By Onyekachi Eze
The final journey into eternity for the remains of the late matriarch of the Duru family of Umuezeanyike in Isiala Mbano Council Area of Imo State, Double Chief (Mrs) Alice Chijioke Duru had commenced on Friday, January 26, 2024 with a requiem service at St Michael’s and All Angels Anglican Church, Eziama.
Mama Alice transited at the age of 96.
Not only was she described as a role model to women in the community but also said to have served as a source of happiness for those in need.
Her funeral pulled dignitaries from all walks of life, comprising both the religious, traditional and captains of industries.
The homilist, Rev. Canon Nnaemeka Udochukwu Egejuru who represented the Bishop of Isi-Mbano Diocese, Rt . Rev. Godson Ukanwa hinted that at 96 years, Mama Alice lived an exemplary life, especially in her cordial relationship with people.
Canon Egejuru added that though she has left the world, her legacies lives on.
He remarked that a good life one lived on earth determines his/her destination, pointing out that for late ma Alice, she diligently served God and went further to prove it through her love for humanity.
To that end, the man of God prayed for her peaceful repose.
From the biography of the deceased, Ma Alice held both Church and Community titles like the “Nneoha of Eziama”, “Ada di oha mma of Ezumoha”, “Adaukwu Omepuru onyeodiiri”.
She was a grand patron of Eziama Bond of Peace of the Women wing which earned her the title of ‘Double Chief’.
Until her death, late Mrs. Alice was a respected Chief to the incumbent Royal father, HRH, Eze I.I Anyadiegwu. She was said to had joined in the struggle for the realisation of the Eziama ancient kingdom.
The first daughter to the deceased, A.C Anike-Nweke in her farewell message to the mother expressed gratitude to God for the life well spent, attributing her mom as a virtuous woman who lived a purified and fulfilled life worthy of emulation.
In his tribute, first son of Mama Alice, Mr. Chesley Amaechi Duru sorrowfully wrote, “Ezigbo nne anyi, Ezinne oha, mama ukwu anyi, ever smiling and loving Mama Alice Duru, so of a truth we are missing you forever? Indeed, God gave you to us and this same Almighty God has decided to call you back at His own time. Who then are we to question God? Yes, death is the ultimate, no matter how it comes. But little did any of us envisage that mama would not enjoy this 2023 Christmas season with us.
“Mama, your departure from us though at a ripe age of 96 years is a big miss and would no doubt create an irreparable vacuum in our family. You were not only our biological mother, you were indeed also our mentor and our friend especially when we recall all the pains you went through to nurture all of us your children after the unfortunate death of our father, Mr David Durunwata, otherwise known then as D’Marol. It was as if the World had come to an end. But, mama, you stood firm with faith. You proved to us what a fantastic mother you are and here we are today.
“You were accommodating, ever willing to give to the needy. You were an exemplary Mother, a Grand and Great Grand Mother. No wonder, you were loved and cherished by all who are now mourning your sudden passage. Yes, Mama all those you left behind adore you and with tears running down their cheek, we all are here together bidding you farewell until that last day when we meet again to part no more.
“Mama, your footprints of hardwork, peacemaking as well as your kind-heartedness, speaks volume of the stuff you, Nne Oha, was made of even to those who are not your biological children.
“I am really short of words. Ezigbo nne anyi, laa n’udo and may God grant you unconditional repose in His Kingdom. AMEN”.
Some of the natives; Gloria Ijeoma Nwosu and Ngozi Cynthia Dike in their respective eulogies opined that late Alice Duru was the Dorcas of Eziama Mbano as she never closed her doors on people.
“Eziama has lost a rare gem. Rather than not sharing with others, mama would prefer to go hungry while others eat”.
To them, her good lifestyle had guaranteed her a place in God’s bossom.
Mama left behind Children, grand children, great grandchildren, and other relatives.
The Imo City choral group alongside others were at hand to bid mama farewell with a specially composed dirge.