Some thirty years ago, a group of friends joined forces with a mission to pull all Ghanaians together as one family to ensure unity and friendship among all Ghanaians in the diaspora. Little did they know, that their small union and vision would blossom into this great organization full of the wonderful people gathered here today. Founded in 1984, the First Ghanaian Society of NJ, Inc. is a non-political, non-profit organization with a strong passion to not only console one another in times of despair, and share happy times, more so, to find ways to enlighten the lives of our brothers and sisters here in the USA and in our homeland Ghana
At the outset, the name of the organization was simply Ghanaian Society of New Jersey, however, as the numbers increased and with reevaluation ,the name was changed to The First Ghanaian Society of NJ, Inc. and has since remained. We are a very tight knit group, more like family, with a current active membership of 97 and counting.We support each other, and a lot make us unique, one of them being our signature song, “Twa Me Last”, which we dance to at a member’s event.
The late Mr. Joe DeGraft Johnson was elected the first president of the associationfrom 1984 to 1988. When he relocated to a different state, an election was conducted and Mr. Eric Y. Marfo was voted to power(1988-1996), bringing stability and increased membership- the largest so far. President Yaw Marfo also initiated computerizing our data to make us more organized and efficient. With increased membership, came the inevitable organizational predicaments, and the need for an effective constitution arose, to keep the association functioning in a serene way, and his administration got the constitution properly formulated.
Under Mr. Adjei-Twum’s administration (1996-1998), he continued to enforce the newly revised constitution, one that has guided and shaped us to date. President Adjei-Twum’s vision was to extend assistance to Ghana and other African countries.
The baton was passed on to President Abraham Mensah from 1998-2000, a man who was very instrumental in keeping the association a multi-tribal organization. To date , The FGSONJ remains the largest multi-tribal Ghanaian organization.
The new millennium ushered in Mr. James Nkatia-Kumi who served from 2000-2004. President Kumi, a teacher by profession, and naturally passionate about education of our people, instituted the GED and computer classes to benefit members and non-members alike.
In 2004, Mr. John Marfo took over as President. One of the hall marks of his administration was the enthusiasm showed in making the association one that is fruitful. His quest for acquiring the association’s own community center did not materialize unfortunately due to unanticipated financial constraints at that moment.
When Rev. George AduseiBonsu took power from 2006- 2007, his motive was to bring back all the old and inactive members to rejoin us. PresidentBonsu was unable to complete his full term in office due to him relocating, after which Nana Atta Boamah, the then Vice President, took over as both President and Vice President from 2007-2008 to complete the term.
President Peter Debrah was then voted to office and served from 2008- 2012. Under his administration, his desire to fulfill the association’s goal of togetherness led to the coming together of the fragmented Ghanaian organizations under one umbrella. The United Ghanaian Associations (UGA) was thus formed and are credited for the annual Christmas dance and summer picnics.
Currently, the association is led by President George Morris Mead, who bravely took office in 2012, against all odds.A very calm and dedicated man, President Morris Mead is keen on taking the association in a different direction than the status quo. Since introducing the conference call line, communication among executive and/or committee members have been easy and most effective. The Education committee, under his administration, has been practical in monthly education and special events and presentations at meetings. We look forward to greater things he and his executive team will bring to this family.