… As Dr. Oriavwote celebrates 60th birthday
By Constaincia Uruakpa
All roads led to Holy Cross Cathedral, Friday, September 24, when Sir (Dr.) Peter Oriavwote, KSM, Managing Director, Salus Trust Ltd, Lagos, celebrated his sixtieth birthday amid pomp and ceremony. The colourful event, which started with Mass, and culminated with reception that drew friends, family and well wishers of the celebrant, from far and near, also saw personalities celebrating the life of the MD on his diamond jubilee. Expressing joy on the occasion, the celebrant said:” I feel great. I just feel that I am beginning another chapter of my life; a life of service. I have trained my children, and they are all out of school right now. So, the next chapter will be to serve society and serve God wholeheartedly. My devotion is service to society and to God. On his experiences in life, Oriavwote said: Talking about low points, I don’t think I have low points. I have been blessed. I was brought up by a Christian family, but poor family. I don’t regret I came into that family because I saw it as a kind of challenge for me to work hard.
So, I worked hard, went through all the educational levels, and while working, I forged ahead to other degrees that I have today, the Masters’ degree, PhD, Accounting, Marketing and all that. They were things I started doing after I had my first degree. I don’t think I have any regrets. Instead, I thank God for my life. He advised people who are 60 years and above to care for others. “People who are 60 years and above should care for others, no matter your level of accomplishment in life. It’s one decade and three scores, that is 70 that people look to. So, it’s 10 years to the time. And therefore, the remaining 10 years, people who are 60 should be able to work, to help society, especially the young people. Nigeria is going through a lot of turmoil, they should try and help people, particularly in the educational areas; children should go to school, and even if they have no jobs, the intellect they have acquired while going to school, they could use to set up some business, and so they could be entrepreneurs.
So, I think people should be able to mentor. At 60 years, people should become mentors to the younger ones, who will be leaders of tomorrow in Nigeria. Delivering his homily during Mass, Rev. Fr. Paul Ijasan, Administrator, Holy Cross Cathedral, urged Christians and indeed, Nigerians have to trust in God, who alone has the power to get them out of all unfavourable situations that they may find themselves. He urged Nigerians to pray and wait on God, as he said that there is no other way than to trust in God because he has everything in his hands. He said: “As things are, there is no other way for Nigeria than to ask all of us to trust God because everybody has all kinds of opinions, and experts have given suggestions and all that, but then, any expert opinion without God is futile. Let’s trust God.” Fr. Ijasan recounted the dilemma of the Israelites, when God sent Prophet Haggai to instruct them to rebuild the beautiful and magnificence temple, which Solomon built and was destroyed during an attack by the Babylonians.
He said: “When the prophet said that God had instructed that they should rebuild the temple, they (Israelites) felt that probably the prophet did not see or hear the vision very well because to restore that temple even to half of what it used to be was humanly impossible, not to talk of restoring it to its old glory. “The prophet told them that the new glory would even surpass the glory of old. So, here is God speaking, and they were wondering how they were going to build the temple. These were people just coming back from the land of slavery. They had no resources, so, how can you talk about restoring the glory of the temple.” “God knows us better than we know ourselves. God knows what the Israelites have been through, but here God says that the new glory will surpass the old. It is not for you to ask him how because most times, when you pray, and God says ‘do not be afraid’, you keep wondering how you are going to get out of your ugly situation.
But this is not about human being, but God.” While thanking God for Dr. Oriavwote’s life, Fr. Ijasan rejoiced with him. He said: “In a special way, we celebrate with our brother, Dr. Peter Oriavwote who celebrates 60 years of his existence. It’s not easy to clock 60, especially in this our country when life expectancy has so much decreased. So, we thank God for his life, and for all the good works that he’s been doing. We just pray that God will continue to bless him and grant him many more fruitful years ahead, in good health of mind and body. “it’s also our prayer that God will continue to uphold and guide and grant you all your heart desire, and grant you fulfillment of your dreams, through Christ our Lord.