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Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Tribute to Rev. Father Bruno Toupan

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By Saints Alumni Association

“To our God we give all glory.  To our country honour true.  To our high school Saint Augustine’s, we pledge our loyalty to you.  Our motto RECTA SAPERE is our guiding light”, says the school song.

If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord (Romans 14:8).  The Saints family received the news of the death of Rev. Father Bruno Toupan, with utter shock and sadness.  Most of us found out about his medical situation only a couple of days prior when Tijan Massaneh Ceesay informed the group that he was admitted at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul.  Yes, death is inevitable. However, this news hit us all extremely hard.  So soon and so sudden when he had been working tirelessly with the Alumni Association to transform the school.  In his seminal book “The City of God”, Saint Augustine of Hippo after whom Saint Augustine’s is named stated: “it is no less impossible for us not to take as bitter the death of those whose life for us was such a source of sweetness”.

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A gigantic and inspirational leader while still in his prime, has fallen asleep in the Lord.  Nevertheless, we take solace in these words from the book of Wisdom: “Length of days is not what makes age honorable, nor number of years the true measure of life”.  In other words, the important thing is not how many years in your life but how much life in your years.  We cannot but accept that Fr. Bruno Toupan’s race is over.  Blessed be the name of the Lord for He giveth and He taketh. Fr. Bruno has left an indelible mark in the sands of time.  Therefore, his legacy shall live on.  He had cultivated an enduring and fruitful relationship with the alumni of Saint Augustine’s both in the country and abroad.  We will continue to support the school in all spheres as we owe it to him.

For the first time in the history of the school, working with some alumni, he championed a gala dinner in December 2017 which was a very successful endeavour.  During this engagement, what stood out was Fr. Bruno’s passion for success.  He not only attended the preparatory meetings but participated fully and made very useful interventions.  Over three hundred thousand Dalasi was gained from the event. Some of the funds were used to purchase brand new desks for the school.  In fact, in the past months, he had been meeting with some of the alumni to organize another fundraising event for the school.  His humility was such that, he interacted with everyone without demonstrating an air of importance despite his status both as a senior member of the clergy and principal of Saint Augustine’s. 

Fr. Toupan was a man on a mission to lead the rejuvenation of a once mighty citadel of learning.  Under his stewardship, both the academic and sporting performances have been on the up.  Now the question is, who is going to take up the mantle of leadership and propel Saint Augustine’s forward?  Sure, someone would emerge.  It might be asked however whether the person would possess the same gravitas as Fr. Bruno Toupan.  Difficult as it may be, we say adieu to a great man of the cloak and an administrator par excellence.  Thank you for everything during your tenure as principal of Saint Augustine’s Fr. Bruno Toupan.  A grateful alumni association bids you farewell.  Take your rest till we meet again.   May the angels welcome you to Paradise, Amen.  

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