President Mills, Kufour attend funeral of late Joel Hyde

President John Evans Atta Mills on Friday morning attended the funeral of the late Joel Emmanuel Hyde, who until his death was a member of the Government Economic Advisory Council.

The funeral of the late architect, business icon and former classmate of President Mills, held at the Ridge Church in Accra, also attracted former President John Agyekum Kufuor, and stalwarts from across the political divide.

They included Prof Francis Nkrumah and Mr Bright Akwetey both of the Convention People’s Party, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation and also the ruling National Democratic Congress, Captain Kojo Tsikata, former Special Advisor to Former President John Jerry Rawlings; Mr Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, Chairman of the largest minority party the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Yaw Osafo- Maafo, former Minister of Finance and accomplished banker and also classmate of Mr Hyde.

The premises of the Ridge Church was swarmed with a sea of black as people from all walks of life paid their last respects to the man who passed way at 68 on October 18, 2011.

He was eulogized for his generosity, kindness, loyalty, camaraderie and forthrightness.

President Mills, accompanied by First Lady Naadu to the funeral service,  had paid tribute to the late Hyde for being with him when very close friends had had nothing to do with him when he lost the 2000 bid to become President of Ghana.

And to recall the days at Achimota School where Joel was elected Entertainment and Dining Hall Prefect, President Mills, a member of the 1961 Year Group of Achimota School, arrived at the Church Hall, wearing a three piece agbada in old school cloth.

Old Achimotans gathered around the casket covered with a cloth with Achimota emblems on it, and sang the school hymn “Grey City”  and anther popular song of the school, “From Gambaga to Accra”.

The funeral service, was interspersed with music by the Ridge Church Choir and the Winneba Youth Choir.

Preaching the sermon, the Rev Fr Prof George Ankrah- Badu of the Saint Stephen Anglican Church, Tema, extended condolences to the dear ones, family members and friends, and said God would wipe their tears.

He said existing rivalries should be subdued by national cohesion and peace.  “As a nation, petty rivalries should not steal into our national agenda,” he said, and called for a stop of what he termed “the winner takes all” in elections.

He comforted all grieving ones to be guided by the fact that God would take care of the fatherless and motherless, and that the late Hyde left his indelible footpaths in the sands of time. “May that memory comfort you,” the Rev Fr Prof Ankrah Badu said.

When the service was over the casket was carried in though a makeshift pyramid created by the a group of cricket  players through which the body was carried into a standby hearse,  to be taken for burial at the Osu Cemetary in Accra.

Tributes were read by the wife, children, extended family and Somotex Ghana Limited, where he served as Chief Executive Officer.

Source: GNA

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