PA GAIUS Anyaegbulam Iwuagwu was born into the family of Mazi Sampson Uzodinma Iwuagwu and Mrs Iheoma Pricillia Iwuagwu (Nee Ajamgbe) on 2nd February,1934, in Amaeke Village, Iho- Dimeze, Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State. He was the sixth and last born from his mother’s side. His mother died at his tender age and he was nurtured by his father and elder sisters
He started his primary education at IBU Central School in Asa Imo River. After his primary education, he got a job as a logistic officer with Ahia Contractors Company Limited in the present Abia State. Later, he moved to Calabar where he worked with Oron Methodist Boys High School. His quest for a better life made him to work briefly at Calabar and relocated to Enugu, where he got employment in the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Department of Forestry as a logistic officer in1972. Thereafter, he was transferred to Owerri in Imo State due to the creation of new states. He served his fatherland diligently and meritoriously until he retired in 1992.
In 1974, Pa Gaius married his heartthrob, Eunice (Nee Amanukporo) and both wedded at St James Anglican Church, Iva Valley, Enugu. The marriage was blessed with four children- Chibuzo, Ogbonna, Agnes and Augustina. Their marriage is an example of what a good union should be. He was a man that will prefer to have a roundtable dialogue with his family when taking decisions.
As a Christian father, he raised his children to be God fearing. His role in church activities describes his sincere devotion to the work of God. He will always be the first to attend Sunday Bible study before the main procession. He actively participated in Church warden and service conductor, etc. His pattern of life is one that he displeased himself to please others. He made peace his watchword and always stood by the truth. He used the Holy Bible as reference point in discussions and settling issues.
I have come to understand that life is the sum of your choice. My father, De Gaius is a self sacrificing man who is authentic in all of his dealings with others as he tends to be impulsive. It is because of his example that I carefully consider the choices I make as a parent knowing that I can dramatically affect the lives of my children through my choices and characteristics. De Gaius’ characteristics of sacrificing time and energy for others was quite authentic. He was never trying to gain anything for himself. A special dad is hard to find. Dad, I wish you have stayed forever. But I will never forget you. Oh! Not ever. If dreams weren’t dreams and dreams come true, I wouldn’t be here. I’d be with you. Distance is one thing that keeps us apart. But Dad, you will always remain in my heart- a special smile, a special face, a special someone I can’t replace. I love you and I always will. You filled a space that no one else could fulfill. It is irrelevant how much money my Dad made. What matters is how he nurtured us. He never made a fortune or noise in the world where men are seeking after fame. But he had a healthy manner of life. He was a jolly fellow, full of fun and laughter.
As we look back overtime, we find ourselves wondering…… Did we remember to thank you enough for all you have done for us? For all the times you were by our sides to keep and support us; to celebrate our successes; to our defeats? Or for teaching us by your example the value of hard work, good judgment, courage and integrity.
We wonder if we ever thanked you for the sacrifices you made to let us have the very best. If we have forgotten to show our gratitude enough for all the things you did, we are thanking you now. And we are hoping you knew all along, how much you meant to us.
Pa Gaius was loved by his friends and he enjoyed the company of people of his community. He was well respected because of his uprightness. He was a man that did not believe in intimidating and cheating people. Instead, he sacrificed what he had to put smiles on people’s faces.
De Gaius, as he was fondly called will be missed by family, friends and well wishers. I could remember in one of his Church service conducting where he enjoined everybody to collectively contribute towards the propagation of the work of God, using the theme, “ONYE NYEAKA ONYE NYEAKA” which he coined from the book of Nehemiah. The congregation nicknamed him ONYE NYEAKA ONYE NYEAKA”. There was no dull moment in his presence as he always released information that was very educative to anybody around him. He never preached hate to even his enemies.
We are convinced that the Omnipotent and Omnipresent God who has the record of your life on earth will prepare a well deserved place for you in his kingdom.
We, the children are so pleased to see so many of you who understand what a special person our father was. We are grateful that you have joined us to honour and celebrate his life. A life lived simply and with great rest. We thank and appreciate your numerous contributions towards the success of this programme.
We will always remember you Daddy, because there will never be another one to replace you in our hearts and the love we will always have for you. And we also pray God to give us your children, friends and well wishers the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss.
May God grant your soul eternal rest in the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.