Tuesday, October 23, 2012

More on the real Ruby Addo, and President Mills' hockey stick

I've received a number of hits on my September 13 post Truth is stranger than fiction - Samuel Kofi Atta Mills. The Google search terms used to get to the post seem to suggest that a fax-based scam is going around using under the name "Ruby Addo Mills."

As I mentioned in the earlier post, Ruby Addo is the mother of a young man named Samuel Kofi Atta Mills, son of the late President of Ghana, John Evans Atta Mills. However, Ruby Addo was not the wife of former President Mills.

I have found this brief description of their relationship.

The mother of Sam Mills, Madam Ruby Addo is also not someone who is widely known in the country. What is known of her is that she was a student of President Mills in sports (hockey) at the time they met.

This account of President Mills' academic career makes no mention of hockey. Incidentally, it should be noted that when you're talking about hockey in Ghana, you're talking about field hockey, not ice hockey.

At the age of 27, he was awarded his PhD after successfully defending his doctoral thesis in the area of taxation and economic development. He returned to Ghana that year, becoming a Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ghana. He became a visiting professor of Temple Law School (Philadelphia, USA), with two stints from 1978 to 1979, and 1986 to 1987, and was a visiting professor at Leiden University (Holland) from 1985 to 1986. During this period, he authored several publications relating to taxation during the 1970s & 1980s.

Outside of his academic pursuits, Professor Mills was the Acting Commissioner of Ghana's Internal Revenue Service from 1986 to 1993, and the substantive Commissioner from 1993 to 1996.By 1992, he had become an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Ghana. Mills was also a Fulbright scholar at Stanford Law School.

I'm guessing, though I could be wrong, that Ruby Addo met future President Mills at the University of Ghana, and not at Temple Law School or Leiden University. So was he a coach of the University of Ghana hockey team? This account suggests otherwise. After noting that Mills played hockey in secondary school and at university before his departure to the United Kingdom for further studies, it says the following:

[Mills] came back years later to be a founder member of the Veterans Hockey team in Accra.

He rose to become the vice president of the club in 1991 and moved up to occupy the presidency following the death of K. N. Owusu in 1994.

However, on rising to become the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana in 1996, and subsequently the presidential candidate for the NDC Party in 2000, Professor Mills was forced to retire from active play.

A testimonial match, as is the tradition of the club, was played in his honour to formally hang his sticks.

From this account, it appears that Mills was not a coach at a university hockey team, but a player for an Accra club team. But Mills was a traditionalist:

Professor Mills is fondly remembered for sticking to the “old system” such that even years after the sport had been transformed, the ex-president stuck to old hockey sticks and never tried the modern sticks.

I was able to find a web page for the Ghana Hockey Association, but was unable to find one for the Veterans Hockey Club. Nor could I find information about Rudy Addo's hockey career.
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