The Nigerian Air Force has immortalized late Rev. Sister Henrietta Alokha SSH, former Principal of Bethlehem College, Abule Ado, Lagos for her heroic feat. This happened last Thursday in Lagos when it named the Assembly Hall of the Air Force Base, Shasha after her at a very colourful ceremony.
On ground to represent the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos at the ceremony was the Director of Education Very Rev. Jerome Oduntan. Also present at the occasion was the Superior General of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, Rev Sr. Monica Rowland, her Vicar Rev. Sr. Felicitas Osinde, SSH and a brother to the deceased Barr. Anselm Alokha. Speaking on the rationale for naming the School Hall in honor of Sister Alokha, Air Vice Marshall Shittu Alao who represented the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal S.B Abubakar, said the Nigeria Air Force was very impressed by the deep sense of selfless commitment and dedication exhibited by the late Principal in the discharge of her responsibility and which ultimately led to her death. Such traits, he said, which personified some of the excellent attributes of the Nigerian Air Force, are worthy of emulation by all Nigerians and should be encouraged amongst those in positions of responsibility.
The Chief of Air Staff remarked that there are similarities between the Bethlehem College Abule Ado and Nigerian Air Force Secondary School Shasha. “Rev. Sr. Alokha was very close to my heart. She paid the supreme price for the love of children placed under her care. She had the opportunity to flee to safety and leave the children but she did not because she was very concerned about them.” In his own remark, the Director of Education, Archdiocese of Lagos, Very Rev Msgr. Jerome Oduntan described the late Rev Sister as a quiet but forthright woman, “A woman who strived to achieve the best quietly without attracting attention, a woman who loved those under her care. As a Reverend Sister, she has challenged us to be like Jesus Christ who came not to be served but to serve by laying down his life for His flock.” Meanwhile the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus have finalized plans to open an endowment fund in honour of late Sister Alokha.
According to the Superior General of the Congregation, Rev. Sr. Monica Rowland, the name of the fund shall be known as the ‘Sister Henrietta Alokha Endowment Fund for Indigent Children.’ (SHAEFIC) She said the decision to honour her was in deep appreciation of her enormous love and sacrifice for the educational well being of children, especially the indigent in the society. “As you know, Sister Henrietta Alokah was a great lover of children and education for which she devoted a great portion of her life and even died in the process. We believe a good way to honour her would be to open an endowment fund that would cater for the education of poor children in the society,” Sister Rowland said. “The Endowment Fund will help to empower indigent children to transcend the injustices, indignities and inequalities of entrenched poverty that deprives them of acquiring proper education. It will also help to break the cycle of poverty in our communities through education. “While applications shall be considered from children applying to schools in various parts of Nigeria, priority shall however go to students who opt for and have passed and admitted into schools managed by the Congregation of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,” Sr. Rowland concluded.