The pomp and pageantry that attended the recent Anambra State Association Finland Christmas End of the year party spoke eloquently of the people’s rich cultural heritage. The occasion which held at the Espoon vpk-talo hall in  Itainen Jokitie 1, Espoo Finland on Saturday 11th November 2017 was packaged by the Anambra State Association Finland (A.S. A) in sophisticated cultural extravaganza

with delegates from almost all Igbo associations in Finland namely Helsinki, Turkku, Tampere, Vaasa and of course other African states representatives were there, including the Ghanaian King of  Ashanti community in Finland, Kenyan, Senegal, Cameroon and all the Igbo union branches.

The occasion was also attended by dignitaries from other eastern states of Nigeria, representatives of other Nigerian tribes. Other state Association were also present in their numbers to lend their support to their parent association. In Finland, it was a gathering of the Igbo elites in the Finnish society. The event was reminiscent of Anambra being a pacesetter state in Nigeria with rich culture and tradition.

Anambra State Association Finland is a nascent umbrella body for all Anambra indigenes, resident in Finland. According to Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi, the chairman of Anambra State Association Finland, it aims “to strengthen the bond of relationship that existed between (the Anambra indigenes) in Diaspora.”

In his opening Speech, The Chairman of Anambra State Association, Mazi Anthony Claret Onwutalobi, thanked everyone who was present in the occasion and he also used the opportunity to preach the good message of love, peace, and harmony amongst Ndi Anambra. The felicitation note from the Anambra State Association Europe was also presented by ASA secretary on behalf of the Interim chairman of the ASA Europe, Mr. Christian Onuorah. In his message, Mr. Onuorah wishes (ASA) Finland well on their Special End of Year Celebration and commend them  on their unity obtained through hard work, diligence, and hope for the better future of Ndi Anambra in Finland.

This year’s event was different from the previous ones because children from Anambra state and other children had the opportunity to get beautiful presents from the African Father Christmas. The great occasion was chaired by Mr. Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi who is the chairman of the Association.

The association also launched their almanac during the event and chief launcher of the occasion was Mazi Kentucky, a successful Igbo businessman from Igbo ukwu and he was supported by other very important personalities. During the event, the Anambra state women entertained the invited guests with a beautiful song accompanied by a glamorous dance which depicts the rich cultural heritage of Ndi Anambra. The Anambra states kids were not left out as they rendered some wonderful Christmas carol songs.

The climax of the occasion was the investiture of the patron of Anambra state association (A.S.A) to the person of Mazi Edwin Nzewi, an erudite scholar from Nnewi by the ASA chairman Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi and his executive council. The Anambra state association almanac was successfully launched by the chief launcher of the occasion who opened the floor with a good sum of money. One of the highlights of the occasion was the raffle draw that was held and the lucky winner was Mazi Osuala who went home with a brand-new laptop. The ticket for the raffle draw was €5.

The association used the opportunity to present their new musical equipment and entertained the audiences with a mesmerizing igba Akwu na eche enyi music.  The past executives were also honored with certificate of appreciation for their good works to the union.

ASA members also exchanged gifts among their members during the event in the spirit of Christmas.

The event came to a close after with a vote of thanks by the vice chairman and great dancing performance by all the attendees.

Below is the full speech of the chairman of the Association, Mazi Anthony Claret Onwutalobi

Good evening everyone! It’s lovely to see you all looking so festive. I promise not to take up too much of your valuable Christmas party time, but I wanted to thank you all for a great year.
“I first want to thank you all for coming to our Christmas End of year Party. I especially want to thank all our members, their spouses and children that put up with us all through the year to make this party possible.

“Despite what we’ve thought about the past 12 months, this has been a great year for all of us. we’ve made it through to the end of the year. There are so many more people here than last year for our party. It really wonderful This warms my heart.

It’s nearly Christmas and we’ve got a lot to be grateful for. We all worked very hard this year and it really paid off. As a result of your efforts, our associations’ membership grew, by 25% percent. We now have our cultural equipment’s ready to promote our cultural and musical values. Our Restaurant day project was a real high and even our Summer picnics and other outdoor events we have had with our families were all successful. We now have our association website and the state of art membership and document management system to help us manage the association very efficiently and today we are launching our Almanac.

I’m really proud of how we’ve all pulled together and the terrific results we have achieved. This is something we can all be proud of. I know that you often work hard far into the night and wonder if anyone has really noticed your active contribution to our association. Tonight, I want to reassure you: we do notice, we do appreciate what you do, we do value it, and we are grateful. I am sure that I can count on all of you, on your utmost dedication, inspiration and professionalism, in making this all happen. You are all, whatever your role and responsibilities, indispensable for our association.
As you may realize we have made some preparations so that the spirit of Christmas can be felt in this association and inspire us to cleanse our hearts of all bad feelings, forgive the offenses and unite us even more as the great family that we are.

Christmas is a time that brings us many pleasant memories, even of our earliest childhood in the company of our family and our good friends, but also gives us the opportunity to meet again with our loved ones and live many more special moments that we will remember with great affection, that is why we must prepare ourselves to celebrate this feast with our hearts full of hope, charity and love, to share it with all the people around us.

For 2018, we are expecting another great year. Thanks to you we’ll be going into the new year with strength, to build on our accomplishments and to consolidate our position. I hope we will be even more successful during next year and gain a lot of new opportunities to present our cultural values and qualities. Let’s celebrate that.

Before I sit down, I’m sure we’d all like to take a moment to say hello to the sister associations and friends that are represented here, and welcome them. On behalf of the executives and the members of our association, we want to wish you a Merry Christmas and celebrate it in the company of your loved ones receiving great blessings and discovering that there is no bigger gift than being together as a family, enjoying the peace and love of this beautiful party. And that’s what I wish for you all!

I hope to see all of you back here next year. Please enjoy the evening, it may be a significant memory for all of us. “I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Thank you, a lot, for your attention. God bless!

To view the event gallery visit here

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