About BAA

BRISTOW ALUMNI ASSOCIATION (BAA)

THE BACKGROUND STORY

Bristow Alumni Association (BAA) was formed in 1979/80, when old students of the school led by its pioneer National President Mr. Akindigh Ibashwa felt concerned about the plight of the school, that of the old students and future generations of this great citadel of learning. The main aim of the alumni among others is for members to come together to unite themselves into one body, not only to foster a good relationship among themselves but also with the school, and to cultivate a spirit of brotherhood amongst all members.

The Association provides a forum where members meet and relive their experiences in the school and out of it. An attendance to a meeting where different generations of Bristow meet, clearly shows that the spirit of brotherhood is waxing even stronger. Bristow has three pillars namely, BAA, Parents’ Teachers Association (PTA) and NKST.

Some of the reasons for establishing BAA include the following:

  1. Building and promoting all graduates of WM. Bristow Secondary School.
  2. Applying the benefits of sound Christian education to business, academic, professional and all life endeavors.
  3. Drawing on members skills and resources to maintain and develop the Alma Mata

BAA could be better described as a three-their structure which has come into focus and has been both individually and corporately nurtured and developed.

The three corporate layers are the Branch, Class-Set and Individual. These are the three key levels on which we have perceived the organization and pursued her programmes.

Branches are doing well but the sets perform even better as the degree of commitment is in tangent with each level’s relevance to the individual member.

The class/set level of BAA, also known as “Clubs”, with the tagging of their graduation year, has been a wonder and stimulating factor in the advancement of the main body, mobilization of members and deepening the bond between members and catalyzing the development of Bristow. The Class/Set is an ideal sub-unit for the execution of major projects. For instance, whereas it has been rather difficult to mobilize the entire body to pursue our dreams to logical sequence, the “Clubs” have assembled themselves and got various projects executed to completion level, with astonishing ease.

Late Capt. Anenge Ukpi (Rtd) (aka High Water) was elected as the second National President in 1982 and served 2 terms to 1985 With Dr. Emmanuel Ityongi Gemade as his Vice President. They both had a harmonious work relationship, and this made it relatively easy for them to organize the W. M. Bristow Secondary School Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1985. They flew in the first female Principal, Miss Geraldine Vandenberg and a couple of other Teachers who had gone back to Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, to attend the Celebrations. It was during the Silver Jubilee celebrations that BAA renamed the Assembly Hall as ‘Miss Vandenberg Hall’ in honor of the past Principal for her immense contributions to the school.

It was also during this period that theBAA Slogan which remains a unique ‘Banner of Love and Unity’ among BAA members was established.

It states: JUNIORS SHOULD RESPECT SENIORS, AND SENIORS SHOULD CATER FOR THE NEEDS OF JUNIORS. HOWEVER, WHERE A JUNIOR IS MORE WELL ENDOWED THAN SENIORS, HE/SHE SHOULD NOT HESITATE TO SUPPORT THE SENIOR.

This concept has remained our greatest strength for Unity and cordial relationships. Old students from other secondary schools could not, and up till today cannot imagine the love that exists between us Bristow Alumni. In fact, students at Bristow themselves also look forward to graduate and join BAA.

Successive executive committee in BAA have contributed immensely and done legacy projects.

Dr. Emmanuel I. Gemade was elected the 3rd National President in 1986 with Late Barr (Mrs) Rhoda Ako as the first ever female National Vice President. Their two (2) terms in office saw to the initiation of the building of the fence around W.M. Bristow Secondary School for increased security and to avoid further encroachment on Bristow land which was being taken over gradually. They also gave recognition to the formation of SETs as it was a stronger unifying body for the overall Alma Mater. Competition was created among SETs and the perimeter fence of the front view was eventually completed. The PTA took responsibility for the back-view fence of the school.

The tenure of Prof Dick Iorwuese Gernah, saw to the registration of BAA with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as a corporate entity through the efforts of Barr Aver Gavar. BAA recorded its first as the only Alumni Association to enjoy this status in Benue State.

Another significant achievement recorded by the Dick Gernah led national exco was the approval for BAA to become a member of the Board of Governors of our Alma Mater by the Benue State Government. The delighted former National General Secretary Arc. Simon Gusah Jnr noted that we are far ahead of the pack; and he gives glory to God for our steady progress, skyward.

The media space was not left out in the development of BAA as the first edition of The BAA TEMPO was published and launched by Dr E I Gemade then NP at the Annual Convention of Feb/March, 1990.

To up the ante and use the digital space for BAA publicity was the establishment of BAA Media by young BAA members, on 28 December 2016 whose media activities saw to the unprecedented attendance of over 800 delegates at the 2017 National Convention. This team has continued to work with successive exco and sets on media coverage of various activities.

Another first on the media milestone achievement was the full documentary on Bristow using drones in 2019, as well as, live streaming and drone coverage of the 2021 convention.

The God-given vision of establishing Bristow Secondary School by the first proprietor the SUM (CRC) is now more than a living reality, all glory to God. BAA is an envy to so many old student bodies.

The truth, however, is that we are merely reaping from the benefits of our distinguished Christian heritage. As “Mission Boys and Girls”, we only feel completely at ease in God’s hands. He is to use us for His own glory as the light of the world. Our contribution as the light to the dark world emanates from the close-knit family atmosphere of Bristow and the Godly values and sense of discipline we were brought up with. A former National President of BAA Late Rev (Engr) J.T. Tsegha had this to say; “that there is and has always been a distinct Bristow Spirit and Bristow culture”.


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