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THE HISTORY OF IBADAN BOYS HIGH SCHOOL, OKE BOLA, IBADAN
by LATE CHIEF T.L. OYESINA (Manager and Proprietor of the School)

‘‘Through out all ages our Almighty God has manifested himself in various ways as the author and finisher of human destinies. Ibadan Boys High School, destined to serve the Ibadan community in particular and Nigeria in general, came into existence with five pupils in 1938 as one more fulfillment of God’s purpose for mankind. The oak was once an acorn’’.

 

HOW IT BEGAN

In 1938, classes were conducted in the proprietor’s house after obtaining official sanction to open the school; the number on roll at the end of the year rose from five to forty. The foundation stone of the school hall was laid in November of the same year and efforts were accelerated to ensure the building was ready for use by January 1939. Mr. F.U. Okonkwo joined the staff in January 1939 and was nominated headmaster later in the year in accordance with the advice of Mr. J.T. Thornburn, the Senior Education Officer at that time. In 1940 the infant department was started with Mrs. C.W. Oyesina; headmistress and Miss Kemi Laoye, her assistant.

In 1941 the Education Department approved award of the school’s first leaving certificate, this was the direct result of the faithful services of Mr. F.U. Okonkwo and his team. On Wednesday, November 20th, 1941, the first annual inter-house sports event was organized under the distinguished chairmanship of Captain A.R. Dickins, Senior District Officer, Ibadan Division. Also in attendance were: His Highness late Abasi Okunola, the first Olubadan of Ibadan, his chiefs and other important personages in Ibadan. Okuseinde house won the Founders shield and it was presented by Miss. E.M. Brown, Principal, C.M.S. Kudeti Girl’s School.

In 1942 the Education Department gave approval to expand operation from classes one to four, Mr. T.H. Baldwin, then Deputy Director of Education and Mr. Simpson, the Senior Education Officer, Western Group provided much assistance for this approval. Based on the approval, the thatched roof building previously in use was extended and used for the secondary department. Other preparations included the first Principal, Rev. S.A. Sodipe, (B.A.) joining the team early in the year. The first fruits of his work were harvested in 1943 when several students passed the Cambridge School Certificate Examination. Public Day School, which is an elementary school feeding the Boys High School, was established in July 1942 under the auspices of Mr. I. Odusina, the first Headmaster.

During the same year, the Board of Governors, consisting of twelve members was formed, namely – The Rev. D.A. Williams (Chairman), Chief I.B. Akinyele, Chief D. Abiola Jacobs, Dr. A.S. Agbaje, S.A. Oloko, S.I. Omikunle, Councillor D.T. Akinbiyi, Messers S.A. Alalade (Hon. Secretary), S.A. Odewumi, T.L. Oyesina (Manager), Mrs. C.W. Oyesina. On March the 14th, 1943 the thatched building with five classrooms caught fire under mysterious circumstances and was burnt to ashes. The school was able to garner support from this mishap and raise donations from the community, to the tune of about £136. The Ibadan Native Administration (N.A) also donated the sum of £300 and with these efforts the school was able to rebuild, and from the ashes arose a storey building with ten classrooms capable of accommodating 300 pupils.  Over £1,800 was spent on the building, which still lacked many essential details. The Proprietor’s appreciation to the Senior Resident, Oyo province must be stated. Mr. H.F.M. White, C.M.G. who as a keen educationist and a lover of our race, who personally contributed a substantial quota towards the building fund and also approved the N.A’s monetary grant towards the same purpose. The Olubadan of Ibadan, His Highness Abasi Okunola, Chief Salami Agbaje and the Rev, E.A. Odusanwo, Principal of Ibadan Grammar School were very conspicuous among hundreds of donors who generously contributed and moved others to contribute money for relief.

In 1944 the Board of Governors was registered as a body under the Land Perpetual Succession Ordinance and Sir Arthur Richards, G.C.M.G. Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria signed the certificate of incorporation.

As if to commemorate the misfortune of the fire incident of 1943, a thunderstorm occurred on May 7th 1944, and damaged the roof and pillars of the storey building. The Principal and the royal band of faithful teachers rose to the occasion and conducted all classes in private houses in the neighbourhood until the repair of the two buildings was completed four months later.

To show the keenness and living interest of the community in the affairs, many benefactors including those who assisted in 1943 also donated substantial sums of money for the immediate repair of the two buildings. Honourable mention of donors include: Dr. A.S. Agbaje M.B. Ch.B. who gave £10.10 (ten guineas), Mr. M.L. Hamber, Gold miner £10 (ten pounds), Mr. J. Layiwola Adegoke (ten guineas), Mr. S.A. Odewumi (ten pounds), the Ibadan Progressive Union Study Circle £5.51 (five guineas), Rev. E.A. Odusanwo £5.5/-(five guineas), Mr. E.O. Akinyele (five pounds), the Ibadan Co-operative Cocoa Marketing Union £5.5 (five guineas), late Madam Jaratu Abeke gave a free loan of £20 (twenty pounds), which was refunded on the April 15th, 1944.

In 1945 the Secondary School Department was granted approval by the Education Department for the issuance of class four middle certificates. The Principal, Rev. S.A. Sodipe B.A., the late Mr. D.A. Ukpohi, Senior tutor, Messers J.A. Oyebode, Inter B.Sc. (London), Mathematics master, and Z.A. Owolabi, the Librarian, discharged their duties faithfully and conscientiously in the Secondary department. Special appreciation for valuable advice and support go to Mr. W.I. Mackell, O.B.E., and Mr. F.K. Butler.

In order to cater to pupils who were unable to qualify for secondary education after completing their career in the Primary Department, a Commercial Academy was established in February 1946 after the Board of Governors had given approval at their annual meeting. Mr. Payne was designated the Headmaster in April 1946.

The staff of Government College Ibadan and a few employees of Moor Plantation banded together and formed a committee, which approached the Proprietor to establish Union School, Moor Plantation, in the same month of February 1946. The financial responsibilities of their infant school, which catered for children of employees of Moor Plantation, rested on the committee. Mr. G.A Deko was the treasurer and the accredited representative to the committee. In fact, it was his zeal and effort, which made the school building stand. Mr. W.T. Mackell O.B.E. Acting Deputy Director of Education and Mr. F.K. Butler, Acting Chief Inspector of Education showed much interest in this school.

The games section of the school under the game master, Mr. S.A. Laseinde was very encouraging. Our boys took part in the Grier Cup Competition, which took place in Lagos and two boys qualified for the finals. Williams house won the shield presented by a scholar named John Badejo. The school recreation ground was leveled, thanks to the untiring efforts of the principal and the whole school.

The first annual dinner was successfully organised under the chairmanship of W.T. Mackell. Esq., O.B.E. a genial sports enthusiast. Provision was made for 75 dinners and it went into record with appreciation for the first official visit of his Honour, Mr. T. Hoskyns Abrahall, C.M.G.,Chief Commissioner, Western Provinces to the school on the 11th of November 1946. The school was highly honoured by his remark on the congenial atmosphere of the school.

The continuation classes prospered under efficient headmastership of Mr. J.O. Adenowo, Mr. D.F. Ogunlela, a highly conscientious worker, raised the status of the infant Department.

On the whole, the Proprietor was fully aware of the guiding hands of the Almighty God in all the doings. Indeed and in truth, the organisation of the school is the “work of the Lord for the good of the community”.

I pray that Ibadan Boys High School will continue to march forward from strength to strength in all areas of the school activities.

 

UP SCHOOL!

Article provided by Reverend J. T. Anjolaoluwa, Principal, IBHS

 

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