By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
After exchanging marital vows in 1970, Chief Sir Vincent and Lady Rachael Okonkwo, KSJI, of Umudunu Village, Abagana, Anambra State, last Saturday, November 14, celebrated their 50-Year Marriage Anniversary, amid fulfilled joy and thanksgiving to God.
Speaking shortly after the thanksgiving Mass held at St Mark’s Catholic Church, Abagana, Njikoka LGA, Anambra State, the husband, Sir Okonkwo, KSJI, described the anniversary as the celebration of 50 years of God’s goodness. He thanked God for his blessings and grace which according to him, had sustained their union.
The jubilant Sir Okonkwo, who was a member of the Ancient and Noble Order of Knight of Saint John International (KSJI), Commanders 614 Federal Housing Estate, Nkisi, Onitsha and an Onitsha-based businessman, appreciated his brother knights and all who joined them in celebration, praying for God’s blessings on them.
For her part, the wife, Lady Rachael Okonkwo, identified patience, love and grace of God as what had been sustaining their marriage. She thanked God for the gift of healthy life and good children which he blessed them with. This was even as she prayed for God’s unique blessings on their children for having thought it worthwhile to celebrate them in their lifetime.
To the nine children (five boys and four girls) as well as 14 grandchildren God blessed the golden couple with, their parents’ marriage had stood the test of time for 50 years. They described it as a shining example of an act of fidelity which was worthy to be celebrated.
Earlier, when he led in the concelebrated Golden Jubilee Thanksgiving Mass, the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, in his homily, thanked God for the gift of the couple, and extolled them for having maintained the rudiments of sacred marriage for the past fifty years.
He advised the children, as well as young and intending couples, to emulate Sir Vincent & Lady Rachael Okonkwo, in order to enjoy happy and fulfilled marriage.
The bishop thanked God for what he termed the healthy good age which He (God) blessed the couple with, noting that both husband and wife were physically healthy and sound.
Bishop Ezeokafor exhorted all to model their families after the Holy Family of Joseph, Jesus and Mary, so as to enjoy heavenly inheritance after their life on earth. in his remarks, the parish priest, St Mark’s Parish, Abagana, Rev Fr Paul Chimezie, thanked God for the blessing he gave to the parish through the jubilarians. According to him, the couple and their children were active and well-known members of the parish.