On March 6, the ACCL celebrated Ghana's Independence Day. Here are just a few pictures and readings from the event:
SPEECH BY Guest Speaker: Rev. Joseph Grains Wilson Jr.Pastor Centralville United Methodist Church
THE 16TH GHANA FLAG RAISING CELEMONY AND 61ST INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION, MARCH 10, 2018.
THEME; “Co Pilot the Flight in This Second Time Ever, that, Ghana is Flying by Sight.”
Mr. Mayor, Members of Lowell City Council, Representatives from various Organizations, Mr. Presiding, Program Coordinator, and all Invited Guests, on behalf of his excellency, the leader, commander in chief, and the President of the Republic of Ghana, the honorable Nana Akufo Addo, I warmly welcome your presence to this beautiful Town Hall on such a remarkable day of remembering Ghana’s history – The 16th Ghana Flag Raising by Ghanaians in Lowell and the 61st celebration of Ghana’s Independence.
The president with his cabinet also extend their warm greetings, appreciation and thanksgiving to all nations throughout the world where this great occasion is remembered and celebrated.
I personally give my sincere thanks to the committee with the support of the City of Lowell who made this possible and honoring me with this privilege to be your speaker. I know our country Ghana is proud of you and stand behind you for lifting our small great country abroad.
With Ghanaians both present and absent, including myself, Ghana is our mother land and will continue to be – Therefore, I urge all of us to do our best to make Ghana’s DREAM come true. Let us remember that our Forefathers shed their blood to set us free, and it is our turn to do our best to continue the journey.
Brothers and sisters gathered here today, I have a dream for Ghana, and that dream shall come to pass if only, we the citizens of Ghana, “Co Pilot the Flight in this Second Time ever, that Ghana is Flying by Sight.” I see from the program that I only have ten minutes and can’t say much but will draw you a little to why Ghana fought for its Independence, and how things have been since then.
Ghana, the then Gold Coast, with riches in minerals, suffered from the hands of Colonial Masters who were fighting to control its territory as well as its wealth in trading. The British Colony took full control of all its trading posts from 1826 – But without taken much time, with the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah, after wresting for years, fought to free Ghana on 6th of March, in the year 1957; Some 61 years ago, when I was in the second grade and enjoyed some of its fruits.
It did not take time when Kwame Nkrumah, through his role in leadership, power, authority and ideologies, earned him the title, “OSAGYEFO.” (Meaning, Great Savior). Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, he became known of, had imagined how Ghana was going to look like, some ten years after he had taken it over from the Colonial Master – With strong hope, he knew his imagination would come to pass and Ghana’s dream fulfilled. Nkrumah was a Pilot with sight – He knew the destination he was flying the country and the direction to get there. He also knew Ghana could not do it alone but to include its allies. And so, in his address to the nation the first time, he declared, quote “The Independence of Ghana is meaningless, unless it is linked to the total liberation of Africa.” With this ideology, of uniting the continent of Africa into the United States of Africa, caused the overthrown of his government by American leadership who did not want to see this happen. Nkrumah’s regime therefore ended on February 24, 1966.
During the reign of Nkrumah, Ghana was stabilized, there was peace, jobs were plentiful, education was accessible and free, the country was so safe that no one wanted to live outside it. If anyone would travel abroad, it was on government scholarship to study.
From the year 1967 to 2016, came leaders who were Pilots with no sight; they were the opposite of Nkrumah who did not know the destination they were heading and to have found the direction to get there. Everything was chaos. I stand here today with pride to say, that Ghana presently, under the regime of his excellency, Nana Akufo Addo, Ghana is at the second time, heading the right direction: And I believe the whole world stand behind him.
I know most of us Ghanaians have been angry after the year 1966, that we wish we never attained Independence. Why? Because when we reflect on our past, we are challenged into delving to know why most of our young generation are leaving our country to places where they are tortured but keep leaving. Our leaders after Nkrumah could not resolve that problem. There have been so many questions that could not have answers. But with my biblical experience, I think I can have one answer for you. Without wasting time into bringing the whole Scripture to you, I know, and you know, that every Ghanaian with a minimum education knows something about Scripture to the extent of knowing Israel’s history – How they ended up in Egypt, into slavery, and how through Moses, God delivered them and brought them to the promised land. Life was not easy for them after they came out of Egypt that they fell the same way that you have feeling – There were times they missed Egypt with all they went through. It is always had to transition from some situation you are accustomed with into a new one – But they build us up. When we go through hard times, we learn. Hard times are teachers: they teach us to correct our mistakes and build on them. Israel went through many detours in living until the Lord Jesus Christ came to save.
My fellow Ghanaians, all I want you to know today is, God through Ghana’s Moses, (Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah), freed us from our Colonial Masters - Those that came after him could not follow his precepts – Now we have seen some signs of promises in one that has come in an image of a savior, our new president, the honorable Nana akufo Addo, who carries the message of love, without which a leader cannot move a country forward. For Nana to lead the country to its dreams, he needs our general involvement. The time has come that we Ghanaians, have to burry our differences, our pride, and anger, and present ourselves a living sacrifice for our mother land. It is by so doing that our country will grow to attract foreign businesses.
In conclusion and to cap what I just said, I will quote from Romans 12: 1b – 2, “Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be transformed to this world, but be transformed by renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – What is good and acceptable and perfect.” Yes, Ghana is in a recovery period. We do not need to listen to other people’s ill ideas that will influence our good thinking of moving to the next stage. We are in transformation period of renewing our minds that we can listen to the discerning voice of our creator.
Friends, I recently visited Ghana and comparing it with five years ago, the changes I saw especially with education, employment and lighting system, I concluded that finally Ghana will get there. I know we want to see all things changed immediately, but it’s a matter of time. With what I saw during my visit and hearing our president’s recent speech in America when he addressed the Senate, all came to my mind was John Newton’s “Amazing Grace.”
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! I was once lost, but now am found; was blind but now I see.
The 4th stanza is my promise to Ghana. The Lord has promised good to me, his word my hope secures; he will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures.
May the Almighty God richly bless the world especially Ghana and America.
Chanya, a fifth grader in Lowell, read the following poem:
The Gold and the Brave
Ghana oh Ghana
The precious land of gold
Far more beautiful
Than I was ever told
But what about America
The land of the free
The country that is blessed
Given to me
Where equality rules
Where freed reigns
Where all is right
Where all is gained
Ghana oh Ghana
The Warrior King
That wonderful country
The song I will sing
But America and Ghana
Both will surely do
Freedom and justice
For me and for you