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Friday, August 21, 2009

R R Amponsah to be buried on September 3

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Accra, Aug. 20, GNA - The late Reginald Reynolds Amponsah, affectionately called R R Amponsah, a former Chairman of the Council of Elders of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), who died last June would be buried at Adudwan, near Asante Mampong on September 3, 2009. The burial of the late politician and potter would be preceded with a service at the Methodist Cathedral in Kumasi.

The day after the burial would be rest day, but a grand funeral would follow the funeral two days later, September 5, 2009 at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.

On September 13, 2009, a memorial and thanksgiving service would be held for the late Amponsah at the Calvary Methodist Church in Accra. A delegation of the Agona Clan from Asante Mampong, led by Mr Kwabena Gyimah Osei Bonsu, one time Minister of State, made the announcement, when they called on President John Evans Atta Mills at The Castle to inform him of the funeral arrangement of the late Mr Amponsah. Mr Amponsah died at the age of 89 on June 3, 2009 after a short illness.

President Mills eulogized the late Mr Amponsah as a son of Ghana who served to the best of his ability, describing his demise as a loss not only to his relations, but the loss of a friend, mentor and father. "History will judge him kindly and the nation will always remember him.. I saw him even from afar as a very quiet man very accommodating. The nation has lost a statesman, a teacher, an educator and a friend, "President Mills said.

President Mills extended his deepest condolences to the bereaved family. "The nation will make its presence felt at the burial ceremony, so that we can have an opportunity to bid him a fitting farewell. "May the soul of R R Amponsah rest in perfect peace," President Mills said. Mr James Victor Gbeho, Presidential Advisor on Foreign Policy said the late Mr Ampo nsah "would be received by the good Lord in his company in heaven".

While expressing his condolences to the family, Mr Gbeho an old student of Achimota School, where Mr Amponsah also schooled, said: "Let's not waste our tears on an occasion like this, but rather the positive effects he had on others so that his rich experience will enrich our contribution to the building of this nation." As a leading member of the NPP, the late Mr Amponsah held a number of political positions during his long political career He was educated at Achimota College, completing his course in 1942. He was a good organizer and it was no wonder that he was appointed a school prefect. He was gregarious, full of life, energetic and he was liked by many.

Achimota at the time was not a school for students who were only interested in Greek, Latin and other purely academic studies. It was also a place for those who were interested in and appreciated the contribution of technology to development.

Mr Amponsah demonstrated a keen interest in ceramics, and particularly pottery. Those who knew him at the time narrate that he enjoyed nothing better than spending long periods by the kiln firing pottery. And it was remarkable that, no matter how late he stayed at the kiln, he would be at his best and in very good mood the next morning. This was the period of World War II, and Achimota was anxious to promote indigenous industry in the Gold Coast. Among others, it was recognized that there was a need for skills and facilities to help produce bricks, roofing and floor tiles, and pavement blocks. Because of his interest and demonstrated aptitude in the field, R. R. was awarded a scholarship to Loughborough College, at Stoke on Trent in England, for further studies in pottery. He was a keen student and he came out with flying colours, and was awarded the prize for pottery in his final examination.

Considered one of the most prominent Ghanaians who espoused different political ideas from that of the Convention People's Party (CPP), Mr R.R. Amponsah was forced into exile with others from both the CPP and UP traditions under Dr Kwame Nkrumah's regime. Although not too strong due to old age, the former Chairman of the Council of Elders of the NPP, played a significant role in the last general elections in 2008 at which the party lost power to the ruling National Democratic Congress. 20 Aug. 09

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