Thursday, 28 May 2009

Archbishop thought child sexual abuse was not criminal

A moral evil of no criminal import

Just a week ago I wrote about how the trust parents and society reposed in institutions that care for or educate children was betrayed and how children became victims of abuse with no means of being heard out and helped.

The strength of feeling presented in that blog had not begun to ebb when I came across a comment made by a one-time American Catholic Archbishop thus [1], “We all considered sexual abuse of minors as a moral evil, but had no understanding of its criminal nature.”

My blood boiled like I had just unfortunately fallen out of the pincer-grip of a giant man-eating crab into the gaping fire and brimstone of hell and my skin crawled like a million scorpions had awakened under my epidermis.

The clergy beyond the law

Somehow, Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland [2] had weakly found a way of splitting hairs between the moral evil and criminal act of abusing children.

It is strange that if a child were abused by the non-clergy, the abuser would be a paedophile but by this definition as espoused by a person of the Catholic Church hierarchy, it is just a moral evil – if I may add of self-gratification where innocent children are conscripted into pederasty and made catamites for inordinate desire of evil people pretending to be holy and consecrated to the service of God.

Most revered and respected

The Most Reverend Rembert George Weakland who apparently belongs to the Order of Saint Benedict [3] and thereby is a Benedictine monk under the Rule of Saint Benedict [4] “resigned” his Archbishopric in 2002 when it was revealed that he paid $450,000 of diocesan fund to a man who accused him of date rape in 1998, however, that was also the year he reached the mandatory retirement age of 75, the coincidence making his retirement rather ignominious at the time.

Weakland is in the process of writing his memoirs and in it he gives insight into his complicity in reassigning known priest abusers to other parishes without informing parishioners.

In civil society, a known sex offender in the US or the UK would be on a sex offender’s register having probably served time for their offences and key members of the community would know of that offender’s presence in order to prevent a situation where children can be groomed and preyed on.

Growing out of it

Obviously, these are recent developments, in the Catholic Church the archbishop avers without much conviction or empathy but with breathataking naivety that “My general reasoning was that there were probably some kids who 'grew out of it,' and then some who were deeply disturbed for life.

We thank God for those who presumable “grew out of it”, but for those who were deeply disturbed for life, I do wonder for the kind of eternal retribution that awaits the priests who stole their childhoods and sentenced the children to an unimaginably dark life whilst they walked away scot free, free of blame, free of sanction and free to take tribute as holy men.

It beggars belief that this kind of thinking prevailed in the mind of very religious and erudite senior members of the clergy who had the power to change things and ensure the abuse stopped forthwith.

As the Archbishop of Milwaukee for 25 years from 1977 to 2002, he presided over a diocese where a chronicle of 800 pages titled The Sexual Abuse of Children in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee [5] highlights the systematic management, toleration and rotation of child sexual abusers in the diocese.

Rotating the abusers

It would appear that the Catholic Church did know about these abuses and the re-assignment of suspect priests from as far back as 1985 but very little was done as Father Thomas Brundage stated as the beginning of that chronicle – “After 1985, all churches in the United States were on notice that they cannot put priests who have had incidents of having sexual abuse in parishes or any setting where they would have access to children. For the church authorities to have allowed this to happen was sinful, more than negligent, and I believe they should be held accountable.”

The Most Reverend Weakland’s humiliation would have been complete with the deposition [6] he gave on the 5th and 6th of June that ran into 312 pages, fully transcribed and highlighting the activities of 13 named priests.

From America to Ireland

But this is just one diocese in America, in 2007, the Catholic Diocese of Los Angeles paid child abuse claims of $660 million [7] and in the Republic of Ireland where Colm O’Gorman [8] became of the first of many to report abuse to the civil authorities and hold the church and its hierarchy accountable [9] for abuse, he was awarded EUR 300,000 in damages in 2003.

Colm O’Gorman has just published a book, Beyond Belief [10], where he highlights the reality for many an abused child “I was living in a world where a priest who spoke the words of God used me for sex, and there was no-one to tell.”, for “priest who spoke the words of God”, consider father, brother, uncle, sister, mother, aunt, teacher, pastor, person of authority, respected community figure, the list is endless.

Colm O’Gorman was on BBC HardTalk [11] last week where the questions were hard to ask, harder to respond to and almost too hard to comprehend in hearing that any of this could really have happened on God’s own earth and Ireland in particular, but the publication of The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse [12] was a revelation that turned the stomach with unprecedented revulsion.

Is the abuse in Africa too?

The next big question then is, is all this institutionalised child sexual abuse only in America and Ireland or is the current revelation the tip of the iceberg of atrocious moral evils that might be taking place in South America, Africa and Asia?

Places where people in religious authority are held in high esteem, where child sexual abuse could be seen as the collateral taking of spoils for the greater good that these institutions bring to society. Thereby, the end satisfactory justifies the means.

Where the child abused sees it as part of the sacrifice for a better life in the future, where even if parents or the authorities knew of all this abuse the child would be berated, scolded and threatened into absolute silent and pliancy.

Until people start to speak up about familial and institutional abuse in these places rather than allowing the fear of shame to perpetuate an unspeakable evil, the abuse would continue and abusers would congregate to take their sexual favours off our children – IT MUST STOP!, but it can only stop when people start to speak up.

Sources

[1] ‘We did not know that child abuse was a crime,’ says retired Catholic archbishop

[2] Rembert Weakland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[3] Order of Saint Benedict - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[4] Rule of Saint Benedict - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[5] The Sexual Abuse of Children in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee

[6] Deposition of Archbishop Rembert Weakland

[7] Catholic Church pays off paedophile accusers [akin.blog-city.com]

[8] Colm O'Gorman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[9] BBC NEWS | Programmes | Correspondent | Suing the Pope - Colm's story

[10] Beyond Belief by Colm O’Gorman

[11] BBC iPlayer - HARDtalk: Colm O'Gorman – Only playable for UK residents, this iPlayerList might eventually work sometime in the future, it is under development.

[12] The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse

Friday, 22 May 2009

Hotel life: Forks at the ready

Not half a bun fight

He needs a napkin, he had just been hit in the face with a toffee bun and it’s all over his nose. It did not take long as a family arrived and all one would hear from the raucous voice of the alpha male was that it cost a lot of money.

We know, but we do not stay as guests in this hotel to scream about cost, the situation is understated and the appearance is sophisticated, when one needs to speak, a modicum of decorum is not out of place.

However, speaking with ones mouth full is just beyond the pale, we endured it throughout dinner but that just opened our eyes to other misdemeanours that had been overlooked all the while.

Sword fights on a plate

The use of cutlery is as revealing as you would get it from not knowing how to use the placements from the entree to the plat principal to usages that were the cross between fencing and a sword fight with Robin Hood.

Metal to plate like a black smith working on a anvil, the deafening cacophony was arranged like a symphony for the deranged, but when sound comes from the armour on the clattering white horses galloping on the red hills of the buccal cavity, have your smelling salts handy.

I would give it no more airing but being present and having presence are attributes of breeding and nurture that the ability to afford cannot bestow on the present.

A brick house indeed

Full-bodied, that was not the wine but she who should not keep you abreast of events lest you be smothered – if she had a profession, she probably would be a soprano, she had the volume in all the senses of that word in opera to make her presence felt on stage and in your hearing.

Alas, that might not be the case for her couturier accentuated what should not have been accentuated and eliminated what should have been made the more prominent.

If your chairs have arms, your elbows should really not be on the table, not that they should ever be there except in arm wrestling, I need some air or maybe one is just being earnestly facetious.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Child sexual abuse requires greater parental indignation

Where is the outrage?

Words have begun to fail me before I have finished the first paragraph but I will not relent until what is to be written is written.

I cannot muster enough righteous indignation to the lack of boiling outrage to the report about the abuse of children in Ireland and the implications to abuse all around the world vested in the bosom of the Catholic Church.

I know some abuse

My interest is simple; I was first sexually abused at 7 and then even though we lead a seemingly privileged life by Nigerian standards of having servants, cooks, gardeners, security men and drivers, that in itself bought other issues.

These were people employed by my parents or the companies my father worked for who were trusted by my parents to ensure that we were well cared for, safe and out of harm’s way.

Some of these people were sponsored even up to tertiary education level by my parents, but behind the scenes at least 3 of the male servants took sexual favours by inducement, enticement and veiled threats – between the ages of 7 and 11, I do wonder if I was a sexual deviant, a willing participant in games or an abused child in sexual activity with people at least in their 20s.

Tough but bearable

I cannot say any of the abuse was systematic, persistent or violent, but it was sustained, I welcomed my parents home, they none the wiser, the servants expressed their loyalties and things just happened.

I went to a co-educational boarding school, it was tough in terms of discipline and the regimented lifestyle, I was at one time bullied but the whole experience was hardly indelible to the extent of leaving psychological scars, I was fortunate, I was lucky.

I talk about it for the hopeful benefit of helping others walk away from those nasty events of their past but nothing I went through can compare in any manner to the things other children went through as revealed in the reports of The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse [1].

A charity camp in a church

It is sorrowfully and painfully heartrending to read of the sustained, systematic and endemic abuse [2] in Catholic-run children’s institutions in Ireland, it has taken over 8 years to fully compile this report but it has done little to assuage the pain of the victims.

I am compelled to put Concentration Camp, Christian Charity and Catholic Church side by side as synonyms of each other and until much is done to bring the perpetrators to justice, I hope that this alignment gains more momentum.

It is societal compassion that compels us to seek ways of caring for children who are orphans or seriously underprivileged and somehow in our naivety we believed that Christian Charities had volumes of the milk of human kindness to care and cater for the wellbeing of these children.

Our faith and trust in them

Even parents thought these Catholic institutions would instil both discipline and Christian conduct in their children such that many sent their children to these places.

For those children with parents, they probably suffered less but those for whom society had bequeathed the trust of parenthood and guardianship to the agents of the Catholic Church seemed to have been sentenced to hell on earth and here we were thinking they were been brought up as goodly Christian ladies and gentlemen.

The nuns and the priests terrorised the children, raped and molested many, these places were residential homes to society but the reality for the children who lived in these places was akin to concentration camps.

The children were not gassed but what they suffered is heinously unspeakable, and unfortunately, I do not see enough indignation and outrage to bring the perpetrators to justice.

This was a Christian Charity running Concentration Camps supported by the Catholic Church; reprehensible does not begin to help appreciate the situation, when shall we really lose faith and exact judgement?

Secrecy and succour to the perpetrators

These were children who had no voice, who when they spoke suffered more privation and violence than we can ever imagine and now that the atrocious acts have been exposed it is unfortunate that we see the faces of the damaged children now adults but those holy priests and nuns are given succour within the church.

Like concentration camp commandants and guards, when they have done their evil in one place and they were at the risk of exposure, the church moved them to another concentration camp where they had new children to abuse and gratify their sadistic perversion in the light of their vows of celibacy.

The Catholic Church is complicit in the abuse of the children and paying up for the abuse does not half address the way our trust, hope and faith in Christian Charity has been dashed, shattered and damaged.

Suffer the children not make the children suffer

If we as a society will do nothing about this, I would go back to where the idea of real Christian Charity to children began.

The parents brought their children to Jesus, he touched them and blessed them and the disciples saw this and began to rebuke the parents, it is there that Jesus then said, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” [Luke 18:16 KJV]

The idea here is than a child enters a Christian situation to be blessed and their character, implicit trust and faith in the people who care for them is characteristic of those of seek the kingdom of God. Where a child has had this trust breached by adults gratifying their inordinate and despicable desires through persistent and systematic abuse, what we have is children made to suffer rather than children suffered to see Christian goodness.

Millstones and necks in the sea

To those people who have damaged the children, Jesus had one message to whoever has the authority to carry out the right and just action. “These little ones believe in me. It would be best for the person who causes one of them to lose faith to be drowned in the sea with a large stone hung around his neck.” [Matthew 18:6 GWT]

I find no ambiguity or equivocation in that statement, these children arrived in these residential homes with the hope that they would find succour and preparation for worthwhile lives, they found hell meted out by trusted religious figures given the responsibility for their care.

They caused these children to lose faith, in other translations, they offended the children, they caused them to stumble, they caused them to sin – for all the heinous acts committed against the children, if the least is to cause them to lose faith – lose faith in society, in Christian Charity, in mentoring, in hope and the will to live, the statement is the same.

Put a weighty millstone around their necks as one translation says and drown them in the sea. These abusers by the basic invocation of Jesus Christ do not deserve another day of oxygen, they were not to be hanged or crucified which is the punishment of the day but thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around their necks.

Only the severest punishments should suffice

It calls on any form of justice that we might have in our seemingly civilised world to address this abuse in the most exacting way, the severest punishment we can find in our law books without any recourse parole, rehabilitation or reconsideration.

I am no death penalty advocate, but if that be on the books of the countries in which the act was perpetrated then that should be the just punishment. However, I see no necks to put weighty millstones around and there is no sea in sight.

Where is the honour in the Catholic Church?

It is incumbent on the church not only to apologise and show contrition through condemnation of the acts, they should follow the Christ-like idea to its conclusion – expose these vermin and have the law take its full course.

We still hunt after Nazi criminals, more so should be hunt down child abusers, I would dare to equate their acts with those of the Nazi regime, in fact, their acts for the way it has affected the victims is probably worse.

The church must be compelled to cooperate in exposing all those involved in serious criminal activity; society must not be complacent with being blindsided by the religious entities when they harbour criminals.

Parents must speak up

Most of all, if you are a parent and are not already filled with outrage about this, I do wonder.

The children once had parents, I do not think it was the wish of their parents to leave their children orphans and in the least if they had any choice in the matter, they would have liked for society to care for their children in some loving and caring way.

If I were a parent I would want to know that if I expressly left my child in the care of anyone they were really being cared for in the way I would where I also have a choice in choosing the carer and where I can make none of the choices, I will still have those expectations.

Where children have no parents, I would be hopeful that other parents in society would offer the blanket of parent care or at least parental oversight to ensure the children are not used and abused. What has been exposed is bad enough, their sure is much abuse going on still somewhere in our neighbourhoods and it all should stop.

The children lost their childhood, it was taken from them by people we trusted would do a good job on behalf of society under the auspices of the church – if this matter ends here, we have done our humanity a great injustice and the victims a second injustice – we should be bold enough to take the scare out care.

Sources

[1] BBC NEWS | UK | Northern Ireland | Abuse report - at a glance

[2] Sex abuse 'endemic' in Catholic institutions - Telegraph

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Childhood: The pupils of Corona School, Shamrock House, Bukuru, Jos


Memory jolts on safari
Somehow, I have never really finished writing about my childhood as it revolves around my schooldays and the experiences I had growing up.
However, as I think about those days the memories become more keen and reinforced, like for instance, I was on a jeep safari into the arid region of South-Eastern Gran Canaria and these jeeps were really Land Rovers – not the posh kind but the rough terrain ones that look like they could take a real road beating when it appears there is no road.
Each jolt was a reminder of the Land Rover that was our school bus that picked us up each morning and dropped us back at home each afternoon. Basically, Land Rovers were the vehicle of choice for mining companies and one was given over for a school bus.
However, the more important part of this blog is to bring together the additional information I have been able to collect about my school from comments left by others who attended the same school – I could not  forever leave them languishing in the comments areas when what they had to say was quite pertinent.
Many relocations of Corona School
I first attended the Army Children’s School in Kaduna for just under a year and then we moved to Jos, in the then Benue-Plateau State, from my reports, it appears I jumped the second year and started in Class 3 – the assessments must have qualified me for that jump considering I was a year below the class average.
It was Corona School at Shamrock House in Bukuru, we lived in Rayfield some 6 miles or 8 kilometres away.
Joe Miner who left a comment in October 2008 said he first attended Corona School at Miango Road before it moved to Shamrock House and then he was transferred to Hillcrest School which then was the top school in Jos.
Julie Sanda in May 2009 goes on to say she even attended Corona School before it relocated to Miango Road, when it was at Beach Road – these are pieces of information I never knew.
Relationships between their stories
Armstrong who seemed to be a popular sportsman at school attended Corona School some 8 or so years after I left the school he left a comment in August 2008 – I left Corona School in 1975 when we moved back to Kaduna.
An anonymous writer attended Corona School slightly later than I did and then moved to Hillcrest School when a place opened up for her in Class 3.
The stories are so intertwined as Armstrong lost his parents in a car accident and Joe Miner remembers that accident that involved a family, apparently, they were on their way to Kano Airport which was the international airport in the North of Nigeria – Armstrong happens to be Filipino.
More uncannily, Armstrong’s father was a maintenance engineer at Microwave Associates, Joe Miner is now the Managing Director and CEO of Microwave Associates still based at the same address on Bukuru Bye Pass.
Teaching the memory
Julie Sandy remembers the Dent-Youngs, Mrs. Dent-Young was the headmistress when I was there, and her husband was the Chairman of the Amalgamated Tin Mines of Nigeria where my father was the Deputy Chief Accountant.
I do also remember Mrs. Uku, though she was never my teacher, the teacher I most remember was Mrs. Onyemenam who taught me in Class 5, then Mrs. Obole who was the school disciplinarian and Mrs. Agbelusi who became a family friend, I wonder if her story requires a blog on its own.
Only memories remain
We all remember Yelwa Club which used to be the watering hole of all the expatriates, the company executives and their kids, apparently, according to the Anonymous comment, a Philistine named Joshua Dariye – a one time inveterate governor of Plateau State – erected high walls round the club and replaced the colonial style windows with aluminium ones.
Rayfield, that idyllic place where we lived with large expanses of grazing land, orchards and bliss has become a completely built-up area, I suppose all one can say is all these would only be memories never to be relived again but in the recollections gathered together as comments in blogs that reference those people, events, places and ideas.
I want to thank, Armstrong, Joe Miner, Julie Sanda and the anonymous commenter for sharing their memories and corroborating my recollections, their comments with my editions in parenthesis [] appear below.
The Childhood blogs
The comments in the order they appeared on my blogs
1. ARMSTRONG left...
Friday, 8 August 2008 2:48 pm
Greetings to you Mr. Akin,
It’s nice to know that you were also a student in Corona School, Jos, Plateau State.
I was very impressed in how you described your past memories & past experiences of our School and very happy to know that I am not the only one who recalls these wonderful events that had happened to our lives.
I said this because, I was there also, but you were there ahead of me. My time was during [the regime of] President. Shagari in the early 80s' [1979 to 1983], but he was overthrown [in a] Coup D’├ętat led by Major General Babangida [In fact, this coup was lead by Lt. General Muhammadu Buhari, the Babangida coup was years later] and that's when the military rule begun until we left Nigeria.
Of course who could forget that wonderful places, there was the Club House [Yelwa Club] just nearby where Mohammed Isa & I used to hang out and watch the British, German, Dutch and some Filipinos like me playing Snooker or Darts while they were drinking or holding a bottle of Rock.
And yes one of my favourite places was the Swimming Pool, just a walking distance away. I remember it well; Mohammed and I, together with other expatriate friends used to swim there once a month or if there was time.
And just a stone’s throw away, there was the Multi-Purpose Theatre Hall and guess what? It was time for the annual Festival of all Nationalities in Jos, to perform their own folk dance and songs.
I was one of the chosen dancers to represent my Country, at first I felt weird and uneasy, but I did it just fine!
Actually, I was a Break Dancer then; my moves were hand spin & back spin, but not anymore now.
I was one of the Varsity players for the Basketball team, though I'm not that tall but our head coach, actually she was a lady. She saw my talent and skills and put me in as a centre forward and of course we won.
Everyone was very happy in the school that day; they were shouting 'ARMSTRONG','ARMSTRONG'! Of course I was very happy and proud to bring glory to our school.
One event that I can't really forget is when our Headmistress accused me [about something] which I did not do at all. She put it in writing and on the record. Yes, I have a school record not only as a student and Varsity player, but also a record of Chasing GIRLS.
Was it my fault for being popular and with good looks? Actually she was very strict Mrs. Opara (British National) [I cannot remember this name], but she overlooked the situation and jumped into a one-sided conclusion, she didn't even bother to ask me of what really happened.
Is it because one of them was her niece, anyway it’s no big deal for me. [This interesting because perceived injustices meted out to us in childhood have a way of reappearing as milestones in memory, I have one pertaining to my secondary school.]
My father was an Engineer and he worked as a Maintenance Manager at Microwave Associates [located at] 26 Bukuru Bye-Pass Road. Sad to say my parents died in Nigeria, we met in a car accident on the way to Kano Airport.
Thanks for the opportunity for sharing my happy memories and sad moment on your site, I hope you like it and find it interesting. [I do find your story and memories interesting, thank you too for sharing, I am also saddened about your loss, but you seem to have turned out fine. My kindest regards.]
2. Joe Miner left...
Tuesday, 14 October 2008 6:44 pm
Hi guys,
Nice to read all these nostalgic stories. Jos has become a big town now. I was at Corona when it started off at Miango junction before it went on to Shamrock [House] and I moved on to Hillcrest [School].
I think we can all make Jos a much better place by insisting on certain economic and political values. We have had a riot that almost tore our peace to pieces, but we thank God it didn't. We must insist on peaceful co-existence and good neighbourliness.
For Armstrong, I didn't get your last name, and I would like to. I am currently MD/CEO of Microwave Associates, and we are still at 26 Bukuru By-Pass.
I remember many years back when a family was sadly involved in a motor accident on the Kano Road. I was in secondary school then. If they were your parents, you have my deepest regrets. Do keep in touch.
My email: address supplied
Enjoy yourselves my friends! [How uncanny, history and contemporary events wrapped up in a comment that is quite far reaching. Thank you, Joe Miner.]
1. anonymous left...
Monday, 16 February 2009 2:44 pm
Hey Akin
Haven’t read your blog in over a year, [was] bored in my office, surfing different sites. I decided to see what you've written since I was a frequent visitor, - When I notice your Corona School, Jos blog, and I [thought], 'I KNEW he was good peeps' [Don’t understand this phrase, but will leave it as is, must be some contemporary parlance].
I grew up in Jos too, a little later than you, I am a little younger (40,'young-ha ha), and I too have really fond memories of growing up there. My mum still lives there and we take our kids quite often - we live in Abuja.
Jos in the 70's and even the80's was a magical place, do you remember the squirrels outside at Corona [School]? [Not too vividly, but I do remember that we saw a few squirrels] I went there briefly, about a month before a place opened up for me at Hillcrest [School] in the 3rd grade [Hillcrest School used an American educational system, Corona School was more British orientated.].
I have such fond memories of Yelwa Club, mummy was a member of the Horticultural Society and flower shows were a huge part of our growing up [Never attended any of those but I remember more the Guy Fawkes Day bonfires that club arranged.].
I remember the theatre and the lovely wooden floors, the backstage dressing rooms which we thought were haunted and the pool – the deep pool – I must add, it was 13 feet at the deep end.
By the time I was a junior at hillcrest, we had our prom there, in the restaurant, not the auditorium, our theme was Mexican and I think my loathing for “quanta la mera” [It is really Guantanamera and it is Cuban, meaning the girl from Guantanamo, amazing.] began there, our pseudo Mexican band played it over and over and (you get the picture).
I left Jos at 18 - went to the US, and finally find myself, 40 years young, living in Abuja with my husband and our brood.
I don’t know if I should tell you what became of Yelwa Club or leave it an unspoiled memory in your head. Actually I will – two words – Joshua Dariye; the former and disgraced governor of Plateau State.
The first thing he did was erect a high wall around it, probably to stop us from seeing the ALUMINIUM WINDOWS he replaced the gorgeous old colonial ones with. Should I go on? No, I won’t, I’m lazy and I’m over it. This is the face of the new Nigeria
[How poignant, the memories we have of a post-colonial Nigeria long past when we fully took control of things and allowed the legacies to deteriorate. Thank you for sharing your fond memories, seems I’ll never know who you are.]
3. Julie Sanda left...
Thursday, 14 May 2009 1:13 am
Sitting alone in my hotel room on a work-related trip, I got nostalgic, I remembered my teachers in primary school - Mrs Mcphee, her daughter (Murray?) Mrs Uku, etc.
I remembered the Dent-Youngs, the Holticultural Society etc. etc., and decided to do a search for the Women’s Corona Society, and that's how I got to your blog – fantastic piece!
You won't recognise Rayfield now, the idyllic fields are almost all gone – Rayfield is FULLY built-up, there's hardly any demarcation between that area and Du [I cannot recollect where Du might be.].
What got me really excited was your recollection of school kids lining up the road by that railway crossing, waving Nigerian flags as the Head of State, 'Uncle Jack' would drive by in his convoy .[Indeed a shared experience, Yabubu Gowon was the Head of State of Nigeria from 1967 to 1975, he was an indigene of Pankshin, I think, anytime Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo visited, they both went to his village.]
I was in Corona [School] too, started from Beach Road, moved to Miango Road junction and finally to Shamrock House in Bukuru.
Yelwa Club as you have been informed is gone, FOREVER. Foley theatre is no more (I know 'Muhammadu theatre' squirmed in his grave as it was being 'remodelled').
Thanks for sharing your memories. [Thanks for taking the time to share yours too, the story evolves as we get together the full story and timeline of all those who attended Corona School, Bukuru, Jos.]
[There was no way I could leave all these memories stuck in the comments section, so, we have a blog of comments and somehow it shows how recollections in blogs can lead to more corroborative participation by those who have shared similar experiences.
There is more to write about my childhood, it was eventful as a decade, with its years, its months, its weeks, its days, its hours, maybe minutes and one can still savour every second.]