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CELEBRATING AN ICON @ 80 CHIEF HERBERT CHIMA MELA (KSC, JP),

OMEREOHA NMA 1 OF NEKEDE ANCIENT KINGDOM

Harold E. Keown, Author and Associate of Napoleon Hill said “Everyone has within him a sleeping giant. No man need be a pygmy. There sleeps within each of us the power to become great each in his own way”.

By the grace of God, Chief Herbert C. Mela, KSC, JP was born on 16th February, 1936 to Lay Reader Christopher and Nneoma Grace Mela (nee Opara of Avu in Owerri West L.G.A of Imo State) of blessed memory. Chief Mela hails from Umuerim, Umudibia Nekede in Owerri West of Imo State. Chief H. C Mela is happily married with children and grand children.

On Sunday 3rd April, 2016, the Mela family, relations, friends, and associates will all gather at St. Michael and All Angels (Ang.) Church Umudibia Nekede, Owerri to celebrate this Octogenarian.

In his early life, Chief H. C. Mela was a fisherman, and a taxi driver whose car Morris Minor was named and registered as Akuchinyere 3838.

After passing his standard six examinations in flying colours, the then headmaster of Nekede Central School; Mr. Egbosimba seeing his excellent result advised him to pursue a career in teaching instead of fishing and taxi driving.

To further confirm his seriousness Mr. Egbosimba paid for Chief Mela‘s teachers entrance exams for him, which he later took and was selected in 1957, this was how his teaching career started. As a teacher, Chief H. C. Mela attended various institutions of learning ranging from low elementary to higher elementary and finally University of Nigeria where he bagged Bachelor in Education (B.Ed.) Second Class Honours.

He equally attended Cooperative College Eleyile, Ibadan Oyo State.

 Chief Mela’s work experience has spanned through teaching, humanitarian, community and politics. He has taught in many places including Nekede Central School, Umundoche Central School Obike, Ngor- Okpala L.G.A, Ife Central School, Umudi Women Training College etc.(all in State).

In 1959 a remarkable incident took place in Umundoche Obike, Ngor- Okpala L.G.A, when the first Bishop of old Owerri Diocese; Rt. Rev. George Elewas Cocking (a Briton), after his consecration as Bishop came to Umundoche Obike for one month Igbo language study under the guidance of Mr. Ohagwa from Egbu; a programme Chief Herbert C. Mela played pivotal role including supplying fish he caught from Umundoche Obike river to Bishop Cockin and maintaining his car accordingly.

This Octogenarian has through teaching profession mentored many people who are now occupying many prominent positions. In addition, during his primary and teachers training days, Chief was also a popular athlete and footballer of the first eleven.

During the Ngerian/Biafran civil war (1967-1970), Chief Mela and his Red Cross team of 40 Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) of 20 males and 20 females were taking care of convalescing Soldiers of Armed Forces 5 Umudi. Prominent among these VAD members are Rt. Rev. Alfred Nwizuzu, Rtd. Bishop Diocese of Ideato, Anglican Communion, and Sunday Declan Uzoma, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) rtd.

A man of great skills and imbued with great leadership qualities (tolerance, diligent, resourceful, trustworthy and honesty), Chief (Sir) H. C Mela is a life member of Nigerian Red Cross Society Imo State Branch, a society he served for more than 50 years in different capacities which took him to some countries in the world. Presently Chief Mela is the Director, Save the Child Motherless/Abandoned Babies Home new Owerri and also one of the oldest directors of motherless Babies in Nigeria.

At community level, Chief Mela has served in various capacities both as Secretary – General and President General of Nekede Autonomous Community (1994-2002).

In politics, Chief Omereoha Nma 1, was a former P.D.P Chapter Chairman Umuerim, Umudibia, Nekede. He was later a Chairmanship aspirant of P.D.P in Owerri West L.G.A of Imo State and a stakeholder from inception.

To further strengthen his frontier of knowledge, our Chief Mela has equally attended many Seminars /workshops amongst which are: Social Justice at Grassroots (1990), Directorate for Social Mobilization (MAMSER), Imo State (1992), Symposium on AIDS, Drug Abuse, Girl child Sexual (1996), Abuse and Molestation: Gift of Life Organization, National Headquarters (1996) and Workshop on Disaster Relief and Preparedness by Nigerian Red Cross Society and Red Crescent Societies (1990) etc.

In addition, this Omereoha Nma 1, belongs to many associations which includes – Diocese of Egbu Christian Fathers Association, Nigeria Association of Economists, Imo State Health Advisory Committee, Imo state Emergent Relief Committee, Owerri Club for Sports and Recreation, Imo State AIDS Advisory Committee, Imo State Ozuruimo Cultural Medical Committee, Chief Mela is also a strong member of the University of Nigeria Alumni Association Owerri Branch; where he plays a pivotal role of IWA-ORJI to the admiration of all.

Some organizations he is a life member are Bible Society of Nigeria, Nigeria Red Cross Society, Sacred Order, Knight of Saint Christopher, Enyi-Udo Club of Nigeria, Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), Owerri West L.G.A, Imo State, Board of Governors, Archdeacon Dennis International Boys Secondary School, Diocese of Egbu, Chairman Board of Governors, St. Mary and Joseph Secondary School, Umualum Nekede, Enyi-Udo Club of Nigeria, Member PCRC, Zone 9, Umuahia, Abia State and Patron PCRC New Owerri.

Some special positions held by Chief Mela are Patron Committee of Concerned Citizens Imo state and Patron, Trinity Theological College Umuahia Abia State. For his various services and contributions, Chief Mela has received various religious, educational/social/humanitarian awards too numerous to mention here.

Chief Herbert C, Mela, who is being celebrated, has used his life to serve God and Humanity via human capacity development.

At 80, Chief Mela; the Teacher has mentored and developed personalities. As a Humanitarian, he has rendered wonderful services to humanity without counting cost or return. As a God fearing person, he has showed love in his services. In his community he is appreciated and celebrated. In Politics, when he vied, he wanted to enthrone godliness in governance.

The Mela family of Nekede -Owerri invites all their relations, friends, and associates to celebrate and thank God for His Mercies & Grace on the lives of their father and grandfather-Chief Herbert Chima Mela on Sunday 3rd April, 2016 at St. Michael and All Angels (Ang.) Church Umudibia Nekede, Owerri.

Chief Mela’s hobbies includes; Reading, Tourism, Tennis, Gardening, Childcare, Photograph etc

By Chibuike Mela (Son).

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