In a solemn ceremony, the Catholic Bishop of Makurdi Diocese, Bishop Chikpa Wilfred Anagbe CMF, inaugurated the Angus Fraser Memorial High School on Friday, November 10, 2023. The school, affiliated with the Via Christi Society, is a coeducational High School that commenced its journey on September 23, 2022, with 33 boys and 5 girls.
Angus Fraser, the school’s namesake, was the founder of the Via Christi Society, a congregation with a significant presence globally. Born on April 18, 1931, in St Vincent Island, Fraser’s journey to Catholicism began during his schooling at St. Vincent Grammar School, despite his Anglican upbringing.
From Anglican to Catholicism
Fraser’s conversion to Catholicism stirred familial tension, but he remained steadfast. His educational pursuits led him to Trinidad and Tobago, where he joined the Order of Holy Ghost Priests. After extensive training in Canada and Ireland, he was ordained a priest on July 12, 1959, marking the beginning of his missionary journey.
Arriving in Nigeria in 1961, Fraser’s dedication to his mission saw him traverse various regions, contributing significantly to the educational landscape. He played pivotal roles in institutions such as Regina Caoeli Teachers’ Training College in Ogoni land and Mt. St. Gabriel’s Secondary School in Makurdi.
Notably, Fraser served as the principal of Mt. St. Gabriel’s Secondary School for an astonishing 43 years, leaving an indelible mark on countless lives. His commitment to education transcended financial barriers, as evidenced by his encouragement to a student named William Amove Avenya, who later became a Bishop.
Fraser’s influence extended beyond the school walls, as he mentored students who achieved acclaim nationally and internationally. Two of his proteges, Bishop William Amove Avenya and Bishop Peter Adobo, rose to become bishops themselves.
Tuface Idibia and Blackface Naija are some notable talents that sprouted under Fraser’s exemplary and accommodating reign as principal. Former Minister of the Federal Government and past Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Iyorchia Ayu, were under his tutelage.
The Angus Fraser Memorial High School stands as a testament to his enduring legacy, a beacon of education that will continue to shape young minds for generations to come. As the school opens its doors, the memory of Fr. Angus Fraser lives on, an inspiration to all who value the transformative power of education.