Wednesday, August 15, 2018 1:32 pm
By JK Randle
We were served long notice of Dr. Gabi Willams’ farewell which climaxed with his 80th birthday celebration in an environment and circumstances thrown into tumult and bewilderment as our instinctive disposition to thank the Almighty that he had lived a long life of superlative achievements – as a great family man; an outstanding doctor; an illustrious public servant versus our subdued grief and shock on sighting the celebrant in a wheel chair – a mere shadowy reflection of our beloved brother and friend, when he was presented with his birthday cake at the Metropolitan Club, Victoria Island, Lagos.
What had become of his vibrancy, infectious good humour, and sportsmanship (on the squash court, the golf course and as umpire in the boxing ring)? That is now history.
Now, we have to deal with the final curtain as he takes his bow. It has been a long good-bye but through it all he remained calm, steadfast and dignified.
He neither wallowed in self-pity nor moaned about his affliction. Till his last breath he fought bravely.
His greatnesswas firmly anchored onhis humility and mostly self-deprecating good humour. To all, he extended friendship, generosity of spirit and goodwill without any regard for creed, colour or gender. In all the years since I got to know him, not once did I ever hear him say an unkind word in jest or anger against any man or woman.
To call him a gentleman is an understatement. He truly earned the prefix and adjective “perfect” to deserve the double honour of being undisputedly a perfect gentleman.
Beyond that, he was everybody’s brother and I can testify to his integrity, uprightness and patriotism. He served both Lagos State and Nigeria with uncommon zeal and passion.
His soul mate, his darling wife Mrs. Abisola Williams, his children and siblings are truly blessed to have been bequeathed an inestimable legacy of enduring hope and excellence.
It is now time to summon the auditors to take stock and tell us how many like Dr. Gabi Williams are left.
May his great soul rest in perfect peace.
– Bashorun J.K. Randle, FCA; OFR