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Biafran war-Tribute to the 4 Canadian Fallen relief workers - Igbo Union Of Canada

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Falled Biafran heros

Biafran war-Tribute to the 4 Canadian Fallen relief workers

Tribute to the 4 Canadian Fallen relief workers that perished during the Biafran War in their quest to Save Biafrans.

Presented by Igbo Union of Canada at the memorial service of those who lost their lives Providing relief materials to Biafrans during the Biafran war.


Dear friends, esteemed guests, and cherished loved ones,


Today, we gather with heavy hearts to pay tribute to the lives of four remarkable individuals whose journey of compassion was tragically cut short during the Biafran war. With deep reverence, we honor the memory of those who perished aboard the relief plane, code-named “Annabelle,” destined for Uli Airstrip, but met its fate upon a hillside, claiming the lives of all aboard.

In the hearts of the Igbo people and beyond, the names of these heroes resonate with profound gratitude and respect. First Officer Raymond Levesque, a beacon of courage from Winnipeg; Load Master Gary Libbus, whose spirit hailed from Sydney, Nova Scotia; Captain Donald Merriam, a son of Norwich, Ontario, whose leadership guided them through countless missions; and Flight Engineer Vincent Wakeling, born in Brantford, Ontario, whose expertise ensured the safety of their endeavors.

Their story is not one solely of tragedy but of unwavering dedication to the cause of humanity. As they embarked on their mission, they embodied the very essence of selflessness and compassion. With each passing moment, their resolve grew stronger, fueled by a collective commitment to alleviate suffering and bring hope to those in need.

Despite the perils that loomed before them, they pressed forward with steadfast determination, for their mission was not merely a duty but a calling—an irrefutable summons to stand in solidarity with the oppressed and offer solace amidst turmoil.

The Biafrans, scattered across the globe, stand united in gratitude for the unprecedented humanitarian efforts spearheaded by the World Council of Churches, the Jewish community, and the Vatican. Their collaboration marked a historic turning point as diverse faiths and organizations came together in a singular mission—to alleviate the suffering and bring an end to the genocide ravaging Biafra.

Yet, even as we commemorate the bravery and compassion of our fallen heroes, we are confronted with the harsh reality that the tribulations of the Igbo people persist. In Nigeria, the Igbo community continues to face targeted government policies, with their properties in Lagos and Abuja being demolished with impunity. The struggle for justice and liberation in Biafra remains as urgent and poignant as ever.

Amidst adversity, the spirit of resilience burns bright within the Biafran people. With unwavering determination, they continue to defy oppression and injustice, standing firm in their quest for liberation. And in their ongoing struggle, they find solace and strength in the unwavering support of allies like the Canadian community.

As we pay homage to Raymond, Gary, Donald, and Vincent, let us reaffirm our commitment to the principles of justice, equality, and human dignity. Let us heed the call of history and pledge never again to remain silent in the face of tyranny and persecution. Together, let us stand in solidarity with the Biafran people as they strive to reclaim their rightful place in the world.

In bidding farewell to our fallen heroes, let us carry forward their legacy of compassion and courage. May their sacrifice serve as a beacon of hope in our darkest moments, inspiring us to continue the fight for a world where all are treated with dignity and respect.

Rest in peace, dear friends. Your memory will forever be enshrined in our hearts as we march forward in solidarity with the Biafran people towards a future of justice, freedom, and liberation.


Presented by

Engr. Joseph Eze

(For Igbo Union of Canada)

memorial magazine

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