GCUOBA Reunion Speech by the President General Worldwide, Arc. (Chief) Ogheneovo Charles Majoroh

Speech by the President General Worldwide, Arc. (Chief) Ogheneovo Charles Majoroh FNIA, at the Founder’s Day Reunion and Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday January 18th, 2023


Our distinguished guests, Ancient Mariners, mariners, the Principal, staff and students of the greatest secondary school, Government College Ughelli, I am indeed delighted to be here again at yet another Founder’s Day Reunion to address you on the state of your Old Boys Association and of your Alma Mater.

We must give thanks to God, the Almighty, who has guided us safely to witness this day in this brand new year 2023, a year that means much to all of us gathered in this hall. It is an election year, not only for our Old Boys Association but for our country. My prayer is that we are guided to do the best and the utmost for both entities in ensuring the right leadership to pilot our affairs.

The year 2022 witnessed a lot of activities for GCUOBA Worldwide. The Association was able to conduct all the scheduled programmes for the year and even more. We had our Reunion in January 2022 at which the 1972 Class celebrated its golden jubilee with the renovation of the chemistry laboratory in the old science block and sponsored a capacity development program for teachers and students that is still ongoing. In July it was the turn of the 1981 Class to celebrate its 40th anniversary entry year, with yet another renovation of a classroom block. In November was the GCU Relays which this time was a notch higher than the previous year’s and for which we are grateful to all the sponsors, the events committee, the sports ambassadors, the school management and indeed all Old Boys. Before then, in October we successfully resumed the Annual Dinner at the Eko Hotel and Suites Lagos following the absence of two years during the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant disruptions. In between all these, the National Executive Council (NEC) maintained its regular meetings and interventions where necessary in the school.

The outgoing year also witnessed the practical commencement of our plan to take back our Old School or ensure a greater participation in its management with the engagement of the international management consultancy PwC to look into ways of achieving and sustaining our objectives. The engagement of the consultants would not have been possible without the active support of Ancient Mariners and other old boys who committed resources in time and money to facilitate the process. I remain very appreciative of their support and encouragement.

Our association has always thrived on a strong leadership with the active support of all Old Boys. It is the way it has been run and it is the reason for our success today as a very effective and high achieving old students association. Over the last many years, if we were to reel out what the old boys association has achieved we would clamour for time and space because we have, among other things, left the school better than we met it. Among others, you will be proud to see glimmer of the old school you knew for senior old boys, and of the school you were regaled for younger ones. These have been possible because old boys have, in the true tradition of Mariners at sea that we are, submitted to the captaincy of One. Any other route is not our tradition. This is why we have as NEC deemed it fit to intervene as necessary to establish order and discipline by enacting laws and bylaws to guide our various constituent units and ensure that we do not stray from the righteous path. We can say that we have been able to, with the support of the members of this association at our annual general meetings, enshrined these rules to guide our conduct, because as we grow bigger and more successful and Brand GCUOBA continues to win accolades we must be mindful of conduct that are capable of tarnishing our reputation.

Your OBA has taken measures to address deviant behaviour so that they do not become the standard. We may be tempted to see these measures as extreme but it is pertinent that we understand the need to build and maintain an association that is focused on our main objectives to add value to Government College Ughelli our Alma Mater and not on ego trips.

Today is yet another of those days when we display the strength, quality and substance of our association as we elect new officers. Ours is always a tenured position and we serve with the mandate of members of this association. Four years ago I was elected President General Worldwide in this hall, taking over from Professor O. O. Omatete. Today, after two terms in office, I am stepping away from the limelight as you elect a new PGWW and other officers. It is an onerous responsibility for you, the electors and those who will be elected to lead GCUOBA Worldwide. It demands commitment of time and other resources. I wish you all success.

Over the last four (4) years of my two-terms as President General Worldwide, the National Executive Council (NEC) has been able to move the frontiers of our association through solid, verifiable and credible achievements aimed at strengthening our association to meet its objectives and developing our Alma Mater. Among others, under our watch, the school and OBA have seen the following:

  1. Major renovation and upgrade of the Assembly Hall,
  2. Renovation of the Sports Pavilion,
  3. Renovation of the library, administrative blocks,
  4. Renovation of laboratories and classrooms.
  5. Complete upgrade of Sapele House.
  6. Engagement of a top education consultancy in the country, the Institute of Education of the University of Ibadan, to train the teachers and students as part of a plan to upgrade teaching and learning skills.
  7. Appian way and general environmental solar powered lighting
  8. Reintroduction of the Man ’O’ War student cadet unit.
  9. Establishment of Community/School based management board headed by an old Boy.
  10. Solar/Inverter powered borehole and lighting of House and Prep Rooms.
  11. Reestablishment of the game of Cricket
  12. Institution of a marble Wall of Honour for Old Boys who have contributed immensely to the development of the college.
  13. Establishment of a website for the association (www.gcuoba.com.ng)
  14. Publication of 850 page school historical book and compendium
  15. Reintroduction of the school blazer
  16. Reawakening of Benin and Abraka Branches of the GCU OBA
  17. Establishment of the House Warden system.
  18. Registration of the Ship logo as a Trademark of GCUOBA
  19. Establishment of Regulations – a document for effective administration of the organisation and specific aspects of our Constitution.
  20. Introduction of a school mace for processions
  21. Drawing up of the campus master plan to direct organized and orderly future development.
  22. Donation and receipt of forty pieces of laptops.
  23. Installation of C.C Carter bust.
  24. Strengthened the Class groups by saddling them with contributing significant projects to the school at their 40th and 50th Anniversary of admission during APT and Reunion ceremonies respectively.
  25. Rebirth of ’The Ship’ as a handbook for graduating students as well as their formal induction as members into the community of GCUOBA.
  26. Establishment of the Infrastructure committee as a subcommittee for infrastructure and projects recognition, documentation and monitoring.
  27. Renovation of a block for skill acquisition
  28. Establishment of Academic improvement Initiative committee (AIIC)for the monitoring of academic progress
  29. Award of scholarships by GCUOBA through donation from members.
  30. Establishment of Presidential Award system for recognition of members who make significant contributions to the development of the school.
  31. Rebuilding hostels, classrooms, libraries,
  32. Major Renovation of the assembly hall,
  33. Refurbishment of the laboratories
  34. Refurbishment of sports facilities,
  35. Construction and asphalting of all roads
  36. Strengthening of the Horse groups/platforms as a vehicle for their maintenance and upgrades.
  37. The employment of additional teachers to address areas of deficiency in the school.
  38. Introduction and acceptance of zoom for NEC meetings in the Covid ravaged years
  39. Introduction of webinar as a tool for reminiscences.
  40. Development of a road map for the takeover of the management of the school.
  41. The introduction of an annual dinner to hold in London in 2023.
  42. The continuation of the Annual GCU Relays and the establishment of a standing committee to ensure smooth operations and continuity of process and funding.
  43. Constituting the vital structural element of the body of GCUOBA. E.g. The National Disciplinary Committee, registration of the Board of Trustees with the Corporate Affairs Commission and the Committee for the Lifetime Achievement Awards.

I have planted a seed and ignited a fire which is burning through the Branches, Classes and the Houses. Everyone is struggling, striving and moving to make their own input and be recognised as bonafide members of our great association. The future is brighter than the present as a result of this new phenomenon. To God be the Glory.

To conclude I want to thank those who worked with me in my administration for their support and commitment without which our modest achievements may not have been. Thank you and here’s wishing us all a happy and memorable Reunion.