Farewell, T.T. Fabyan

Feature Article Farewell, T.T. Fabyan
MAR 24, 2023 LISTEN

On 1st January 1984, nearly 40 years ago, I joined the workforce of the Petroleum Department of the Ministry of Fuel and Power, based in the Republic House building, opposite COCBOD on the Kwame Nkrumah Avenue.

The total workforce was no more than 30, and our boss the Chief of Petroleum was called Mr. THOMAS TROTGRAD FABYAN, a half caste Ghanaian very FIRM extremely hardworking, full of humor and a tough disciplinarian.

In those days, Mr. Appiah Korang was the PNDC secretary for Fuel and Power and we had a small Technical Committee at the Ministry with me as the secretary.

After doing all the ground work the foundations were laid and on 12 February 1985 the Petroleum Department was converted to Ghana National Petroleum Corporation with our offices at the Black Star Line premises in Osu later moved to Tema.

After working in Petroleum for 10 solid years as legal officer I resigned on 1st June 1994 and started my own private law firm, Nkrabeah and Associates, till date.

On Wednesday 15th March 2023, called by the ancient world as “The Ides of March “The fateful day on which historians agree the greatest man who has ever lived JULIUS CAESAR was assassinated in the Roman Senate by 16 conspirators led by his own son MARCUS BRUTUS – on that day I bought newspapers and saw a full page OBITUARY notice of the upcoming funeral of T. T. Fabyan who fell in 2022 at the ripe old age of 80 years.

This is one funeral I must attend at all costs; I said to myself.

Come Saturday 18th March 2023, I left my Kasoa abode at exactly 0600 hours, objective – Elmina for the funeral of T. T. Fabyan.

Reader, believe it or not, one day in 1989, I drove from Cape Coast High Court to Accra High Court in exactly 55 minutes – oh yes, I did it, but not today. Even at that early hour, from Kasoa to Winneba alone took one solid hour and I finally entered Cape Coast circa 0900 hours.

I drove on by the seashore and entered ELIMINA called EDINA by the local people, the first location that the white man landed on our shores in 1472 – Don DIEKO D'AZAMBUNB – a Portuguesa.

Where is the funeral taking place? I drove on to the Catholic Church but there was nobody there – oh, no, sir, a passer by pointed out – go to the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church on the other side of the Cape Coast – Takoradi Highway.

I finally located the place, a very impressive compound, in time to see the procession of the choir for the commencement of the burial mass. It was a typical Catholic liturgy, with “AGNUS DEI” and “KYRES” SANCTUS, PATER NOSTER and so on.

Even though tributes were read before the service started, formally, the biography and tribute by the widow were read at the very tail end of the service.

Reader don't forget that I was privileged to have worked before as an Honourable Members of Parliament for Berekum for 8 years and Deputy Minister for 6 years under President Kufour, so, my presence was acknowledged by the MC and I was given an opportunity to sing my personal anthem “M'atwen Awuarade Anim” to the glory of my Maker, Almighty God.

To my shock, when I mounted the lectern to sing. I suddenly found myself surrounded by old comrades, all retired GNPC Senior officers, including Mr. SAM who took over from me as President of the GNPC Senior Staff Association, a post I held for seven years. I had not seen any of them for more than 10 years, and I did not know whether to laugh in excitement at the sudden reunion or to seriously concentrate on the business at hand – sing, Captain.

Around 11 o'clock everything was over and pallbearers carried the cadaver into a waiting “Transitions” motorcade or hearse out for interment.

Reader, one Sunday I went to a Presbyterian Church in the countryside, at about 10 o'clock. There was NOT even ONE car parked outside the chapel but it was full – no sitting space.

By contrast I came out of the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Elimina to see the car park VERY FULL, as if everybody who came to the burial mass came with a private car – you name it – , BMW, 4×4 land cruiser, saloon cars…….reader, call it a RICH MAN'S FUNERAL and you will not be far from right.

Elmina – the Omanhene, Nana Couduah IV was my client in the early 90s – let me go to the Palace to greet him. Reader he hosted me handsomely with 'fufu' at the Elmina Beach Resort. When I sat in my car I rolled the seat backwards to find two hours later that I was back home in Kasoa.

Farewell, T T Fabyan.
By Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey