The Journey of Henry Hage in Ghana
Henry Hage’s journey abroad started at an early age. At the age of 17, he was a top student in Sagesse School, preparing for his baccalaureate.
He intended to pursue his education but was compelled to leave school before he was able to graduate. His dad asked him to go to Ghana temporarily because his brother’s wife was sick and his brother, who worked in Ghana at the time, had to return to Lebanon.
Henry was supposed to take over his brother’s business until the wife gets better. If everything went as planned, he was aiming at returning to school afterwards.
As the saying goes: “It’s only the temporary things that last”.
Henry’s stay in Ghana started in 1937 and ended in 2001. 64 years of work, success, marriage and family.
The initial business upon arrival to Ghana was trading in his brother’s shop, selling construction material. He remained in this business until his brother returned to Ghana.
Then Henry entered the cocoa trade which was booming at the time. The boom lasted until the beginning of WWII. During the war, he switched his business to the wholesale of household goods. At the end of WWII, he moved from Accra, the capital, into the deep woods, to a small village called Oda. He opened a sawmill factory which eventually expanded into a plywood factory. The factory was very successful and remained in operation until recently. His Ghanian partner passed away, and the successors were not up to expectations. It was a wise decision to end business in Ghana.
Henry met his wife in Ghana. She is a Lebanese whose father happened to be working in Ghana at the time. The wedding took place there in 1949.
Ghana was a home to them. Their five children had their schooling in Lebanon. The elder two were in boarding school, but by the time the other three were ready for school, Henry’s wife resided in Lebanon, and he came to visit them on holidays.
He was the head of the Freemason’s Lodge for many years. He helped many Lebanese that have arrived to Ghana looking for work, regardless whether they are strangers or friends.
So a temporary visit ended up in a lifelong experience that lasted 64 years in Africa.
Now Henry, age 93, is still in good health and retiring peacefully in Lebanon with his family.