Nothing beats the support of your old school mates in your journey of life. In times of your struggles, turmoil and success in life, they play a role in that script. The association of old school mates as one strong group is something we all need to be a part.
There are so many old school mates or ex-student associations still struggling to stand on their feet because a lot of the people to make it work don’t understand what it actually stands for. In most cases, you find that secondary school alumni associations are mostly stronger than the ones from the universities especially if it is single gender like all boys or all girls. These gender based students are popularly known as “Old Boys” or “Old Girls”. However some mixed secondary schools like Federal Government Colleges have stronger associations not just for a particular set (year of graduation) like other schools but as a whole incorporating every graduating sets.
For most universities it is more of the set for graduates than the department, faculty or university as a whole that can function as a group.
One group I have been hearing about their support and love for each other is ICCOBA. ICCOBA is Immaculate Conception College Old Boys Association, Benin City. ICC, Benin as the secondary school is popularly called was built by former Catholic Bishop Patrick .J. Kelly in 1944.
Last weekend I was privileged to be in the midst of some members of ICCOBA, Abuja branch for more than 48 hours. They had come to throw massive support for a member whose mother passed on. One thing I noticed was the respect for each other. The respect given to those who were senior to the others was still maintained irrespective of the fact that some may have been higher than the seniors financially and status. They cracked jokes and played as if they were still students in the hostel.
According to an ex-president who was part of the contingents, he told me that even though that he was no longer the president, they still give him the respect. In the midst of these members are top shot civil servants, engineer, Business men, pastor, Real estate guru etc. One of them was a politician who works with the house of assembly. You will never know because of his humility. One of them even told me that the association has an insurance scheme for members. They hold conferences to discuss about welfare of members, support for the school and other matters beneficial to the members.
Alumni associations that are still struggling to stand should consult ICCOBA, Abuja branch to ask for the secret behind their success and then move from there. When the chips are down, it is your alumni that will fill in the gap before your family members will turn up especially if you are distant from them.
Don’t feel you can do it all alone. You need allies and the best you can get are those from your former schools. If you don’t have one, then start it and if there is one you belong to, make effort to help it grow and become better. Your little effort might save someone tomorrow.
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