… As to die is gain following St. Paul the Apostle
The burial of Lady Gertrude Onyejelem, Friday May 18, 2018 at Okenze Sir Boniface Onyejelem’s compound Ofeama Obibii Nguru, Aboh Mbaise LGA, attracted the clergy, knights of the church and traditional chieftains. They include Rt. Rev. Msgr. Theo Nwalor, Chief celebrant, Frs. Walter Ihejirika, Dominic Nwachukwu, Tobias Ihejirika and Rev. Fr. Eugene Onuoha – outgoing parish priest among others. Others include Brig Gen P.E. Okorie (KSJI), Noble Bro J.M. Alozie (KSJI), Col L.U. Amachi (KSJI), Commander B. Nnabugwu (KSJI), Chief Frank Nneji ABC Transports.
The rest include Amb. B. Onochie Amobi, former Nigerian Ambassador to Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, Sir GKK Agomua (KSM), Sir T.M. Chikere (KSJI), Sir O.C. Agwulonu (KSM), Commander Inno Ukaegbu (KSJI), Sir B.O. Alozie (KSJI) and Sr Vic Odoemena (LAUX) among others.
Delivering the homily at the requiem Mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Parish Obibi Nguru, Rev. Fr. Tobias Ihejirika disclosed to the faithful that “To die is gain” according to St. Paul the Apostle, the title of his homily. He assured that whoever lives in Christ implies that to die is gain. He maintained that Late Sr Gertrude Onyejelem suffered in her illness and has now gained new health with a body that won’t suffer again.
Rev. Fr. Tobias Ihejirika assured that the deceased has earned a new life for the kingdom of God; pointing out that whoever enters the kingdom of God has everything to gain; with the hope that Late Sr Gertrude Onyejelem as a caring mother, would see God face to face. The priest finally called on the family not to mourn, but to rejoice and celebrate, that all her sickness is over in favour of her joining the saints triumphant in heaven.
In a family oration presented by Nnadozie C. Onyejelem 1st son, they recalled how after a six-day of unconsciousness, she woke and shouted, “Praise the Lord,” narrating to Chinyere her youngest daughter, how she has been with Jesus, insisting that nobody should cry even if anything happens later!! They described their mother as a naturally caring mother, open minded, very friendly, endearing to many across her way, reverent to God and a centre of attraction to friends and relatives.
Continuing, the family traced her life and times stating that she obtained her (FSLC) at Holy Rosary Primary School Lagwa Okwuato in 1958 and her Grade II Midwifery Certificate from 1960 to 1962 from Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Ihiala; thereafter, began her nursing career. Her nursing career took her to places like Sacred Heart Hospital Obudie, 1964-66, Joint Hospital Mbano, 1966-67, War Emergency Nursing Service at Nguru under Country Council Dispermacy Nkwogu, 1967-70.
Others included Holy Rosary Maternity Ogbaku, 1970-71, etc, and finally she retired at Aboh Mbaise Joint Hospital, 1985 as a Midwife. Lady Gertrude Akwaugo joined hands in marriage with her loving husband, Okenze Noble Sir Olelewe Boniface Onyejelem (KSJI) in 1967 and their wedding was the first to be solemnized at Holy Trinity Catholic Parish Obibii Nguru, opened in 1966.
Msgr. Cletus Ogu, his classmate and friend who chose the church venue for the wedding a few days after his priestly ordination, officiated at the wedding of a man who doubles as a Noble Knight of St. John International (KSJI) and Okenze Akaraka Nguru Ahiato conferred on him by HRH Eze Anson Waturuocha. Lady, Lolo Akwaugo Onyejelem was initiated into the Noble Order of Knights of St. John International in 1999 as Lady Auxiliary and Lolo, earlier in 1992. They prayed God to accept her soul in perfect peace.
Late Sr Getrude Onyejelem is survived by her husband, Okenze Noble Sir B.O. Onyejelem (KSJI), Mr. Nnadozie C., Mr. Uchenna as sons, while Mrs. Chinwe, Chisara, Ginikachi, Eberachi and Chinyere are daughters including numerous relations and grandchildren.