GSTS Old Boys’ Association to GSTS Alumni Association – A Journey Through Time
GSTS is probably the only one of the top pre-independence schools in Ghana that never had a viable Old Students’ Association in the real sense of the term as we know it today. And the reason is not difficult to find. Although the products of our Alma mater provided large numbers of middle and senior level personnel for the technical departments and institutions of the Gold Coast before independence and after independence, as one of only two government secondary schools in the country, the school was more than adequately resourced by the state. There was therefore, no need for Old Boys of the school or any other organisation for that matter, to provide anything for it. The school did not even have a Parent/Teacher Association (PTA).
Old Boys of GSTS got together wherever they found themselves in reasonable numbers, mostly for social purposes, to reminisce about their time in school and catch up with each other. Historical references suggests that an Old Boy’s Group may have existed as far back as the early 1930s. Much later, there were such fairly informal groups at Ghana Railways, Ghana Airways Corporation, the Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, the mines, Public Works Department, (PWD), Government Transport (later State Transport Corporation), Ghana Highways Authority,
Architectural and Engineering Services Limited (AESL), the erstwhile Tarkwa School of Mines, the old Technical Institutes and Polytechnics, as well as the Senior Staff of the Departments of the traditional universities of the country.
Later, these groupings became a little more formalized with elected officers, but were still largely for “end of year get together” purposes. In the early to late 1960s ‘Old Boys’’ visited the school towards the end of the academic year, usually over a weekend, to play games against the various school and
house sports teams. On these visits, Old Boys usually slept among the students in their old houses (there were spare mattresses that junior boys could sleep on and the “overflows” were often accommodated by the housemasters). They also mentored the younger students or “Green Horns” or “Raws” as they called virtually everyone still in school. Because most of those departments and institutions groupings were based in Accra, it almost always invariably, “the Old Boys from Accra are coming for the weekend”. Later, “Old Boys” from the universities especially KNUST begun making such regular trips to the school.
As one Old Boy who has sadly passed away used to say, “the workshops and laboratories at GSTS taught and inculcated such independence and confidence in us that, we did not need networking or “old boyism” for jobs and positions after school.” According to that theory, while most of the
existing Old Student Associations in Ghana got together to play the “old school tie” or networking schemes where older products “fixed” their younger school mates with jobs and positions, Old Boys of GSTS “were too proud for those games.”. They went out of the four walls of the school with
confidence to “face the world.”
Later in the late 1970s and early 80s when life began to get tough for schools and colleges in Ghana, some Old Boys and groups provided assistance to the school either as individuals or loose groups. For instance, Mr W W Dompey, then Managing Director of State Transport Corporation provided
scholarships for a number of brilliant but needy students in the school for many years. Mr Tuyee who operated his own chalk manufacturing factory in Tema provided the school with chalk, free of charge, for many years. During the “famine” of the early 1980s, some pilots and engineers of Ghana
Airways Corporation supplied “provisions” to the school for a period. Other Giants to this day, have volunteered as well as provided financial and other types support to the school, often without recourse to any grouping. To mention a few more names: Giants Gyasi Adonteng’56, Ambassador G.O Kesse’58, Commodore Steve Obimpeh’61, the Late Prof. K. A. Andam’59, J N Okyere’62, Dr K Y Amoako’63’65, Kweku Botchway’64, Ofei-Bekoe’67’69, S W Y Incoom’68,71 The Late Togbui Kporku’68, Kwaku Osafo-Antwi’69, Samuel K Brenyah’71’73, Albert Ogyiri’72, Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa’73, John Aidoo’72, Captain Owusu Koranteng’73, Dr Kofi Adu-Mensah’73, Edmund Obeng’71, George Otoo’74, Yaw Domena’74, Prof R.K Nkum’74’76, Emmanuel Blay’73’75, Andy Konney’77, Mr. Joseph Ashun’74, Mr. Jim Baiden’74, Dr. Nyarko-Mensah’75, Enoch Cobbinah’75, Patrick Attipoe’76, Dr Alex Mensah’78, Eric Akrofi’79, Henry Boafo’80’82, Agyabu Nyanzu’81, Ebenezer Afadzie’84, Johnson Teye’83’85, Isaac B. Clement’84, Alfred Gyan’84’86’, William Adusei’89, Kwesi Abbiw’91 and many more. In fact, two of our alumni, Gts Thomas K. Mensah’71’73 and Asford Adams’75’77 have served our school as Headmasters.
Obviously, space would not permit me to produce a full listing of all Giant supporters of the School and the Association. As members of the Association, we can only salute and thank these illustrious Giants and the many more unsung heroes of the GSTS alumni family from the bottom of our hearts. By the mid-1980s, there was a fairly formal association in Accra for Old Boys in the Accra-Tema Metropolitan Area. Other Old Boys groups also started in Takoradi, Tarkwa, Kumasi, Tema and Tarkwa. It was during that period that the then Chairman, Mr Grant Ohemeng Kesse and a few of his age group coined the accolade “Giants of the West.” Which would later be shortened, “Giants,” for Old Boys of the school. At that time, the Association also toyed with the idea of “Fight the good fight with all thy might,” which was the final hymn that was sung at the evening service of the Sunday before final examinations began every term, as the School’s Anthem.
In July 2017, the GSTS Alumni Association (GAA) North America Chapter celebrated their 10 th Anniversary. By joining hands with a number of Giants mentioned earlier, GAA- North America under the leadership of Dr. Emmanuel (Lee) Idun’80’82, Prof. Yaw Yeboah’69,’71, Dr. Tetteh Abbeyquaye’89, Dr. Joseph Papa Amuah’92, Seth Ahiekpor’69, Ishmael Acquah’81, Phanuel Markin’76, Mickey Dawson- Annan’79’81, Irving Nemi’83’85, Gts Dr. Sam Johnson’76, Charles Kumi’76, Kwaku Nnuro’74’76, Dr. Ernest Ofori-Darko’78’80, Dr. Jonathan Abrokwah’69’71, Anthony
Ashon’81, Emmanuel Arthur’81, Kwamena Sankah’88’90, Victor Gorman’92, and Dr. Edward Botse- Baidoo’ 91 to mention a few helped unify and reorganize the GSTS Alumni Association that has led to the revival of a global association. The resulting enactment and promulgation of a new
Constitution and election of its first executive committee, arguably, can be described as one of the most important events in the modern era of the GSTS Alumni Association.
Since July 2017, we have witnessed a revival of Year Groups and Association Chapters; with new ones being formed and old ones revived. In Tarkwa, GAA-Tarkwa and GAA University of Mines and Technology (UMat) chapters have been revived. The Kumasi GAA Chapter and GAA-KNUST under
the leadership Giant Yaw Brenyah’71 and Giant Henry K. Boafo 80’82 amongst others have also been revived. In Accra, which is an older chapter, Giants Emmanuel Owusu ’89’91, Giant Sam Boateng ’79’82, with assistance from seniors like Giant Steve Obimpeh’61 and others are forging ahead.
GAA-Takoradi which is our home base chapter is also growing stronger by the day under the leadership of Giant Emmanuel Blay, Giant Peter Avevor’92, Giant Atumbu and others. Even more exciting is a new era of close engagement with the school and Chapters being formed and organized in the Universities and tertiary institutions around the country. University of Cape Coast now has a functioning Chapter and Giants at the University of Ghana organized and for the first time have been recognized as a student association on campus.
Although, the GAA has come a long way, there is a lot more work ahead. GIANTS therefore have to unite and STAND TALL to make our GSTS and this Association the best in Ghana.