One of Nigeria’s influential nonagenarians, Madam Funke Arthur-Worrey celebrated 95 on Saturday, April 23, 2023, and this beautiful woman of style was celebrated by family, and friends of over 70 years from the heart of Lagos
The birthday celebration was a small, but classy type, as the celebrant was treated to a memorable event by all her loved ones. The guests who were no more than 100 at the event were all dressed glamorously in honour of the great woman whose tribute inspired many as a humble, kind and loving mother and friend.
Her story and journey are an inspiration to many. And so it was, therefore, worthwhile on this remarkable occasion of her birthday, as guests from all walks of life, showing gratitude for her noble contribution to education, turned out to celebrate the astute educationist and administrator. Aunty, Funke as she’s fondly called, who donned a glittering white dress pleated with gold embroidery, was visibly elated all through the evening.
Glamorous in their resplendent outfits, the guests were quite appreciative and cautious of the thanksgiving service, trickling in at exactly 9am for the scheduled time to honour a trailblazer. The dignitaries were successful men and women from various sectors: banking judiciary; politics, culture, arts, etc.
Among her many relatives, distinguished friends and guests that graced the occasion were former deputy Governor, Madam Akereke Bucknor, Maiden Ibru, Erelu Abiola Dosumu, Ajose Adeogun, JK Randle, Fola Arthur-Worrey, just to mention a few.
Overwhelmed with joy, Mama, as most people called her, was pretty much at hand to receive the personalities from far and wide as they glided through her gate onto her warm embrace. She was showered with praises, prayers and testimonies. The host was described in glowing words as iconic, kind, loving, caring, unassuming, disciplinarian, trailblazer, courageous, visionary, achiever, role model, hardworking, dogged, titan, and mentor.
The congratulatory message to the celebrant aptly captures the sentiments that flowed from the testimonies given by family members, and friends’ acknowledgement of her impact.
“We have watched you grow from strength to strength, to the strong family value that exists today. Over the last 60 years or more, you have moulded intelligent, disciplined and sensitive prodigies with admirable characters. You have fulfilled your dreams. We are so proud of you, her son, Fola said.
There was soft music as Madam Funke danced to the rhythm her friends joined her on the floor to make up the beautiful scenery. The merry would then trip over as classics of the past wafted through the speakers, momentarily reminiscing the host’s and her friend’s youthful days. Finger foods and exotic drinks complemented with local and intercontinental dishes were on offer.
And then a toast to the celebrant followed by picture sessions. Thrilled and overwhelmed, Mrs Funke Arthur-Worrey was left speechless when asked to say a few words to the gathering.
She relived the memory of her daughter, who passed many years ago and launched a foundation in her memory.
For those who have followed her life trajectory, Mrs Arthur-Worrey is often referred to as a rare breed because of her youthful nature.
Her animated nature as well as the remarkable ability to infuse humour into any situation has been an asset in her 95 years of existence. Quick-witted, Mrs. Funke Arthur-Worrey has the physique and agility of a woman in her late 60s. Her recollections are as vivid as assessments of current global developments. Age hasn’t slowed her down; she rocks every day. As she turns 95, the nonagenarian tells Funke Olaode she is excited about her new age and hopes for a better Nigeria- one that is more inclusive of women.