By Chioma Ndife
The graceful life of Sir Augustine Okonkwo Ezerie Obikwelu, an Indigene of Agulu in Anaocha LGA, Anambra State, has been celebrated by the children, friends and well-wishers at the 80th birthday party organized by the celebrant’s children.
The 80th birthday celebration organized recently at Sir Obikwelu’s country home in Agulu, commenced with a concelebrated Eucharistic Mass led by the Auxiliary Bishop of Awka Catholic Diocese, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye, at the Holy Family Catholic Church, Agulu.
The celebration of the life of Sir. Augustine Obikwelu who was blessed with six children and 18 grandchildren was geared at thanking God for his numerous blessings and divine help upon the celebrant.
Fides gathered that the birthday celebration put together for Sir Obikwelu availed the celebrant’s children the opportunity of appreciating the contributions of their dad. The children disclosed to Fides that the phenomenal life lived by the dad had impacted positively on all of them and described him as their super hero.
Leading in the Eucharistic celebration, Bishop Okoye, who anchored his theme on gratitude, noted that God’s gift to humanity should be humanity’s gift back to God, saying that such was evident in the life of the celebrant. He described the celebrant as an amazing individual who had integrity and had been faithful and straight-forward in all assigned duties, both in the Church and outside.He said it was worthwhile celebrating one’s birthday, saying that it createdan avenue for people to reflect on theirlives.
He beckoned on people to celebrate within their means of livelihood and said it was important for people to extend hand of charity to others during such celebrations.
Speaking to Fides, the celebrant, Sir. Augustine Obikwelu, who was seemingly overjoyed, appreciated God for the gift of life, children and other achievements which he had recorded in his life. She acknowledged God as the number one factor for the success recorded in the training of his children, saying that without God nothing would have been possible for him.
He thanked all his children for organizing the birthday celebration in hishonour, saying that the celebration had renewed his life. He said that his choice of friends in life had helped him in living out a good Christian life. He expressed happiness at being seen as a man of faith.
He advised people to endeavour to live a charitable life and to always be willing to pay evil with Good, noting that God fought for those who did well.
Also speaking, the celebrant’s first daughter, Lady Priscilla Chinyere Oduche, disclosed that the birthday celebration which was put together came through divine inspiration. She noted that her father who had been a pillar to all those who came across him, was an epitome of faith and a practical Christian, full of love and care. She maintained that the dad’s attributes made all who came in contact with him to develop unflinching trust and confidence.
The celebrant’s first son, Mr. Chinedu Obikwelu, revealed that the importance of honesty, prayerfulness and sincerity, were imbibed inhim and his siblings early in life by their dad, who, he said, lived a true Christian life. He said that sincerity had brought lots of commendation his way.
For her part, a long standing family friend of the celebrant, Mrs. Amaka Obianunwa, described the celebrant as a blessing to humanity, having distinguished himself with his quiet, peaceful and truthful manner of doing things.
Cutting of the cake, dancing, and presentation of gifts, among others, were highpoints of the celebration which attracted people from various walks of life.