By Chidi Onyewuchi
The Diocese of Egbu, Anglican Communion, is in deep mourning. And so is the Nekede Community, Owerri West, Imo State.
To them, an Iroko has fallen.
Sir Herbert C. Mela, KSC, who passed recently was a pillar of support to his Community, his local Church, St Michael & Angels Anglican Church, Umudibia, Nekede, all Churches in Nekede, Egbu Diocese, Anglican Communion, Knights of St Christopher which very visible member he was, and a whole lot of people and organizations.
He was, also, an Educationist, a Unifier, and a Philanthropist of the first order.
Aside from all those, and raising a good Christian family, Sir Mela, will be best remembered for his services in saving and taking care of abandoned children.
To be able to render this Godly service, he founded the Save The Child Motherless And Abandoned Babies Home, Owerri, where he ploughed his resources into to make the children comfortable. With his death, those children have been dealt a significant blow. They have lost, at once, a father and grandfather with a heart of gold.
A lively man, Sir Mela had no dull moment. At Church events, he took joy in showing off his hobby as an amateur photographer. His camera in hand. one never misses him taking photographs at such events, especially, during the annual Synod of the Diocese.
Within the Diocese which founding member he was, Sir Mela was fondly called Incashito, a name he earned because he abhorred monetary pledges. He paid up, immediately, in cash.
Among other positions held, Sir Mela was:
*Secretary, Imo State Branch of the Nigerian Red Cross for 35 years.
*Secretary of all State Red Cross Secretaries at the National level.
*A former President-General, Nekede Town Union.
*Welfare Chairman, Umuerim, Umudibia, Nekede.
* Deputy President, Council of Knights, Egbu Diocese.
A strong alumnus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Sir Mela was happily married to his devoted Lady Philomena Onyemachi Mela with whom he had five children – three females and two males – all of whom are doing well in their respective careers, and blessed him and his wife with adorable grandchildren. He doted on them.
He held the Chieftancy title of: Omere Oha Mma 1 of Nekede
Sir H.C. Mela will be sorely missed by not a few people. He was aged 86 years, and will be buried on June 24, 2022.