Exciting. Unforgettable. Splendid.
Just a few of the words used to qualify Presec-Legon’s 2016 Torch and Bonfire Night.
The event, by all standards, lived up to the hype and pomp which graced it last year around the same time. The satiation was evident and conspicuous as patrons, Ɔdadeɛ and non-Ɔdadeɛ alike took in every bit of what the event had to offer.
The colourful procession, lighting up the peace pole, goodwill messages from distinguished Odade3s and states men, enchanting firework display, top-notch live performances from reigning VGMA Artiste of the Year Elom Adablah (EL) and the best of the best on the hiplife scene, lots to eat and drink: all in a single night seemed to make the over six-hour event a very short night.
Patrons craved for more as the night wore on.
Much credit must be given to the organizing year group and their advisors. Their combination of heads, hands and resources brought into fruition an improved version of last year’s much-hyped spectacle.
The notable presence of security personnel from the Ghana Police Service and health professionals (including an on-call fully-fitted ambulance) as well their handy apparatus provided swift attention to issues which needed their involvement.
Another feather in the cap for the architects for theme: Light it Up for Peace. That part of the entire caboodle drew the attention of the country as many-an-advocate for peace and tranquility before, during and after the elections were drawn into the event one way or another.
It was a truly lit event (as the young ones like to say!) and would definitely be etched in the minds of all who witnessed it one way or another.
EVENT VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
But before the alumni began descending on the campus, work had to be done to ensure cleanliness and a posh environment greeted the expected 8,000 guests. Of course, that meant sweeping and housekpeeing by the present student body. We are sure a few would have broken bounds too...
At the main entrance, a new gate and arch has been built. It looks good during the day, but at night, here's what it looks like...
The new Gate House has an LED screen, an office and a visitors’ waiting area. It was dedicated two days after the main bonfire night by Rev. Prof. D.N.A. Kpobi ( Odadee 1972), who was assisted by Rev Dr. Ebenezer Markwei (PRESEC Board Chairman, Odadee 1978), Lady Queene Asiedu-Akrofi (Headmistress) and Mr William Ofori-Darko (Odadee 1976).
Looks good, doesn't it? The commissioning was done on Sunday, October 9.
And now, back to Friday's event itself, in pictures.
As usual, the success of the homecoming was the fusion of the newer generation of old boys and girls with the much older seniors.
There's something peculiar about the mutual respect between the Presec spirit, which has seen a stronger bond being forged over the last few years.
A key part of the evening was the signing of the peace pole, which was to encourage all attendees to commit to a peaceful election before, during, and after December 7.
The main part of the night was the music. EL's inability to be at last year's event increased the anticipation to see him this year. And it proved to be a good wait. The roar that greeted his ascendancy onto the stage could be heard on the University of Ghana campus, Haatso and its environs.
As for the students who were there, it was Saturday entertainment taken to a different level.
There was a powerful message sent by the VGMA Artiste of the Year when he embraced his beginnings to the fullest. "Presec is where it all began, and I am extremely proud to be one of you," he said.
EL performed all his hit songs. One after the other. Jam after jam.
"I can't believe this night. It's something I can never forget," Ellis Kudayah, a form 2 General Arts student, said after the event.
There were performances from other groups and individuals such as Epixode, Lil Shaker and Choirmaster...
Meanwhile, the 1986 and 1995 year groups, many of whom had not met in years, were having a ball on one corner of the event grounds.
A key part of the Ɔdadeɛ culture is its willingness to embrace like minds, which is why a conscious effort was made to invite friends and family who wanted to celebrate with the school.
Presec's heritage includes its prolific ability to produce leaders in academia, industry and national life. Here's Ɔdadeɛ Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Tertiary Education (left) and George Spencer Quaye (middle, part of the NDC Communication team)...
Below are the MD of CAL Bank, Frank Adu (middle) and Ablakwa...
The venerable Dr. Kwesi Botchwey (Ghana's Minister of Finance from 1982 to 1995) was there as well...
This shot below is an eclectic mix of old boyhood (from left): Frank Adu, event emcee Paul Adom Otchere, Dr. Botchwey and - taking the photo - Bernard Avle, whose program was adjudjed Morning Show of the Year at this weekend's prestigious CIMG awards.
Also co-compering was Joy FM's Lexis Bill, whose show DriveTime on Joy has just been named Radio Program of the Year at the same CIMG Awards gala.
To inspire the newer generation of students, luminaries who have passed through the four walls of Presec were introduced on stage...
But lest we forget, the official reason for the day was to induct the 2006 year group of Presecans into becoming official Ɔdadeɛ (Presec Alumni). The ensure seamless continuity of the Presec tradition, the prefects of the 2016 year group currently in the school were also inducted and introduced.
To celebrate it all, the commemorative cake was cut, assisted by beautiful ladies from Presec's sister school, Aburi Girls.
The finale for the day was the fireworks display. For 15 minutes, the crowd in the school and, obviously, those in areas bordering Legon, were held spellbound by the pyrotechnics. Boom. Boom. Crash! Provided and supervised by the 48 Engineers Division of the Ghana Armed Forces, it provided great colour in addition to the music and festive atmosphere.
The 2016 Torch and Bonfire Night was attended by about 8,000 people - current students, Ɔdadeɛ and the general public, under the leadership of the 2006 Year Group and the National Executive of Ɔdadeɛ.
In the end, Presec's motto led the way for a great but somber evening: In lumine tuo, videbimus lumen.
The preps for the 2017 edition have already started.
Video highlights courtesy: GhanaWeb. Words: Kow Sackey (Ɔdadeɛ 2006) and myjoyonline.com. Photos: Ralphotography and Bevy