Requiem To A Parsonage …Victor, Engineer, God’s Steward. Manasseh F. Paul-Worika
Saturday, April 27th 2019 was like no other day and not even this year’s synod meeting of the Niger Delta Diocese and the state-wide sanitation exercise could detract from its significance as people from all walks of life trooped to Bolo Town in Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area of Rivers State to pay their last respect to a real man of peace and steward of God, Engineer Victor Josiah Orisa who had answered the master’s call to return home and was laid to rest amid lamentation and testimonies.
Late Engr. Victor Josiah Orisa, a trained professional engineer was in the building industry for over twenty years and demonstrated proficiency in various departments of the industry, including Project Supervision, Project Management, Human Resource Management and Public Health Engineering. He was a member of Nigeria Society of Engineers, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) and Nigerian Institute of Civil Engineering (NICE), Port Harcourt Branch .
Engr. Orisa, loved God and worked with delight in the Lord’s Vineyard, the church. He was nurtured by his mother who had influenced his enrolment in St. Gabriel’s Anglican Church, Bolo choir at a very tender age where he became the youngest chorister at the time. He was one of the founding members of the Men Christian Association as it was then called in St. John’s Anglican Church, Bishop Johnson Street, Port Harcourt, alongside Late Oyibosia Ediyekio, Sir (Chief) I. N. Ohia, Late Chief J. J, Arugu, HRH F. B. Orukari, just to mention a few.
He held several positions like Auditor, Ex-officio and in 2015, he was elected as Financial Secretary of the Association, a position he held diligently until the association was re-christened as Christian Men Fellowship. Thus, he became the first Financial Secretary under the new name. Over the years, he was financial adviser to many Father’s Day Planning Committees.
Until his death, he was a very active member of St. John’s Anglican Church, New-layout, Port Harcourt. His contribution to the construction of the new church building and the body of Christ speak volume of his commitment to God’s work. He was a proponent of personal development and believes that the race of perfection cannot be finished. Nurtured by his mother to love God and serve the Church, his love for God and His work was so strong that it is beyond mere coincidence that he died in the church on Mothering Sunday, 31st March, 2019.
Activities for the burial of the parsonage began on Wednesday 24th April 2019, with a service of songs held in his honour at St. John’s Anglican Church, Bishop Johnson Street, Borokiri, Port Harcourt and climaxed on Saturday 27th April 2019 with a day vigil and funeral service at St. Gabriel’s Anglican Church, Bolo.
Giving a testimony of late Engr Victor Orisa’s Christian life, Sir. Engr. Nathaniel Iboroma noted that the deceased was committed and faithful in the service of God and was also a founding member of the Men’s Christian Association (MCA), now known as Christian Men’s Fellowship (CMF).
He said, “The CMF and indeed the church has lost a hero. He was not just a founding member of the fellowship; he was a vibrant and active one. His critical analysis of issues and suggesting solutions is one attribute we will ever remember him for. He invested so much of his time and skills for the growth and sustenance of CMF. But we take solace in the fact that heaven has received him”.
Speaking in behalf of the in-laws, Mr. Joe Ayotamuno described the deceased as a man of peace and honor. He noted that the late Engr. Orisa was a blessing to the family and pointed out that his fatherly counsel will be missed.
He said, “Words cannot describe how heavy our hearts are. Engr. Orisa showed us immense love, gave us counsel, provided exemplary leadership and stood by the family during her trying times. We attest to the fact he was very disciplined, God-fearing and devoted to his creator and surely all he showed us will live on”.
On his part, Mr. Dan Fiberisima Oruwari, speaking for the Oruwari family described the deceased as a man of discipline and courage. He pointed out that late Orisa held dearly the principle of timeliness which distinguished him from others. He added that the deceased made education a priority in the family, taking it upon himself the role of sponsoring those who were willing to get formal education.
Speaking for the children, Engr. Mrs. Emiline Temple described late Orisa as a worthy father who sacrificed all in his pursuit of a better life for his children, adding that, he never looked down on anyone, but provided a level ground for all including his female children to attain excellence.
She said, “He was not just a father in words, but in action. He valued education and ensured he sacrificed everything to ensure me and my siblings got the best of education and today it is paying off. He was a great man, a father anyone would pray to have and it is our confidence that the seeds he has sown will continue to grow and produce great fruits”.
Reverend Friday Ogbonna, in a message titled, “What will people say on your last day” admonished Christian faithfuls to live a life worthy of emulation as they go about their business on earth.
Taking his reading from Acts 9:37, Ogbonma urged Christians to emulate the life of Dorcas in the bible who dedicated her life to the service of God and humanity and by so doing, made a good name for herself.
He further urged Christians to remain committed to the things of God and shun sin at all times as that alone guarantees a place in God’s kingdom and prayed for the bereaved family, asking God to comfort them and fill the vacuum created.
In his closing remark, Elder Pius Oruwari appreciated those who have stood by the family in their times and also honored the ceremony irrespective of the challenging demands of the time and prayed God to reward them all.
Late Orisa was laid to rest in his country home with family, friends and associates all bidding farewell.