By Jonathan Ugbal
The remains of Madam Adeline Ndoma-Egba, mother of the Board Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, has begun its final journey home.
The mourning house opened on Monday at the Dr. Bassey Ndoma-Egba Hills, in Bokomo community of Ikom local government area.
And, as at press time, a night of tributes which held at her residence off Parliamentary Road, Calabar Municipality had ended.
Also, the vigil is slated for Friday, April 6, 2018 at her residence in Bokomo, Ikom from 6.30pm till dawn while funeral service and interment is at the Memory Acre, ‘Ithaca’-Nkpanjen, Akparabong, Ikom, from 10am on Saturday, April 7, 2018.
The “memorial service will hold next day at the Presbyterian Church, Akparabong, Ikom,” a release from the family signed by Professor Rowland Ndoma-Egba read.
The matriarch of the Ndoma-Egba family who passed away on December 31, 2017, nine days to her 92nd birthday, was born on 8 January, 1926 to James and Elvira Wilson in St. Catherine’s Jamaica, The West Indies where she had her early education before departing for England to join her brothers, Brad and Aston on the death of her father.
In England, she “trained as a Nurse at the Lewisham School of Nursing (affiliated to Guys Hospital, London), University of London, London School of Tropical Medicine & Diseases and the North Middlesex Hospital, where, upon qualifying, she worked at Kings College Hospital, London and the Bristol Royal Infirmary(where she did Theatre Technique also).
“She got engaged to the late Hon. Justice Emmanuel Takon Ndoma-Egba (famously known as E.T) on her birthday in 1958 and they got married on December 16, 1960.
“She joined her husband in Nigeria in 1962 and worked at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (former General Hospital) Enugu, and Park Lane Hospital, Enugu as the first Theatre Matron.
“At the outbreak of the Nigerian Civil War she was Matron at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Umuahia. She also worked with the International Red Cross at the Awomama Reference Hospital, Awomama.
“After the Civil War she was Matron at the General Hospital, Ogoja; Matron at Catholic Mission Hospital, Monaiya, Ogoja and Matron at the Holy Family Joint Hospital, Ikom from where she retired in 1985 into a quiet life of service to family, community, humanity and the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria where she had long been an Elder,” the family said.
Meanwhile, Senator Ndoma-Egba in a tribute posted on his Facebook wall quoted Psalm 90 verse 10 and hailed her lifetime as one filled with love for humanity.
“The days of our lives are three score years and ten, or even, if by reason of strength four score “-Psalm 90.10.
“What further evidence or validation of the Almighty’s mercy and grace upon you do we need other than that today we your children rise to call you blessed, and to celebrate you in death, the ultimate wife, the heart of your husband, the late Elder(Justice) E.T.Ndoma-Egba, who “safely trusted you and lacked no gain, you did him good all his life, not evil and he was known at the gates” Proverbs 31.10-19
“You left the safety of your comfort zones, Jamaica, your place of birth, and England, your place of residence, traversing time and cultural zones to take a chance with the love of your life with a life together.
“You moved back to Nigeria with him after his studies in England and not only accepted the culture, identity and values of his family but got integrated into them without compromising your personal ethic of hardwork, fidelity, integrity and strong Christian values.
“Your life was one of total dedication, to husband, family, community, humanity and the Almighty whom you served with every ounce of your strength and in the choices you made.
“You stood by your husband, chose to stay with him during the very trying Nigerian civil war of 1967 to 1970 to avail the sick, injured and needy of your training as a nurse inspite of your very young children.
“After the civil war you stood by your husband when he chose to return to Ogoja, then Ikom, to serve and guide his people as a private legal practitioner, after having lived in the then Regional capital, Enugu.
“While your husband served his people as a lawyer, you did as a nurse; both of you agreeing to serve and serve from your hearts, without looking for reward.
“You raised the Ndoma-Egba brood to a clan. You accepted every child, biological or not, as an individual, as peculiar, uniting all in love and discipline. In nearly sixty years Daddy’s home has been your home and his people your people. You brought every Ndoma-Egba of my generation (those who were willing to come) under your roof. We were very many. You took brothers, sisters, cousins, nephews, nieces, friends’ children etc and moulded them into one family. Inspite of our number we did not feel crowded, a powerful lesson that love, which you had incredible capacity for, creates space, does not crowd, and love surpasseth all.
“You did not have to get physical in disciplining your very many children whom you knew individually inside out. We feared your tongue more than whatever rod you may have used. We remember your generous dispensation of ‘stupid’, ‘you no get sense’ to an errant child and that immediately brought back the child to his or her senses.
“We remember dinner time which was a time that brought all of us together in love and sharing. Every child has his or her story of your personal attention and intervention. When you did not dispense “stupid” you laughed, laughter that brought tears to your eyes. Today your children laugh from their hearts and they laugh with tears in their eyes, and they share.
“God abundantly rewarded the choices of service, sacrifice and commitment that you and Daddy made. He rewarded you both with longevity in good health, with contentment, with fulfillment and with children, grandchildren and great grand children who are carrying your torch further. The good name you have established no amount of gold can purchase. Today as we make our families we look for you in our partners.
‘‘Like the merchant ships you brought
food from afar, you rose while
it was yet night and provided food
for your household, and a portion
for your maidservants, you
girded yourself with strength
and strengthened your arms,
your lamp never went out by night,
you stretched out your hand
to the distaff and your hand
held the spindle, you extended
your hand to the poor, you never
feared snow for your household,
strength and honour were your
clothing ,you always rejoiced,
you opened your mouth with
wisdom and on your tongue
was the law of kindness,
you watched the ways of
your household, and you
did not eat the bread of idleness,
you feared the Lord
all the days of your life.’’
“Born on 8th.January, 1926 to James and Elvira Wilson in St. Catherines, Jamaica, The West Indies you had your early education in St. Catherines and after college at Lincoln’s College and on the death of your dear father you left for England to join your brothers Brad and Aston.
“While in England you trained as a Nurse at the Lewisham School of Nursing, affiliated to Guys Hospital, London, University of London’s School of Tropical Diseases and the North Middlesex Hospital. Upon qualifying you worked at Kings College, London and the Bristol Royal Infirmary.
“In the afternoon of 16th. July 1957 you met the then Emmanuel Takon Ndoma -Egba, a law student famously known as E.T. at a mutual friend’s graduation party in London. In your words” the attraction was mutual and immediate and we soon began talking as if we had known each other for ages”.
“On your birthday in 1958 E.T. proposed to you. On his birthday, 28th August,1959 you were both formally engaged and got married on the 16th. of December,1960 and in your words “and so began a fairy tale journey into life with a commitment that only death would do us part.”
“That journey brought you to Nigeria in August,1962.You worked at the General Hospital, Enugu and at the Park Lane Hospital, Enugu as the first theatre nurse.
“At the outbreak of the Nigerian Civil War you were at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Umuahia. After the Civil War you were Matron at the General Hospital, Ogoja, Matron, Catholic Mission Hospital, Monaiya, Ogoja and Matron, Holy Family Joint Hospital, Ikom from where you went into quiet retirement in 1985 to serve family, community and God fully having become an Elder of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria in 1976.
“When Amaka and I visited you early in December 2017 you vividly narrated your recent encounter with the Blessed Virgin Mary, you were very happy and excited at the experience.
“For a non Roman Catholic, this was significant. You took time to describe her glory, her beauty, her radiance and her peace. You repeatedly reaffirmed your love for me and thanked me for everything. When I asked you what you were thanking me for you just kept thanking me.
“In retrospect, it was a valedictory. You are now with the Blessed Virgin Mary in Heaven where you are at peace. You are with the Almighty whom you faithfully served while on this mortal plane. You are with Daddy, B.N, Minen Uncle Brad, Uncle Ashton and the rest.
“As you prayed for us and watched over us as mother here, intercede and plead for us from Heaven.
“Though gone, you will live forever in our hearts. We will love you forever.”
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