Saturday 7 March 2015
The Nigerian community lost one of its icons on Monday 2 March 2015. Elizabeth Amanu Adibe, a member of the earliest Nigerian immigrant families to settle in Ottawa, passed away at the St. Vincent Hospital, after years of a debilitating illness, the aftermath of a stroke she had suffered in 1989.
The Early Years
Lizy and husband Michael were married in Lagos in 1958. In 1966, her husband left for Washington DC on assignment with the International Monetary Fund under the auspices of the Nigerian Federal Government. In 1967, Lizy left their children in Nigeria and joined her husband in Washington. When the Nigeria-Biafra war broke out later that year, instead of going back to his office with the Federal Office of Statistics in Lagos, the couple emigrated to Canada in 1968 where her husband took up employment with the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, now Statistics Canada. In 1972, Lizy went and brought their four children (Martin, Franka, Freddie and Anthonia) out from Nigeria and the family finally setteld down in Ottawa.
Celebration of Lizy’s life – Saturday 7 March 2015
Husband Michael, daughters Franka and Anthonia, sons Martin and Freddie, spouses Nancy and Uche, were at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church on Saturday 7 March in a celebration of “Aunty Lizy’s” life, with several grand-children and about a hundred close family friends. Tributes poured in from immediate and extended family members, long-time family friends, as well as those who had come to know, love and respect this esteemed family. Highlight of the evening was the traditional “lap of honour”, in which women of the Igbo community extolled the virtues of their late comrade through songs, while carrying a large photo of the deceased.
Funeral Service – Saturday 14 March 2015
Our Lady of Fatima Church on Woodroffe Avenue was filled to the brim as members of the the extended Adibe family gathered at their parish church, with over a hundred close friends and fellow church parishioners, some from as far away as England, in a memorial service for the beloved Lizy. The funeral Mass was celebrated by the Parish Pastor, Rev. Jeffrey King and three Nigerian priests: Rev. R. Titus Egbue, Rev. Fr. Anthony-Mary Ibeazor and Rev.Fr. Benedict Enemuo. the singing of the combined Igbo Catholic Church Ottawa and Our Lady of Fatima Parish choir, as well as the rendition of “Ave Maria” by soloist Maureen Ojike, a Nigerian opera singer, made the funeral a lively and rather joyful ceremony rather than a sombre and mournful event. In spite of the solemn nature of the event, family and friends found time to cheer and sing “happy birthday” to grand-daughter Althea Elizabeth Adibe, whose birthday coincided with the ceremony.
The Final Farewell – Monday 16 March 2015
On a chilly winter afternoon, wife, mother and grandmother Lizy Adibe was buried at the Notre Dame Cemetery on Montreal Road in the presence of family and about thirty close friends.
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