Home » From Maryland In USA, To Derbyshire In The UK, And To Douala And Santa in Cameroon: Thousands Joined The ACHU And HALLE Families To Bid Farewell To Late THOMAS ACHU ACHU

From Maryland In USA, To Derbyshire In The UK, And To Douala And Santa in Cameroon: Thousands Joined The ACHU And HALLE Families To Bid Farewell To Late THOMAS ACHU ACHU

by Atlantic Chronicles
  • From Maryland In USA, To Derbyshire In UK, And To Douala And Santa in Cameroon:Thousands Joined The ACHU And HALLE Families To Bid Farewell To Late THOMAS ACHU ACHU
  • It Was Also A Ceremony To CELEBRATE THE LIFE Of Pa Thomas Achu Achu, Who Was Fondly Known As DADDY TOM
  • NTUMFOR BARRISTER NICO HALLE in an eulogy, urged all those who were celebrating the life of Daddy Tom, to strive to live their lives in a way that when they die, others will talk good of them, and celebrate their livesThousands of sympathisers last month joined the ACHU and HALLE families at home and abroad to bid farewell to their beloved father, husband, brother, uncle, cousin-in-law, and grandfather, Pa THOMAS ACHU ACHU fondly known as DADDY TOM. He passed away on November 29, 2023, at the Royal Derby Hospital in Derbyshire, United Kingdom, in the presence of the family, including his dear wife, Mrs CHRISTINA APE ACHU nee HALLE. The funeral ceremony last month was also an occasion to CELEBRATE the life of Pa Thomas Achu Achu, who was reputed for his STRONG LOVE FOR HUMANITY, HONESTY, GENEROSITY, HARDWORK, ACCOUNTABILITY, FAIRPLAY and TRANSPARENCY.The long ceremony to bid farewell to Daddy Tom, as well as to celebrate his life, started in the United States of America, moved to the United Kingdom where he and his family settled, and where he died. The third lap of the ceremony was the journey back to the land of Daddy Tom’s birth, Cameroon. To be more precise, the third lap of the ceremony to bid farewell to Daddy Tom as well as to celebrate his life, was in Cameroon’s economic capital, Douala, with the fourth and final lap being in late Daddy Tom’s village, Santa, or as his children refer to, “The Place Where It All Began”.  The contact person for the ceremony in the United States was LINA MONGWA, while the contact person in the United Kingdom was EDWIN ACHU (first son of Daddy Tom.  The contact person for the ceremony in Douala was NTUMFOR BARRISTER NICO HALLE, while the contact person for the ceremony in Santa was NEIGH AKWANKAH GODLOVE NDE ACHU.

    The funeral ceremony to bid farewell to Daddy Tom as well as to celebrate his life, started in Maryland, United States of America on Friday, February 2, 2024 where a wake keep was organized at Joycee Ballroom from 8pm to the early hours of Saturday, February 3.  The funeral ceremony then moved to Derby (Derbyshire) in the United Kingdom on February 24, 2024. There was viewing of the corpse from 1 – 2.30 pm, followed by a Church Service at Methodist Church Derbyshire from 3 – 5 pm, and then a reception from 6 – 11.30 pm.


    Corpse Of Daddy Tom Arrives Cameroon


    The corpse of Daddy Tom, arrived Douala, Cameroon on February 27, 2024, accompanied by the wife and children. On hand to receive them were family members led by NTUMFOR BARRISTER NICO HALLE who was the Chief Organizer of the funeral programme in Douala. Worth noting, that Ntumfor Nico Halle is the brother of Mrs Christina Ape Achu nee Halle, wife of the late Thomas Achu Achu. Daddy Tom was thus his in – law, while the six children are of course Ntumfor Halle’s beloved nephews and nieces. At the very challenging moment following the passing away of her beloved husband, Mrs Christiana Ape Achu nee Halle and her children, could have nothing so consoling like to arrive Cameroon with the corpse of Daddy Tom and find her dear brother or the children’s uncle, Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle, together with his wife, Justin Halle, and children, standing solidly by them.


    Funeral Service At PC Bonaberi, Douala  


    In the funeral programme in Douala, the ACHUS and HALLES worked hand – in – hand under the coordination of the Chief Organizer, Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle, to ensure the resounding success of the ceremony to bid farewell to late Thomas Achu Achu, as well as to celebrate his life.  The day was Thursday, the date was February 29, 2024 and the venue was the Presbyterian Church Bonaberi, Douala (PC Bonaberi). After the removal of the corpse of Daddy Tom from the mortuary, a police escort cleared the way for the family, friends and sympathizers to take the take the corpse to PC Bonaberi for the Church Service, or better still, for the funeral service.

    The Officiating Ministers of the heavily attended funeral service at PC Bonaberi included: the Parish Pastor of PC Bonaberi, Douala, REV. PASTOR MARY NDUMA WOSE, who is also the Presbyterial Secretary of the Mongo Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, PCC. The Parish Pastor of PC Bonamoussadi, Douala, REV PASTOR JONES AYUK EBOT,  the Presbyterial Secretary of the East Mungo Presbytery. REV PASTOR MEKUMBA FRANCIS of PC Bonaberi, Douala. REV PASTOR ABEDINE ASOH of PC CIBEC, Douala.


    “The Death Of Somebody, Should Remind Us To Take A Look Into Our Own Lives”


    The sermon of the day that was delivered by Rev Pastor Jones Ayuk Ebot, was drawn from John Chapter 11 verse 21 (John 11.21). In the moving ceremony, Rev Jones Ebot asserted that it is never easy to bid farewell to a love one. He noted that death causes deep pain to families, that death is destructive. He said man considers death as an enemy.

    However, Rev Jones Ebot stated that the one bitter reality that man must learn to live with is that death is unavoidable, for it will come when it will come. He stressed on the fact that the people living on earth today, will one day die, no matter what some of them are. He said more so, nobody knows when he will die, for death is not a matter of age. Some people die old, and some die young, for it depends on the will of the Almighty God, who gives and takes. “Pa Achu is gone. From dust to dust. That is the reality of life”.  The preacher said death is also not a matter of sickness. He pointed out that there are so many cases in the society of persons who seriously sick and got well,  while there also cases of some people who got up in the morning looking well, went about their normal daily activities, then all of a sudden they slumped, and that was the end. They were gone. Death came so sudden.

    Rev Jones Ebot said the dead of a love one or of somebody, should serve as a reminder for us still living, to take a look into our own lives and see if we are prepared, for it is certain that one day we will die. He raised a question as to whether the several mourners and sympathisers that jammed to capacity the large Church building on that day, were themsel0ves prepared for death which could come at any time. The Man – of – God stressed on the fact that the best thing for people to do is to be prepared at all times, so that they are not taken unaware by death, as it is a fact that death will eventually come. He emphasized on the fact that to prepare, means to give ones life to Christ. Strive to always do good in the society. Love humanity. “The good you have to do, do it now. Don’t wait for tomorrow, for it might be too late”, Rev Jones Ebot stressed.


    “Pa Achu Was An Embodiment Of Transparency”.


    Mourners in church

    Meanwhile, Rev Pastor Jones Ayuk Ebot recalled that he knew Pa Thomas Achu Achu many years back in Buea, when he (Elbot) was a young pastor, and Pa Achu was a member of the congregation. He said not only was Pa Achu very active in Church work, but that that he was reputed for his transparency and for his insistence on transparency. “The Pa Achu that I knew was an embodiment of transparency. He never talked about his transparency, he lived it. He was a simple, quiet, elegant and an outstanding personality. He was a man of dignity”. Rev Jones Ebot thus asserted that from what he knew, the life Pa Achu lived was worth celebrating. He urged each and every one to strive to live a good life in society; to do things in fear of the Lord.


    “Daddy Tom Was A Man To Whom Anybody Could Issue A Blank Check”, Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle


    Meanwhile one of the major highlights of the funeral service at PC Bonaberi, Douala, was the presentation of eulogies to Daddy Tom. These came before the sermon. In a moving eulogy to Daddy Tom, his late brother–in-law, Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle, said the Achus and Halles were mourning the passing away of one of their love ones, Daddy Tom, and at the same time celebrating the good life he lived. “Daddy Tom was a good man, he lived a good life. I can vouch that he was somebody to whom anybody could issue a blank check”, Ntumfor Halle asserted, adding that, “Daddy Tom was brought up in the way of the Lord and he never departed from the course”.  He said that Daddy Tom was a man of high moral integrity. Ntumfor Halle said Daddy Tom was simple, honest, unassuming, transparent, generous, and hardworking. He added that Daddy Tom was incorruptible and was also strongly against embezzlement and influence peddling. He said Daddy Tom was above all a God-fearing man.


    No Favour Even To An In-law


    In the testimony to what Daddy Tom was, Ntumfor Halle recalled a situation when Daddy Tom was the Littoral Provincial Delegate of Commerce. He went the Littoral Delegation of Commerce, and deposited the file of some document he needed to be signed. He said two weeks later, the documents had not been signed, and so he went to the Delegation to find out what was happening. He said the collaborator of the Delegate who was in charge of the file, told him that there was a document he did not include in his file, and so the Delegate did not sign it. Ntumfor Halle said the Delegate’s collaborator did not know about their family relationship (him and the Delegate), and it was good that way.  He said when he got into the Delegate’s Office and met Daddy Tom, he told him that there was a certain document lacking in his file, and that he should go and get the document.

    Ntumfor Halle said he simply went and brought the document, and the documents he needed were signed. He sad instead of getting angry as some people would do that their in –law did not give then special treatment or favour, he was rather very impressed with the character of Daddy Tom, who as Delegate of Commerce treated everybody the same. No favour. He wished all Government officials were of such a character – no favouritsm, no corruption, no embezzlement, no influence peddling. He noted that Daddy Tom served as Delegate of Commerce in the Littoral and West Regions (then Province), and left without building a hut, because he was somebody who was strongly against bribery and corruption.


     “Live A Life That When You Die, People Will Talk Good Of You”


    Mourners in church

    Ntumfor Halle noted that Daddy Tom lived a complete life, and e-echoed the adage that behind every successful man, is a woman. He said Daddy Tom was fortunate to have a very good wife (Mrs Christina Ape Achu nee Halle), who too was brought up in the way of the Lord or in fear of the Lord, and stood firmly behind him in all his good deeds. Ntumfor was also highly impressed with the fact Daddy Tom and his dear wife, brought up their six children, in the fear of the Lord. Ntumfor Halle was happy that all his six nephews and nieces are all of good character, and loved their parents so much.  He said this was all thanks to good upbringing. Ntumfor Halle said with the passing away of her beloved husband, his dear sister, Mrs Christiana Achu nee Halle, will definitely console herself with the fact that the children will certainly be there for her.

    Ntumfor Halle lashed out at those children who do not show love for their parents when they are alive. He frowned at those grown up children who abandoned their parents when they are alive and in need, but when the parents die they show up and spend millions of francs on coffins, big receptions and so on. He said those are not only bad children, but hypocrites.

    Meanwhile in concluding his eulogy to Daddy Tom, for whom the funeral service was organized to bid farewell and well as to celebrate his life, Ntumfor Halle had this message to all the mourners and sypmpathizers that jammed the Church to capacity: “Strive to live your life in a way that when you die, people will talk good of you, as is the case with Daddy Tom”.


    “Pa Achu Was An Incorruptible Man”, Congregational Chairperson

    The Congregational Chairperson of PC Bonaberi, Douala, Dr Assam George, in his eulogy, said he knew Pa Thomas Achu Achu in Buea many years back, and that Pa Achu was like a father to many of them. Dr Assam said he and Pa Achu were not only Christians of PCC, but that they were also BOBANs (former students of CPC Bali), though Pa Achu was a mucc senior BOBAN. He said while they were both in Buea, he as a junior and young man, benefitted much from the largesse of Pa Achu. “Pa Achu was a good man. He had the reputation for being incorruptible. He was a God fearing man. He lived a good life. Let the grounds of our ancestors welcome him. It is good to be good”, Dr Assam said.   Following the passing away of Pa Thomas Achu Achu, the Congregational Chairman of PC Bonaberi said their prayer is also for the family of the decease, to stick together at this challenging moment.


    Children Of Daddy Tom Talk About His Birth, Life And Death 


    Meanwhile, one of three personalities who took to the rostrum at the funeral service to present eulogies, was Edwin Achu, the first son of the late Daddy Tom, who on behalf of his siblings, presented the biography of Daddy Thomas Achu Achu that was done by all of them.  The biography of Daddy Tom, as presented by his children, and which fully tells the story of the birth, life and death of Daddy Tom, is presented below in its entirety. Only the SUBHEADS have been inserted by THE MENTOR.


      Biography Of Daddy Thomas Achu Achu (1936 – 2023)


    “Mr THOMAS ACHU ACHU fondly called daddy Tom, was apparently born on 5th January 1936 in Santa, Northwest Province, Cameroon, to Pa Akwankah and Abu Akwen M’Atsoh – meaning only child of his grandmother – Abu Fri Abah, who married in the Tabe Family. Daddy Tom was the successor of his grandmother – Abu Fri Abah.

    Daddy Tom was the youngest of the five children who are all now, of blessed memory. His siblings were: Anwei Fri (Abu Frida), Mokom (aka Neigh Akwa – successor to Pa Akwankah), Achiri (Pa Vincent), and Agnes (Mami Aggie). They were a close – knit family full of quiet expression of love. They supported one another in every aspect of life. In essence, they were a peaceful family.

    Daddy Tom’s father died when he was very young, and he barely knew him. His mother died a lot older and instilled in all of them, strong principles of hard work and self – reliance from a young age. He was supported in his education by his older siblings, but he also worked hard on the farms, growing food stuff to harvest and sell. He would often trek for miles barefoot to places like Mbouda, Baligham, Nkohmbuh to buy goods (such as beer, salt, fuel etc) that were needed in the village, to come and sell for profit. That was used to pay his school fees and support the family in general.

    He was also expert at hunting and catching birds especially. It is believed that he developed a simple but ingenious technique to catch birds by tricking them to land on a sticky substance laced with maggots or ‘Ngoh’ as bait. He was give the nick – name, Atsoh – Boots, because of his large feet, which served him well, in all the trekking he had to do as a youngster to school , the farms, the markets etc.


     Entered CPC With Simon Achidi Achu


    “Daddy Tom was a bright child. He did well in school and eventually passed the entrance exams to go to secondary school in CPC Bali – the Basel Mission College.  The late Hon. Pa Simon Achidi Achu accompanied him on foot to school, and ended up gaining admission at the same time. Daddy Tom had excellent grades and left Bali in 1957. He taught in Bamenda for some time, living with and looking after his nephew, Pa Richard Achu, amongst others. Pa Richard remembers how judicious he was. He taught him to cook and was very innovative – sometimes using garri as substitute for egussi in soup. It wasn’t long before he joined the civil service in Buea. While there, he encouraged his dear friend, Pa Peter Nyindem, to resign from CDC and join the government treasury in September 1959. They lived as a group of friends that included Dr Kengong Monie, Messrs David Atogho, David Fongyen and Steve Ndamukong. Somehow they managed together, in a two–bedroom property in Clerks Quarter, Buea.


    Daddy Tom Gained Scholarship To Study In The United States


    “Daddy Tom eventually gained a scholarship to go and study in the United States, where he attained a B.A in June 1969 at Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences. He also attained an M.A at Oregon University in June 1970. He was clearly a distinguished student. He returned to Cameroon after his studies in the US. On his return, he met the love of his life, the now widowed Mrs Christina Ape Achu nee Halle – It was in a way, a modern day arranged marriage. The late Pa Vincent had identified her in Church as the one who was fit to marry his beloved brother. He encouraged her to write letters to him, but she played hard to get, refusing to write to someone she did not know. Eventually, the connection was made, and their courtship began. Mummy Christina often visited her sister – Mami Elizabeth and another daughter – Fruh aka Naomi / QOB (September 1983).


    Mourners after funeral service

    Daddy Tom Served As Provincial Delegate Of Commerce In Littoral And West Provinces


    (In 1971 / 72, Daddy Tom worked briefly with the civil service in Buea, until he was posted to Yaounde as Chief of Service in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. In 1978, he was transferred to Buea as Assistant Delegate of Commerce – under Mrs Elad who had pretty much head-hunted him. He was transferred to Douala in 1984 as Delegate of Commerce where he worked briefly before being transferred again to Bafoussam where he worked from 1984 – 1988 as Delegate of Commerce.


    Daddy Tom Called To The Diplomatic Service


    “Daddy Tom was called to the Diplomatic Service in 1988 where he worked tirelessly as the Economic Counsellor until he retired in December 1993. He returned to Buea in January 1994, lived there for several years until he decided to retire to the village in Santa, where it all began. He lived a very active life on retirement, bringing up his last two daughters who had returned to Cameroon for secondary education, amongst many other sons and daughters of the family who lived with him at Santa Barbara in Buea. He was a prominent member of the Buea Mountain Club, and he played other roles of responsibility at the University, in Church and the community at large. He was the building committee treasurer for the construction of Presbyterian Church Moforbe (Santa Sub–division).


    Daddy Tom – A Quiet, Peace – Loving And Dynamic Man  


    “Daddy Tom was a quiet, yet dynamic man. He spoke far more in his silence than most do in their careless rants. He was a man of Peace, and all around him was Peace. He loved the company of people and was always happy to see people eating, drinking and celebrating what life has to offer. Many will testify of how he made them feel as he took them out for something to eat and drink at the club in Buea, and played smoker, which was a passion of his.

    In early 2019, Daddy Tom went to the US to attend the wake of his dear sister, Mami Aggie, who passed away. From there, he returned to England to live with his wife in Derby, England. Daddy Tom was showing signs of ageing – memory loss and mobility issues. He was looked after meticulously by his beloved wife, with support from other family members in England and abroad, and friends.


    Daddy Tom’s Last Days


    “Daddy Tom survived COVID and other ailments. But after celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in September 2023, he took ill in November, was admitted on the 19th in Royal Derby Hospital, where he eventually died peacefully on the 29th of November, in the presence of his family. He leaves behind his dear wife, 6 children and 14 grandchildren.


    Tom Daddy Fought A Good Fight


    “Many have said subsequently that – Daddy Tom fought a good fight. He loved his culture and was blessed to celebrate his life before he died. Some say he was the best of the best. Those who lived with him have said, he personally was the rule – there was no rule at home but this, because, no one wanted to be the one, who offended him. Pa Richard said, everyone who went through him was successful – a testimony of many students he helped while working at the Embassy in London. Another has said that – he was so simple such that in his simplicity, he was so rich. Daddy Tom, our father, was so confident in his simplicity. He was generous to a fault, and words like kindness, love, Godliness described his work on earth. Like another adopted son – Sugar in Derby said – in the game of life, he was a great team player.

    Daddy Tom was a giant who will surely be missed by all. As a family, we have lost out hero. However, it is said that – there is PEACE, when a great man dies – this is the peace that we feel even in this traumatising time. We know that one day we will meet again, when face to face we shall stand with Jesus. Perhaps the greatest testimony about Daddy Tom is that he surrendered his live to Jesus and lived as an example of Christ in this generation.  AND SO WE CAN SAY, WITH A DEGREE OF ASSURANCE – LONG LIVE DADDY TOM, YOU WILL IN PARADISE REMAIN IN OUR HEARTS AND MINDS’.


    Church Service Followed By Grand Reception


    In the African tradition, when a child is born, people eat, and when somebody dies, people eat.  The eating and wining is more when it has to do with celebrating a great life. Also, the reception becomes the more grandiose, when the Chief Organizer is also a great man. This was the case after the February 29 funeral service at PC Bonaberi, Douala that was graced by a lot of very touching religious music delivered by the famous Congregational Choir and others.  A grand reception that was no doubt the reflection of the image of the Chief Organizer, Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle, was offered to all  those who attended the funeral service, in celebration of the life of Daddy Tom.

    Meanwhile the copse of Mr Thomas Achu Achu, was in that night of Thursday, February 29 breaking Friday, March 1, 2024, taken to Santa, Mezam Division in the Northwest Region of Cameroon, from where he hailed, or as his children put it, where it all began. There was another funeral service at PC Santa on Friday, March 1, which was then followed by the burial, inconformity with what Rev Pastor Jones Ayuk Ebot reechoed in his sermon at PC Bonaberi, Douala, the previous day: “From Dust, To Dust”. That is life. MAY THE SOUL OF Mr. THOMAS ACHU ACHU, WHO WAS FONDLY KNOWN AS DADDY TOM, REST IN PEACE.


    By Joe Dinga Pefok (Uncle Joe)

    Facebook: The Mentor

    Email: djpefok@yahoo.com

    Contacts: Telephone / WhatsApp: (237) 699 71 83 92 / 677 17 54 51

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