My dear Brothers, welcome to year 2020 ! And welcome to a new decade. May the new year bring you peace, joy, and happiness.
Looking back on the past year, I am profoundly proud to be one of you. You have stayed true to the cause, remaining steadfast in your support of our alumni association and, in giving of your precious time and money, you have continued to show your commitment to helping improve the environment in which the current students of our old school receive their education. It is easy to underestimate the value of your contributions, but I am under no such illusion; we as a body are making significant and meaningful contributions.
2019 Baltimore ENDO
The 2019 Reunion/ENDO broke previous attendance records, thanks to the efforts of the Maryland Chapter boys under the leadership of their Chairman, Taiwo Demuren. We had never seen so many people come from international locations to attend our reunion and you would also agree with me that we all had a splendid weekend in Baltimore.
Our 2019 Fundraising for the GCI Education Foundation was also very successful as we raised a total of $29,597.83 (Twenty-nine thousand, five hundred and ninety-seven dollars and eighty-three cents). As we usually do, we as GCIOBA-NA shall soon directly contribute a major portion of this sum to the Education Foundation. The Education Foundation pools our contributions with contributions from individual old boys and other GCIOBA branches around the world into investment accounts that are being stewarded with a view to establish an Endowment Fund for the school. As partners with the government in running the school, we have certain financial obligations and the plan is that the Endowment Fund would provide, in perpetuity, funds that will be used to meet those obligations.
In adversity, you stood up to be your brother’s keepers. I was pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of support, both financially and morally, for the families of our dear Olumide Emuleomo, Adewuyi Adenekan and Dr. Abiodun Soloa. There is no clearer sign of love for one another. And given the Scriptural verdict that Love is the greatest, we are on God’s side. I thank you very much.
For this new year, we will continue our campaign to boost the ranks of our active members. We are looking into adding a few more chapters in parts of the North American continent where more than a few of our members are known to reside but that are currently not under any chapter. We shall also make concerted effort to bring into the fold more of our younger old boys who until now have tended to affiliate more with their Class Sets. As I have stated to some of these younger old boys in previous conversations, Class Set affiliation is important but we also need to continue to work together under the bigger umbrella of GCIOBA-NA.
As a group, we must not neglect ourselves as we are also a constituency of this association. Perhaps the most important thing that we can do for ourselves is to actively look out for one another. I am proposing that we start a pilot Welfare Check program in which every pre-1965 North America – based Old Boy will have an assigned younger old boy who will telephone him at least once a month to check on him. It is my belief that such contact would lift the spirit of both the younger and the older old boys involved.
Starting this year, we are going to put more emphasis on payment of our Annual Membership Dues. It is only $100 and we are going to make it convenient to pay this amount in four monthly installments (consecutive months starting no later than February) on our website. Payment of dues not only signify commitment of our members but also give us financial flexibility to pursue certain benefits such as Group Life Insurance for our members. Financial reserve that derives from the dues might also make it unnecessary to request ad-hoc voluntary contributions from our members (as we have done until now) where unforeseen needs arise. So, please make a firm decision today that you will pay your annual dues this year.
2020 HOUSTON ENDO
Finally, Old Boys, the date has now been set for the 2020 Reunion/ENDO: it will take place during the weekend of October 9 – 11, 2020 , in Houston, Texas. In the coming weeks and months, you will receive information on registration. Please plan to attend this year’s reunion. Our strength is in our numbers and we encourage one another with our participation. Please go ahead and block these dates on your calendar right now. May God keep all of us well beyond those dates.
Once again, I thank you for all that you did last year to support our association, and I personally thank you for making my job as your Chairman easy.
Here’s to another amazing year.
Very truly yours
’73 January Set