A Bitter-Sweet Farewell To A Friend Of The Work In Tamale...

Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies remembered the late sister Avril Keoughan and dedicated the main lecture hall of the Institute in her memory. This is to express our appreciation for her selfless and dedicated service rendered to students, staff, and more importantly, to God Almighty.

The Institute encountered the saddest experience ever to be thought of a day after the graduation of the first batch of students. As part of the Institute’s effort of producing self-reliant preachers, sought the services of the late sister Avril Keoughan. She visited Tamale once every quarter with her team to teach the students on Primary Health Care. Prior to the graduation ceremony. She informed the Institute of the need to conclude her syllabus with a three–day activity. She was electricuted by a faulty water heater in the bathroom when she was bathing after her first day class activities, and died at the Tamale Teaching Hospital. She was buried at the Bomso Church premises on the 27th of August, 2011.

“The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil”.  (Isaiah 57:1) New International Version

Avril Keoughan was a Canadian Public Health Practitioner who worked closely with the Churches of Christ in Ghana. She started her carrier in Ghana at the Bomso Clinic. She was later engaged by the Village of Hope. She finally came to settle in Kumasi where she worked with the Bomso Clinic.   Her vocation as public health practitioner took her to several towns and villages in the north, especially in Yendi and its surrounding villages, where together with the Yendi church, set up a clinic in Yendi and gave health care to the people there. Together with sister Johnson and brother Bob Williams, all deceased, the Tamale Church was assisted to establish a Clinic at Cheshagu in the Tolon- Kunbungu District in the early 90s.

When the Tamale Institute of Biblical studies (TIBS) was established two years later, she was invited to teach the trainee preachers in public health. The rationale for the above was to enable them get some vocation as a supplement to the preaching work, an offer she accepted with enthusiasm and since that time visited with her team every three months to teach.

Avril Keoughan happened to be one of the resource persons invited by the Tamale Institute of Biblical Studies to its annual lectureship and maiden graduation ceremony held on the 24th and 25th of June 2011 respectively. In addition to the above, she was to take the graduates through their last lectures in public health and to examine them in the subject before they went to the field.  

On the day of graduation, she was invited to present a prize to the most well behaved student.  She also took part in the thanksgiving ceremony held on 26th of June 2011 to express the Institute’s gratitude to the Almighty for making the graduation possible. It was at TIBS, on Monday, the 27th of June 2011, around 9:30 pm, that she met her untimely death. 

She had earlier that Monday organized a class for her students and arranged with them so that they could take their exams the following day (Tuesday, the 28th of June). She was to proceed to Kumasi that Tuesday after conducting the exams for them (the students). However, Tuesday, the 28th of June 2011 never came to meet her alive. 

She was going to take her bath that fateful Monday night after watching a television program on CBS that she was electrocuted by a faulty wall heater and died when she was being rushed to the hospital. True, therefore, goes the saying that we know where we were born, but not where we shall die. Yes, she was born in Canada, but ended her life in Tamale, Ghana.  

At age 62, the normal expectation was that she still had some meaningful years to live on this earth. Nevertheless, things did not happen the way we thought. We loved and cherished her dearly for her immense contribution to the church and TIBS and wished she had stayed a bit longer to teach the subsequent trainee preachers their lessons in public health, but our expectations have been shattered at our feet. We really did not understand why things happened this way, but the Almighty knows best, and it is his will that must prevail.

At this moment, we are at the crossroads ready to part company with her sense. Her physical body will soon be lowered into the grave and today will be the last day we shall be setting eyes on her. However, we still nurture the hope that we shall meet one day in heaven where the saints will forever be comforted.

Avril! Farewell
Avril! (Farewell in Dagbani)Ti chepsi- a
Avril! Damrifua Due

Posted on October 4, 2015 .