Taiye (aka Tayita) Akinnawo (1966-70)
I was in St Joseph’s College Ondo to know you as and simply call you Brother Thomas w0ith no surname affixed to it. It was when I left school that I got to know your full name to be Francis Thomas McCrea. I thank God for your life on achieving the age of 90 years. Surely, God has been very merciful and faithful to you during these 90 years because you live a life of service to humanity. You live your life with lots of love, care, courage and perseverance. You were able to cope with the harsh environment in which you worked as a Principal in St Joseph’s College Ondo, Nigeria. There was no light, no water and all that were needed to give you a minimum comfort, but you persevered to ensure you gave us good education. I sincerely believe that God in His infinite mercies have considered all this to bless you with long life in good health.
Nobilitas and of course the Ondo Community appreciate you. Your footmarks at St Joseph’s College Ondo remain indelible. We cannot talk about St Joseph’s today without a mention of your name and your good works. We cannot forget how you cared for us as children, ensuring that we woke up early to assemble at the Chapel for morning devotion. We cannot forget how you were going round the dormitories at night, even at risk, to ensure we were on our beds. We cannot also forget how you chased us to classes and preps so that the purpose of sending us to school by our parents was not defeated. In short, you are a cherished and unforgettable Principal. You were not just interested in the students’ academic pursuit, you promoted sports development in St Joseph’s. In fact, your contributions to sports development and active participation in all competitions were unparalleled. That was the period we defeated Ondo Boys High School in Ondo Stadium. Also, in Athletics. Table Tennis. Volleyball and Basketball, you were no doubt a sports enthusiast par excellence pursuing all round sports development in the school.
On the occasion of your 90th birthday, I heartily congratulate and rejoice with our only Brother Thomas and join other enthusiastic admirers in wishing you a Happy 90th Birthday. I pray that the Almighty God’s presence will continue to abide with you. I also pray that God will continue to show you His marvelous loving kindness and hide you under the shadow of His wings. The Good Lord will continue to bless and protect you as you journey along the remaining years of your life in Jesus name. Many happy returns and many more years of excellent health and service to mankind.
And at 90 years, I say Congratulations and Many Happy Returns. Amen!