Mensah Sarbah Hall in University of Ghana has launched its 60th anniversary since its establishment in 1963.
The ceremony which was held at the Mensah Sarbah Hall on Friday, 17th February 2023, brought together the state men, university management, alumni, and students of the university.
The year-long anniversary has been themed, “Reengineering Quality Residential Services: Adopting Technology, Embracing Partnerships”.
The celebration, started with a visit to the family of the house of John Mensah Sarbah in Cape Coast earlier in the week.
Some of the activities lined up for the anniversary include public lectures, site visits, health walk and screening, games, dinner and awards night.
Speaking at the launch, Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia lauded the university and the hall for innovating new ways to curb the perennial accommodation challenges faced by students.
Indeed, this is also an opportunity to congratulate the university, and Mensah Sarbah Hall for astutely clinging to a residential system which has been jolted over the years by students’ agitation, upheavals, and cries for a dynamic transformation. Today, the university has moved beyond its traditional halls of residence, of which five were built from the early 1950s to 1963…The Vikings Hostel established in 2021 is a shining example of innovative leadership worthy of emulation by hall based alumni in the various universities. It speak to the unity of purpose and the sense of institutional commitment within the traditional hall system, he said.
Guest speaker, for the ceremony, former head of United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Dr. Mohamed IBN Chambas, urged the university community to emulate the values of John Mensah Sarbah, to think ahead and protect rights and interests of Ghanaians.
Sarbah’s future is encapsulated by the motto he(John Mensah Sarbah) made for our alma mater, Mfatsipim School, “Dwen Hwe Kan”, meaning, think and look ahead. Bringing our minds back to the Geopolitical considerations at the time in which he lived, his ability to forsee and arrive at a future for himself, which were not confined or constrained by the limitations of the colonial constructions, designated for blacks, and indigenous people, all over the colonized world, stands as proof of his own capacity to not just envision that which he had not achieved before, but to actively strive to bring it about. We must therefore look to Sarbah as an inspiration, he said.
Hall master of the hall, Dr. Roger Ayimbila Atingah in delivering his remarks, called on individuals and organizations to partner the hall to aid them in achieving their dream of providing quality residential services in the university.
Our academic and residential infrastructure have deteriorated over time, due to greater student numbers…The old taps, tiles and walls of the washroom is over 6oyears have been used extensively needs replacements. For this reason, we are seeking partnership and collaboration with individuals, organisations and corporate bodies, to enable us modernize our rooms, our washrooms, and maintain a healthy life that supports academic pursuit, he said.
After the launch of the anniversary, the 10 feet new statue of John Mensah Sarbah, was unveiled after they lost the bust in a clash last year.
Mensah Sarbah Hall, the fifth hall of the University, stands in the central part of the campus. The hall consists of a main hall built around a quadrangle and four annexes standing. The governing body of the all is the Council, which is responsible to the full body of Fellows who form the Senate. Students’ affairs are handled by students’ own elected government(Junior Common Room) headed by a President.
The general administration of the hall is under the Master who is assisted by the Senior Tutor and Tutors, Bursar and other administrative staff. Senior Common Room affairs are managed by an elected committee under the President of the Senior Common Room.
The hall is named after the famous Ghanaian jurist, writer and statesman, John Mensah Sarbah of Cape Coast.
The Hall has a crest designed to bring out the principal features of Mensah Sarbah’s life. It consists of three elements: a pair of scales, a stool with a book resting upon it, and a hill surmounted by a castle. The scale signifies the legal profession, the stool, and the book symbolize culture, while the hill and the castle are intended to depict the familiar landscape of Cape Coast with its many hills and forts. At the same time, the castle is intended to symbolize strength and honour. The Hall’s motto is: Knowledge, Honour, Service – three words which aptly summarise the guiding principles of Mensah Sarbah’s life.
Story by Sammy Danso Eghan | Univers.ug.edu.gh