THE OBAZES BURY THEIR MATRIACH
The Obazes bury their matriach
By EVELYN ONYIBE
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Governor Peter Obi (right) with wife and a guest
It was indeed a celebration of life well spent when the remains of Mrs Rosemary Omoluzua Obaze was laid to eternal rest on Friday, February 19 2010 at Ochuche Umuodu in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State. Madam Obaze aged 81, was the mother of the Anambra State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr Dubem Obaze. She died on December 25, 2009 in Woodbridge, New Jersey, United States of America leaving behind six children and thirteen grand children.
That Madam Obaze was a highly revered person could be seen not only in the large turnout at her burial ceremony but also in the caliber of people who attended the ceremony. Anambra State Governor Peter Obi was there in person along with his Deputy Dame Virgy Etiaba and the Akwa - Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio. There were traditional rulers, politicians, businessmen, and of course the clergy as Madam Obaze was a very active member of the Catholic Church.
His Grace, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha was the celebrant at the funeral mass while His Lordship, Most Rev. Hilary Okeke, Bishop of Nnewi Diocese, His Lordship Most Rev. Augustine Akubueze, Bishop of Uromi Diocese and 35 other priests served as co - celebrants.
The tributes to Madam Obaze recalled that she lost her husband some forty years ago but she never wavered in the task of making sure that the six children she was saddled with the task of bringing up got decent up bringing. Coincidentally, her husband died on December 25 1969 and she took her bow exactly forty years later on December 25 2009. Dubem testified to her exemplary conduct in his tribute to her, He said.' You taught me to read and write at an age when my class mates could not even spell their names, you taught me charity and kindness, you taught me love and faith, you taught me to say thank you and excuse me, you taught me to trust in the Lord, you taught me hard work and perseverance, you taught me sacrifice as you sacrificed all you had to give me and my siblings a good education, you nurtured and mentored me till you left on that faithful Christmas day'.
Neither did her faith in God waver. Bishop Hilary Okeke who delivered the homily extolled the exemplary legacy of Mrs Obaze especially in respect of her commitment to the growth to the church. Mrs Obaze, it was recalled, upon retirement from civil service as a school Principal, spent her time mobilizing resources for the building of a new church in Umuodu and canvassing for the station to become a full fledged parish with its own pastor. Even with the realization of this dream in 2005 with the establishment of St Mary's Parish, Umuodu, she remained very active in the Parish Council and in the Catholic Women's Organisation among other church societies. It could therefore not have been surprising that she received various awards and Papal blessings.
Her social life and outlook was no less noble. She was exposed to life in other cultures as she attended Holy Child Convent School, Calabar. As an educationist and as the wife of a senior civil servant, she lived and worked in far flung places in the former Eastern Region between 1950 and 1980 when she retired from public service.
With such a fulfilled life, it was no surprise that people from all walks of life turned up to pay her final respect at the burial ceremony. Apart from those earlier mentioned the burial ceremony was also attended by Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and his wife Bianca, National Chairman of APGA Chief Victor Umeh, Commissioners and Local Council Chairmen in the state. From the business community came Ikem Odumodu, Managing Director, May & Baker, Chief Nnamdi Unobuagha, the Chairman Onitsha Main Market Amalgamated Traders Union (OMMATU), Mr Alfred Nwosu, Executive Director of Reads & Marks among others. There was no doubt that they and others who attended the ceremony all wished Anambra State, Nigeria and indeed the entire humanity would be blessed with more women like Madam Rosemary Obaze