This site is dedicated to the memory of Ebenezer Laing.

Ebenezer Laing was born in Cape Coast on the 28th of June 1931 and sadly passed away on the 19th of April 2015.

He attended the Adisadel College and did sixth form at Achimota School.  He went on to the University College of the Gold Coast, where he graduated with a First class and obtained the Basindale prize (2nd).  After obtaining his Ph.D. from University of Cambridge (Corpus Christi College), he returned to the University of Ghana, where he served in many different capacities.

He rose from lectureship to become a Professor at the Botany department, where he was much loved by his students at all levels. During his career at the University of Ghana, he had the opportunity to serve as the Head of the Botany Department, the Hall Master of Legon Hall, the Dean of the Faculty of Science, and also as Pro-Vice Chancellor.

He also made small teaching contributions to other departments of the University of Ghana, including the Institute of African Studies, the Regional Institute for Population Studies, the Department of Geography, the Department of Community Health at Korle-Bu, the School of Public Health, the Psychology Department, and the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy.  As a part of his academic duties, He served as an external examiner in other universities in Africa, and travelled for many Scientific conferences.  Many established Ghanaian scientists at home and abroad will testify that he was an inspiration, a mentor, a good collaborator and a positive role model.

He was also a valuable asset in the broader intellectual community of Ghana.  At different times he was a member or visitor or consultant or affiliate of different institutions and/or committees, including the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, the Volta Basin Research Project, the Population Dynamics Program at Legon, and the African Academy of Sciences, of which he was a Founding Fellow.  More recently, with the trend to establish many more Universities and Colleges in Ghana besides the original big three, he helped to provide guidance during the establishment of the University of Development Studies, the Presbyterian University and also the Anglican University of Ghana.

Ultimately he was honoured by the University of Ghana with a D.Sc. (Honoris Causa), an Emeritus Professorship in the Department of Botany, and by the Presidency of Ghana as an Officer of the Order of the Volta.  He was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of Legon Hall with the Gold Medal, and also with the Adisadel College Centenary Award as a Distinguished Old Boy.  Remarkably, the road behind his former office at the Botany department was named after him.

He wasn't all work -- he had many hobbies too.  He was a very good photographer, and was well known for walking around the University campus with a camera around his neck.  His favourite subjects were the many members of the University community and their families, and of course his own friends and family.  He also took documentary or scientific pictures of a lot of plants, always making sure to include a ruler for a good indication of scale.  He was very happy to take pictures of people, but occasionally he would overlook an eager subject to take a picture of what was to him, a very interesting plant, whose beauty and importance was not significant to most people.

His broad interest in Music included playing the Oboe early on and beginning to learn to play the classical guitar later in life, but by far his most active instrument was the Piano.  He played at many classical concerts with his friends, performing piano solos and duets as well as accompanying vocalists, violinists/violists, cellists and flutists.  At one point he led the Legon Hall choir.  His taste in Music included Ghanaian music, as well as western classical music, including the Baroque and Romantic eras.  His birth family also exposed him to Christian music of the Anglican Church.  Indeed he was recognized by the Legon Anglican Church for his long and dedicated service as an Organist for 30 years.

[Side Note: The music you can hear on this site are six Schubert Impromptus.  They were among his favourites to play, however these recordings are by Chiara Bertoglio, used with permission from www.musopen.org.  At the top right of the page there are controls to turn the music on and off.]

He also loved to read on a very wide variety of subjects, and built up a very large collection of books at home and at work.  After retirement, he adopted Tennis to stay in shape, and as a venue for socialization.  He also became fond of electronic gadgets including computers and laptops, an iPad and an iPod touch, and this enabled him to incorporate some computer literacy and simple computer programming into his teaching.

Just two months ago he lost his loving wife of many years, Mildred. He is survived by three children -- Ebenezer Kwamina, Amelia Efua, and Ambrose Kofi, son-in-law Cyril Ofori and two grandchildren, Kyle and Kevin Ofori.

We knew him best as a loving father and grandfather who took a keen interest in the education of his children and made sure we had all the intellectual stimulation we needed to grow up into productive citizens -- We miss him deeply, but we are comforted that his work lives on in the lives of the many that he interacted with.  Daddy, GrandPa, Rest in Peace.

Funeral Announcement

1. Pre-Burial and Burial service on Wednesday the 27th of May at 8.00 a.m., at the Christ Anglican Church (see map below) followed by burial at Osu cemetery.

2. Final funeral rites will be on the same day at Christ Anglican Church, Legon, on returning from the burial.

Attire is black or optional.
Christ Anglican Church University of Ghana, Legon

Thoughts

Prof, Grandpa (as some of us secretly called you), I am grateful to have had you in my life. A teacher, father, mentor and friend. In you I saw a lot of what I want to know and be. With your unselfishness and patience, you taught and guided, aiming to make me the best possible scientist you could. Thank you. I count myself privileged to have been one of your very last students. You pushed me to and beyond the limits of what I thought possible. And for being one of the many lives you touched with your goodness, I pray that this goodness will continue to spread to other people through the things you taught and how you taught. Till we meet again across the river, fare thee well.
Sent by Benedict on 24/07/2015
A gentle soul u were.It was a great pleasure to hav known you Prof. Your numerous corrections after every performance will be missed. always remembering my surname but almost always struggling with my 1st name n jokingly asking me not to prosecute u,that will also be missed. thank you for da lovely picture u took of me n framing it at ur own cost. Fare thee well Prof. God be with u till we meet again
Sent by Shirley on 28/05/2015
Tribute to a Great Mentor Finally, they flowed down uncontrollably The tears that had been held back Since the day the very sad news was broken... There he lay, silent and motionless Yet dignified even in his final sleep There he lay... My lecturer, my supervisor, my most senior colleague, my mentor Alas! A chord is broken The music does not sound quite right anymore Yet snippets of your many wise words Sweetly echo in the ear... “Carry on, Eureka, carry on...” “Be mindful of health and safety...” “Encourage the students...” “Take good care of the children...” Oh, Prof! James and I miss you already, but the children will miss you more You were like a grandpa to them Your framed picture of “Madam Yaa” at age 6 still adorns our living room wall For the very first time, “Mr. Kwadwo” did not want to see the funeral brochure That mummy had brought home this time No doubt, the contents would underscore the finality of your departure But the young man is in denial This piece would be incomplete without mention of the extension of your kindness To my sister Josephine and her children, Jason and Jessica There is only one word to describe your keen interest in the development of people: AWESOME! We are grateful to God for the many years that He gave you to us Fare thee well, great mentor Rest in perfect peace
Sent by Eureka on 28/05/2015