By Rebecca Ejifoma
Members of the Government College Ughelli Old Boys Association (GCUOBA), Maiden Alex-Ibru and others yesterday eulogised the late renowned poet, Prof. John Pepper Clark, for his extraordinary life as a poet and legend.
This was the tone set at an ‘Evening of Tributes,’ held in honour of the late Clark and organised by GCUOBA, Lagos Branch.
According to the President, GCUOBA Lagos Branch, Mr. Sam Omatseye, Clark was a man of many parts.
“He was extraordinary in conversation, extraordinary in presence, and even in death, he is extraordinary,” he said.
Omatseye further noted that the GCUOBA worldwide was celebrating the poet and playwright for impacting lives, insisting that he would be remembered by many for different things.
“Some remember him as a poet, some as a colleague, some as a father, among several others,” he explained.
Describing the late Clark as an Izon and integral member of the GCUOBA family, Omatseye said “he was a great man, all his own man.
“One saw in his appearance how a poet, a man of deep sensibilities and immense purpose lived an oxymoronic existence of so much wealth in wisdom and learning, but clad in sparse and simple apparel”.
The Chairman of the Board of Editorial Board of The Nation Newspapers, further emphasised how uncomplicated the late Clark was as seen in his “My Last Testament”. “It is comforting to see that in a country and continent fraught with and stricken by the malady of base materialistic tendencies that robbed most of their children the ability to rise above challenge.”
In her tribute, the Chairman and CEO of Guardian, Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru, revered the late deceased as a man of principles.
“He would speak the truth regardless of the consequences,” she said.
She also commended the wife of the late Clark for her role in her family life.
Speaking also, Princess Juliana Edewor, described the late poet as a father, mentor, friend, icon, and intelligent man.
“He stood as my father when I got married again after the death of my husband.”
“I thank him for his support. I’ll continue to be a friend to the family, a sister, a daughter,” Edewor added.
His family members present included his wife, Prof. Ebun Clark; his son, Elaye Clark; and his daughter, Ms. Ema Clark among others.
It was an evening of eulogies, readings, rhapsodies, remembrances, tributes from family members, fellow writers, critics, classmates and, friends.