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A tribute to Late Professor Aregheore Martins Eroarome
There is no better way to start this tribute than with the words of Etienne de Girellet, “I shall pass this way but once, any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” I write this because this man did his best to keep to these words.
It never occurred to me that I would so soon or someday write a tribute to Prof. Aregheore Martins E. and some people can right ask if I am in a better position to write a tribute to a man whom I barely knew. This is because he left his base in Canada and was with us for about six months, only, before his death. Within those months, we might have met for less than eighty times. Yet, it was as if he had been with us for a long time. This is because he came and he became a part of us and that part of us is what we have lost and that is why I am in a better position to write a tribute to that part of us which we have lost. I said “us” because his departure was great loss to us, the students, whom he taught. Not just because he was a good and kind lecturer but he was also like a father, a brother, and a friend to all of us. He called me “my friend” and that is the greatest gift we can get from any man that understands the worth of friendship.
I recall an incident in which his junior lecturer acknowledged, during a lecture, in his presence that Professor Aregheore came to help run their department and the contributions he already made. The professor replied with humility “Please don’t make me cry” and he wiped the tears in his eyes while I wiped mine because I understood the situation.
He taught his students so well that he always and rightly felt disappointed and annoyed when his student panic because of examination or continuous assessment test. However, after each of such examinations or tests his students always realized that he had taught them so well that they may not even need to revise to do well provided they were present in his lectures. That was professor Aregheore, the man that won the hearts of his students and others around him within the very short time he spent with them.
Our pain is that we never knew that death was lurking so close to him. That was the reason he fought death alone when it came but if we had known, we would have willingly joined him in the fight. However, the obvious fact still remains that each of us must face the unseen battle alone so we must be prepared because Professor Aregheore’s death has, once again, confirmed that we do not know when it will be our turn to fight and that is another aspect of my pain because there will be no team work. I knew that the professor must had fought and tried to stay alive not because he did not want to go back to his creator but just because he would have loved to say good to his loved once just as he promised us that he would have a photography with us before going back to Canada because he loved us and he wanted to remember us even if he was no longer with us. But today, he left without keeping that part of his promise and he did not even say goodbye but we understand because even when I had a chat with him two days before his death over a weekend, I never knew it would be the last time we would talk, if he knew he would had said goodbye. I would have asked him for the photography if I knew because we needed it just as much as he did.
Now that the professor has left us without keeping that part of his promise, we also know that he expected us, his students, to be the best we can be in the profession and that was his desire for us and it is still within our power to make that part of his dream come true.
He was good in his field and we trust he would be a role model for most of us that would remain in the academic world.
Prof. Aregheore, we want you to know that we are sad that you left us so soon but we shall forever remain grateful for we had the opportunity to meet you even though it was for a very short time and though you are gone you will always live on in our hearts because that is where death can no longer take you away from us.