“The world will be a worse place if not for a recollection of the past – history, and history is best appreciated when left untainted, undiluted and unrefined.”
– ‘Seun Alade
After a very long break, we return to this series. While the long break was, in part, due to certain reactions to the earlier posts; coming back has been made possible by the encouragement of those who have read, shared and commented. If this is your first time of reading “Ikirun Chronicles” I advise that you read the five previous posts – November 1, 1997, November 2, 1997, More from my first Sunday in Ikirun, November 3, 1997 and My first general assembly in Ikirun .
At this point, it might be apposite to state what I said when starting this series – that I did not intend to write the history of the Federal Government College, Ikirun, no! I am writing my own recollections of the events during my stay there. Therefore, there is no way that this memoir can be taken as gospel truth as it would surely have my colourations and tinted towards what I remember. But I promise not to tell a lie against anyone. And I do not intend to malign anyone’s character or defame anyone. I seek to only share my time in FGC Ikirun as best as I remember it. Enjoy it.
From the assembly ground, we were directed to a hall. You would remember what I told you about buildings in Ikirun – their purposes were not fixed, and since the buildings got their names from their purposes, their names changed. A block of classrooms referred to as JSS 1 block this year might be called JSS 2 block next year. So this hall that we were directed to on that Monday of November 3, 1997 was at one point in time my classroom while at another point in time was my hostel. I remember sharing the hall as a classroom with another JSS 1 class. The same hall was my hostel later in SSS 1.
What we called the hall therefore varied according to its purpose at a particular point in time. At this point in time, it was called the new dining hall. I can’t remember it ever been used for a dining hall but it was so called. I can explain the reason for the name though. It had the same features as the only dining hall we had in Ikirun at that time – a large hall with an elevated platform. It should be said that our dining hall at that time could not accommodate the increasing population of students and so there was need for a new dining hall. This explains the reason why we the JSS 1 students had to queue for food at that time as against the usual practice of having a table. A second dining hall, called new dining hall, was later built beside the old one.
I guess that this hall was intended to be used as the new dining hall but the infeasibility of that might have necessitated a change in plans. The hall was miles apart from the existing dining hall and kitchen. So, this hall was called new dining hall at that point in time and when the real new dining hall was built, its name changed to new hostel. That name would also change when real blocks of new hostels were built. For our present discourse, let’s agree to call this hall the new dining hall.
What we were directed to the new dining hall for that morning was – orientation. That was a big word to us back then. Many of us didn’t even know the meaning of the word. But we had heard gist about it from seniors. The orientation programme lasted three days – from Monday, 3rd November to Wednesday, 5th November 1997.
While the idea for the orientation programme is laudable as it was used by the school authority to welcome us to Ikirun, tell us what is expected of us and to introduce us to officers of the school and prefects, the real orientation was the one we would receive from our seniors in the hostel. The real do’s and don’ts of boarding life could not be taught during the orientation programme. For example, while we were told to report seniors who maltreated us, experience showed that wasn’t the smart thing to do. Reporting a senior was like setting yourself up for destruction in the jungle that FGC Ikirun and many boarding schools of that period were. The teachers didn’t live with you in the hostels, the seniors did!
During the orientation programme, I remember the principal, Elder Timothy A. Oyebode and the Vice principal, Mr. Oderinwale being introduced to us. I remember the VP as a gentle, old, slim man. I also remember us being introduced to Mr. Bamiteko, Mr. Oladiran and Mr. Buhari, the three were in the school’s Guidance and Counselling department. Mr. Buhari also doubled as the coordinator of the Muslim Students Society (MSS), while Mr. Olanrewaju of the Mathematics department headed the Christian fellowship.
During the orientation, we were introduced to the Sports Master, Mr. Adewunmi, he also taught Physical and Health Education (PHE); the head of Music; Mr. Oke; head of the press club, Mr. Amusan who taught social studies and government. I remember us being introduced to the Head of the kitchen, Mrs. Olukanni, I actually had to be reminded of her name as she was transferred away from the school not long after we resumed. But I remember her assistant vividly, Mrs. Oke because she was the mother of our fastest girl, Funmi Oke.
The orientation programme also afforded us the opportunity of being introduced to the House officers and prefects. The House officers were closer to us than the school management. We had four houses – Yellow, Blue, Green and Red and each was headed by a House Master for the boys and a House Mistress for the girls. There was also a Senior Boarding House Master/Mistress (SBHM). The SBHM for the boys was Mr. Kolade, while the SBHM for girls was Mrs. Abati-Sobulo, she taught English language.
I was in Yellow House and our House Master was Mr. Falowo. I also find it hard to forget Mr. Adetola, House Master of Blue House and Mr. Idowu Peters of Red House, he taught Intro. Tech. My House captain then was Wale Adetona, while his assistant was Tope Alamu. Akeem Solarin (Solar) was Blue House captain, while Gbenga and Ajisafe (Aji) held forth in Green House. Bayo was red house captain while his assistant was Saheed (Seedorf).
That was some recollections! Let me hear your views in the comment section.
I am @seunalade