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Graphic journalists celebrate retired News Editor

BY: Timothy Ngnenbe
Mr Nehemiah Owusu Achiaw (arrowed), being mobbed by the Graphic reporters during the farewell party. Picture: NII MARTEY M. BOTCHWAY
Mr Nehemiah Owusu Achiaw (arrowed), being mobbed by the Graphic reporters during the farewell party. Picture: NII MARTEY M. BOTCHWAY

When a gallant soldier hangs his boots, knowing that he has gathered skulls from the battlefield after years of active service, he is fulfilled.

People sing his praise and celebrate him for a job well done.

That was exactly the case with Mr Kwaku Nehemiah Owusu Achiaw, the retired News Editor of the Daily Graphic.

It was a nostalgic moment when he entered the newsroom yesterday, two weeks after he had proceeded on leave prior to his retirement in July, this year.

His return to the newsroom was to honour an invitation by the staff of the News Department of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), to a farewell party.

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The dedicated services he rendered to the company in his 33 years’ career was celebrated in equal measure.

Atmosphere

Editors, reporters, designers, proofreaders and all category of workers in the department spoke highly of his sober, affable, and father-figure nature that would be missed.

Almost all workers in the newsroom abandoned their work to give him hugs and warm embraces as though they were all responding to a command button that had been pressed.

It was a sight to behold as the workers tried to undo one another to take photographs with him.

And when a five-minute slide show of pictures of Mr Owusu Achiaw started to roll on the screen, there were intermittent shouts and cheers from the staff.

The newsroom went agog when he jokingly issued a command “stories, stories” reminding reporters about the days when he sat at the news desk and asked for stories for the day.

Presentations

The ceremony to honour Mr Owusu Achiaw was attended by the Managing Director of the GCGL, Mr Ato Afful and the Director of News, Mrs Mavis Kitcher.

Various groups in the newsroom made presentations to Mr Owusu Achiaw in recognition of the pivotal role he played in their professional careers and for the company.

The acting Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr K. K. Inkoom, made a personal presentation to him for his good work.

Mr Albert K. Salia, who was his Deputy News Editor for years, also made a personal presentation to him.

His colleagues of the 1984 year group of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) at GCG Lwhich included Mr Owusu Achiaw and the Editorial Board of the Daily Graphic, also presented a parcel to him.

Reporters from the head office in Accra and across the regions were not left out.

They also presented a “thank you” package to him in appreciation of his leadership qualities.

Another presentation was made by the Design Unit of the newsroom.

Commendation

Mr Afful lauded the great work done by Mr Owusu Achiaw for the GCGL spanning three decades.

He called on Mr Owusu Achiaw to continue to support the company even in retirement, noting that he had a depth of knowledge that could not be allowed to go waste.

“The outpour of love and praises from all workers in the company shows that you have led a good life and left a good legacy for the younger ones.

You are still a young man so we will continue to rely on you for support,” Mr Afful said.

He urged the younger reporters of the company to let the good work of Mr Owusu Achiaw reflect in their work to uplift the company.

Mrs Kitcher, for her part, expressed appreciation for Mr Owusu Achiaw’s work attitude. “Honestly, he has been a good person to work with all these years.

Even when he was late in delivering stories for publication and I walked to him, I left his desk quiet and fulfilled because what he would say to me was good,” she said.

She asked other workers to take a cue from the life of Mr Owusu and be remembered for something when they eventually bowed out from the company.

At his turn, Mr Inkoom described the retired News Editor as a dedicated person who paid his dues, with regard to the sustainability of the newsroom business.

He said the services of Mr Owusu Achiaw would forever be missed by the company.

Appreciation

In appreciation of the honour done him, Mr Owusu recounted the gall and glory moments he had at the company.

He was emotional as he thanked all reporters, colleagues and workers of the GCGL who believed in him and supported him to perform his role as a News Editor.