have been raised to make our Multi Purpose Hall transcend from being a dream to reality.
Your Excellency, I wish to express on behalf of all members of BIFOBA, our gratitude for your continuing interest and championship of the Programmes to revamp our School. You have by your action proved to be a good product and worthy Ambassador of our Alma Mater. I urge you not to relent in your plan to make BFHS the small, compact and most sought after School as you promised Exco members and I some 3 years ago. Please be reminded of the planned permanent deflooding of our School and your pronouncements regarding the recovery of every inch of our School land illegally taken by encroachers, not forgetting the urgent and dire need of fencing-off the School to shut out vandals and miscreants from the premises. Your continuing involvement in the Funds Raising for our School Hall is acknowledged and appreciated. You have thus far indeed shown that you are truly “Trained for Duty and for God in line with our School’s motto”.
To our Guests and Donors today, please accept our sincere thanks for your contributions/ donations to our noble cause. As you give towards this cause, we pray for God’s abundant blessing to you and all that is yours.
For my Predecessors in office (members of the Body of Past Presidents), I thank you for your continuing support, trusting that you will continue to avail me and my team the benefits of your experience.
To the Prestigious Guild members (that I am privileged to be part of), I thank you for always heeding my call and standing up in my support as the occasions demand. As you admit today’s new Awardees into the Guild, I ask that you commit and re-dedicate yourselves even more to the cause of BIFOBA for which you were made member of the Guild in the first place. Thank you ever so much Gentlemen.
Kudos to the members of the Executive Committee of both the North America and U.K Chapters for the good job they are doing in the rallying together of our Old Boys in Diaspora. We look forward to the North America Chapters Re-Union starting from 29th July, 2013 in Texas.
My deep appreciation goes to my Colleagues, the Executive Council member of BIFOBA (Headquarters) in Nigeria for all the hard work put into the achievements of BIFOBA till date, not failing to acknowledge their tireless efforts put into the successful planning of this Event. Gentlemen, I truly appreciate your commitment and Team spirited posterity will always remember you and your efforts for good.
My Fellow Old Boys, what more can I say? You stood by me during the very recent turbulent period that rocked the Association almost to the roots. Thank you all so much for standing by me and believing in my vision. I wish to place on record the high level of confidence reposed in my Colleagues in Exco and I for which we are truly grateful and to assure all and sundry that I will continue to bring all Old Boys (globally) together in satisfaction of my new role of Global Presidency of the Association and the increased (BIFOBA worldwide) jurisdiction given my office in line with your mandate.
Thank you all Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to BIFOBA’ s 2013 Homecoming/ Thanksgiving Celebration, I wish you all a relaxed and most enjoyable evening.
2014 BIFOBA: Homecoming President’s Speech
Our guest of honor, the executive governor of Lagos state , an old boy of birch freeman high school and member of BIFOBA’s prestigious guild of awardees, MR BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA (SAN), the chairman of BIFOBA’s 2014homecoming dinner& fund raise, OTUNBA FUNSHO OWOYEMI, our various donors/guests for this year’s fund raise toward s completion of our ultra modern multipurpose auditorium, distinguished member s of BIFOBA ‘s executive council (national & Diaspora), fellow old boys ladies and gentlemen.
It is an honor to welcome you all to our homecoming & fund raising dinner for year 2014
This year’s homecoming aptly titled the” REAL HOMECOMING” is especially to us (the old boys of birch freeman high school) as the event in the true sense of the word homecoming is taking place for the very first time on our school soil, in our school premises and in this BIFOBA sponsored & build ultra modern auditorium.
Prior to today’s epoch making event, we had always held our homecoming event in hired halls either in Victoria island or ikeja. History is therefore being made today as old boys’ dreams of holding our annual reunion in our school has become reality.
Today, through the inspiration from his Excellency who advised against relocation of our almost extinct school to lekki; on account of our school is very poor soil condition that could not ordinarily bear any planned meaningful infrastructural development in the past 50 of its 54 years existence
Today, our school is standing firm with new physical infrastructures springing up and our school’s practically lost glory is being restored since old boys have decided to take the future of our school in our hands. Sincere thank to his Excellency who promised and through the state’s ministry of education provided to the school, a 21 classroom block while encouraging old boys to partner with the state government under its public, private partnership programme to develop our school since government alone cannot totally develop all schools.
Our old boys took up the governor’s challenge and agreed to build a modern auditorium which house our association’s secretariat in replacement of our tiny hall built 54 year ago.
Tirelessly, old boys worked towards achievement of its goal with every single bit of work done to get the auditorium to its current stage achieved through self help by old starting from the main contractor, sub contractors, consulting architect’s engineers and others. The result of the hard work by old boys led by members of the association’s executive council and the generosity of public spirited donors is what we can see today and where we are this evening in this magnificent edifice that will be the first of its kind to be build by any old student association anywhere in this country.
The auditorium, when completed and fully operational will be used for our school’s special activities/events, founders day celebrations, students graduations, BIFOBA homecoming celebrations etc and for seminars conferences, symposia by the public.
Permit me to also thank his Excellency for his commitment and involvement in the inceptual fund raise for this auditorium which began 4 years agos. Our appreciations also go to our various past donors including MR WALE AJISEBUTU. Of 21st century technologies. MR OBAYUWANA polo & his group of friends’ chief (sir) KENSINGTON ADEBUTU (CON),MR FEMI OTEDOLA(CON) and others too numerous to mention, not forgetting our old boy’s contributions in our various capacities.
Our dear guests, ladies and gentlemen, you have this evening, seen how far we (the old boys) have come and how much we have put into this project. We are however beginning to loose steam and are in need of assistance from public spirited individuals to complete the project.
If our efforts and commitment to improving upon and restoring the practically lost glory of our alma mater means anything to you, if you appreciate our old boys’ spirit of giving back to a school where practically none of us have our children, if this classic case of commitment by old boys, the type that has never been seen before touch your heart this evening, we invite you to assist, and join hands with us to fulfill our dream of putting up this magnificent edifice which will put birch freeman high school’s name back in the list of the first 5 top schools in Lagos through your generous donations towards completion of this auditorium in service to God and for the benefit of our students and mankind in general.
It is our belief that as you do so, God will replenish you several fold.
One strong motivation for the continuing and unprecedented commitment observed amongst our old boy’s is the pride we have in our school, in spite of its small size and its perceived not too appealing environment. The above notwithstanding, the birch freeman awards conferred on some of our boys is something the awardees cherish all through their lives while same remains an objective/goal that all old boys desire and work very hard to achieve.
Today, two old boys will be conferred with the “freeman” award of excellence either
(i) In their chosen careers which has portrayed our alma mater in good light or
(ii) For extraordinary and consistent display of commitment to BIFOBA and our alma mater
I congratulate MR SAMI OMIA and ARC LADI LEWI who are to be honored today and as they get admitted into prestigious BIFOBA guild of awardees, may I remind them that they have been selected as first amongst equals and that after all of the celebrations and fanfare, they have moral responsibility to further the ideals of BIFOBA while doing even more than ever before for our alma mater.
I wish them well and urge the aspirant old boys who did not make the awards this year not to despair but remain resolute, no one can really tell what year 2015 holds in stock.
Our association remains very strong and continues to grow in leaps and bounds this auditorium, when finally completed and officially commissioned on 17th February 2015 during the commemoration of our s school’s 55th founder’s day anniversary, will support our statement to the world that BIFOBA has indeed become grown. Our subsidiaries, the north America chapter, the U.K chapter (and the Europe chapter in -formation)are growing at an impressive rate. Our website, the new but yet to be launched official bifobaglobal.org website are instruments used to portray our association and its activities to the public and variable tool for recruitment of our old boys world over. The BIFOBA. Com website which has played and will continue to play major roles in the interaction amongst our members was practically single handedly developed and managed by one of our very dedicated and committed old boy of the north America chapter and member of the BIFOBA guild of awardees, MR DAVID BABATUNDE low, MR LOWO passed on 3 week ago and has since been buried in Atlanta U.S.A.
We remember DAVID LOWO today and his memories will remain ever green in our minds. May his gentle soul find peace with his creator.
I wish to thank your Excellency on behalf of all old boys for your continuing interest in the development of our school. You are indeed a good ambassador of our school and a worthy member of the guild of awardees. We are proud of your achievements as governor and you have truly shown, in line with our school’s matter that you are “Trained for duty and for God”
Thank you your Excellency for the support given to my administration over the past years. Please remember our discussions about the fencing of the school to keep away the miscreants who have turned the school to hide-out and constantly creating distractions for the students. It has become extremely necessary now more than ever before to put a step a stop finally to the Mushin and surulere gangs wars that have found a ready battle ground in our school, the most recent of which left several of our students wounded.
The birch freeman land issue still remains unresolved. We urged that you take all necessary steps to resolve the matter before your exist as governor. Acquiring the land under for public use by exercising power of eminent domain for birch freemen’s benefit and paying some little compensation to the alleged property owners will make a lot of difference to the new master plan designed for our school and allow the 4million gate donated by old boys (currently lying rusty in the school premises to be installed).
To our guests and donors this evening, we offer our sincere thanks and appreciation for your generous donations within a firm belief that god will bless you as you assist towards completion of this auditorium project. We are looking at a total sum of 75 million to complete the project with state of the art finish and will install all necessary equipment and air conditioning etc. Whatever God places in your heart to give towards this project will be appreciated. We thank you as you donate towards this noble cause.
To my predecessors in office, the body of the past presidents, I welcome and thank you for your continuing advise offerings and guidance
Gentlemen of the prestigious BIFOBA guild, its remains a deep privilelege for me to be a member and part of this group. Thank you for your unending support of my programme and vision and I trust that I can continue to count on this source of support even in the future.
My colleagues in the executive council, I am certain you know my deep rooted appreciation for your commitment generally and the amount of work we have put in based on our collective vision to build this auditorium and to make today’s event the success that it is.
Thank you gentlemen from the bottom of my heart and I implore you not to relent as we need to put in just a little bit more of our time and effort to get to the completion of this project which will truly crown our effort with joy unspeakable. Thank you so much.
Fellow old boys, (whether national or in Diaspora ) thank you for believing in me and the trust you have in my leadership. Together we will restore our school’s glory while I remain committed to our set goals.
Thank you ladies and gentlemen, welcomes to birch freeman high school as I wish you a relaxed evening in this magnificent edifice even in its work in progress stage.
God bless you all.