Home Opinion Rev. Fr. John Haverty: Memorial Tributes to a Colossus

Rev. Fr. John Haverty: Memorial Tributes to a Colossus

by Isiyaku Ahmed
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Rev. Fr. John Haverty

By Emmanuel Gandu

Born in 1936 in Ireland, John was for 57 years on assignment in Kaduna State on behalf of the SMA mission.

At the time of his death on 8th July 2019, he was one of the very few longest-serving SMA missionaries in Nigeria.

Haverty’s missionary vocation was largely influenced by the prayer-life of his family including the Rosary, as in his words, “this helped to create inside me an abiding desire to do something for the third world”.

Philosophy in service

What sustained John Haverty in his 61 years of missionary journey include the following:

  1. His penchant for the austere lifestyle.
  2. The nagging reality of the uneven distribution of both hardship and luxury in planet earth.
  3. Spreading the Good News of Salvation to mankind.
  4. Contributing to human development in society.
  5. The desire to level the playing field for all contenders.

Places of service

Among the places, Rev. Fr. John Haverty served are:

@ St. Joseph’s Parish Kagoro 1962 – 1963

@ St. John’s College Kaduna. 1963 – 1966

@ St. Enda’s Teacher’s College Zaria (now Federal Govt. Girls College Zaria) 1966

@ St John’s College Kaduna 1966 – 1968

@ St. Mary’s Secondary School (now G.S.S) Fadan Kaje 1968 – 1981

@ G.S.S Kachia 1981 –

@ St. John’s Parish Kachia 1981 – till his death

@ St. John’s Nursery, Primary, and Secondary Schools (Founder and Manager) 1994 till death.

Government Secondary School Fadan Kaje

St. Mary’s now Govt. Secondary School Fadan Kaje is among the institutions where John Haverty served best.

An obscured, poorly staffed, poorly furnished, and lowly institution, Haverty brought up the school to higher standards in learning and character.

This made Fadan Kaje become that School where every parent struggled to bring his child to.

Among just a few of his products in Fadan Kaje are :

+ Late Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa

+ Agwatyap Sir Dominic Gambo Yahaya

+ Supreme Court Justice (Retired) Justice Kumai Bayang Akaahs OFR

+ Sir David Y. Yashim (one of the pioneer planners of, and the FCT Master Plan)

+ Very Rev. Fr. Emmanuel D. Abiriyi

+ Prof. Very Rev. Fr. Joseph H. Mamman

+ Prof. Stephen A. Nkom.

+ Dr. Paul Bagobiri

+ Mr. Bala James Tokan

+ And yours sincerely.


For his meritorious service in Kaduna state, especially in his radical upliftment of Southern Kaduna to amiable heights Rev. Fr. John Haverty was highly admired, loved, respected, and revered.

He was severally recognized and decorated with garlands, honors, and awards by many of the communities he impacted.

One of such was the conferment on him of the chieftaincy title of ‘Agoh Tuma’ of Adara Chiefdom, a position that earned him a permanent seat in the Adara Traditional Council.

The Fadan Kaje spirit lives on.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O’Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

Peace 🙏

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