“Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
An anniversary of a loved one’s death is always tough. It opens old wounds and rekindles memories. 12 August 2022 marked one year since the passing of Prof Andrew F. Walls, a long-standing and valued member of the ACI community. In true traditional Ghanaian fashion, the ACI community had the opportunity to celebrate this first anniversary of his death.
Present on this occasion were family, friends, colleagues, former students of his residing in Ghana and the entire staff of ACI. Friends, colleagues and former students outside Ghana were able join in online from all over the world. The President of Trinity Theological seminary, Rev Prof Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, a younger colleague and friend of Prof Walls, and Rev Dr Aboagye-Mensah, a past Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church Ghana, and a former student of Prof Walls in the University of Aberdeen, were also present.
Rev Prof Philip T. Laryea, deputy rector, welcomed all to the event. Rev Dr Ebenezer Blasu (acting chaplain?), opened in prayer and Rev Dr James K.G. Walton, ACI faculty (chaplain?) and former student of Prof Walls, read the biography. Rev Prof Benhardt Y. Quarshie, rector, gave an exhortation on Philippians 2:… , which was preceded by an elegy composed by the widow of Prof Walls, Dr Mrs Ingrid Reneau Walls.
Though Prof. Walls is no longer with us, his vision, achievements, and legacy continue to live on in our minds and hearts. Tributes were read to remember and honour these great contributions to world Christianity: from Dr Abraham Waigi Ng’ang’a, an ACI alumnus and former student of Prof Walls, Prof. Allison M. Howell, an ACI Faculty/Mentee of Prof Walls, speaking online from Australia, Prof. Gillian M. Bediako, also former student of Prof Walls, on behalf of the ACI Community, and Mr Patrick Oduro, a good friend of the late Prof. Walls.
They all paid tribute to Prof. Walls, reminding us of his gracious nature, humility, kindness, brilliance, sense of humour and love for family, all of which gave comfort to the community facing the future without Prof. Walls.
Rev. Dr Ebenezer Blasu played a beautiful and moving Atenteben dirge ‘Blewu’ to honour his passing.
A brochure was produced for this occasion, which included the biography and tributes, a hymn composed by Prof Walls, as well as a few photographs.
Announced towards the end was a new initiative in honour of Prof Walls. ACI in collaboration with Trinity Theological seminary has established an annual seminar in honour of Prof Walls, the first of which in God’s mercy is expected to be held in October this year. Further details of this seminar will be communicated.
When a great man dies, for years the light he leaves behind him, lies on the paths of men – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.