Field House

The events of January 15, 1966, rattled us a bit, but we resumed first year in GCI on the 20th of January, 1966.

Seventeen boys were allocated to Field House. Only one of us, the late Thompson O. Ogunyinka, was a day student. Our Head of House was A. Osibo (1960 set) while the Senior Prefect was B. Somade (1960 set). The House Master was Mr A. A. Badmus, a Mathematics teacher. The House Tutor was Mr. M. A. Ogunyemi, a Geography teacher.

We learnt that sometime in 1965, there was a feud between some teachers and those in the Higher School Certificate (HSC) classes. This led to the decision that from 1966, HSC students would be accommodated within their house grounds.

There were two HSC blocks in the school - one in each region; Carr/Swanston and Field/Grier. There were two wings in each block. One wing served each of the houses. There were twelve rooms in each wing. One student was in a room.
When we resumed in 1966 the blocks were allocated to students in classes 1 to 3. Each room was furnished with a double-decker bed. This afforded opportunities for interaction of boys from different houses within the same "region". No two classmates shared a room in the blocks. Naturally, the class 1 boys had their beds on the upper deck.

On the first Saturday in school, there was general cleaning which included grass cutting, sweeping and dusting. In the evening, we had the social night. Class 3 boys were called out to pick folded strips on which class 1 boys' names were written. On announcing the name picked, the class 1 boy would meet with his "teacher". The teacher was to guide his "boy' to know the school/house rules and traditions. A test would be conducted for the boys after six weeks - most likely to be his first test in the school.

We all got busy immediately, copying notes and studying for the test.

"What is confiscation?” a member of your "family" might ask. Such questions would normally come from a class 2 member of the family. (Afterall, "365 days is not a joke"). If the answer tarried in coming, you would be reminded that the house test would be in 4 weeks.

"Don't disgrace our family o".
The test was conducted on a Sunday after the Chapel service, before lunch.

The result was announced the same evening after the evening prep. The head of house said,

"First from the rear is....".
The boy stood up and marched forward, what for? No one could tell, But it was fun. The family ties last through the lifetime of members.

That test behind us, we had to concentrate on the inter-house athletics competition. All of us, except Wole Amusan (Gogo), were in Junior B. Amusan was in Junior A. Some class 3 boys were in also in Junior B, because of their small stature. All of us in Junior B were registered to take the races; 220 yards, 440 yards and 880 yards during the Standard Points' period of the competition when every student was encouraged to reach some designated targets in order to earn 'Standard Points for the House, which would count in the overall tally. This proved to be a costly mistake because many of us were not given to running. They could have done better in the jumps. So, Field House came 4th in the competition. The mistake was corrected the following year. Field House won many trophies and the Shield. UP GREEN!!!

After the athletics competition, none of us up to date could say how the lot of creating a playing field behind the House and behind the hockey pitch fell on us. It was still the first term and most of us had not mastered the art of handling the cutlass. But the prefect in charge, who I will prefer to call, "Buffo" told us to uproot the trees and make a field therefrom. By the second day of work, many of us were nursing blisters on both hands. Amusan and three others told us not to worry but to be present at the site daily. The task was accomplished but it left scars on Amusan's right hand and fingers till today.
This was the beginning of cooperation and determination to succeed among us all. In 1966, we won both hockey trophies (Junior and Senior) and the Cross Country race. In 1968, the entire school's colt team came from one house (Swanston). We met them in the finals of Junior Cricket inter-house competition. Field House boys were stopping balls with their shins; caring only after victory was achieved. That was how committed they were to winning for Field House.

During the civil war, Bolodeoku joined us in Field House, having left one of the new Federal Government Colleges. This was in 1967.

In 1971, four boys joined the house and remained until 1972. It was our own time in the Higher School Certificate (HSC) set. The boys were Adesanya, Olusola; Olunu, Onaara; Oyinsan, Olufemi and Porbeni Seigha.

In 1971, we had an old boy of Field House, Mr. J. A. Balogun in the teaching staff. He replaced Mr. Ogunyemi who had been transferred to the Ministry of Education. He brought a high level of discipline to the boys. He would come to the house grounds as early as the rising bell was rung. Every one of the boys sat up. He used to call himself, "Omo Ekun". Field House was adjudged the best of all houses in 1971 and 1972 in terms of neatness and discipline.
In 1972, during the inter-house athletic competition Field House won the March Past shield as well as 5 other trophies single handedly won by Seigha Porbeni. He was an athlete per excellence. The boys who were admitted into Field House in 1966 are listed below:

Aboderin, O; Adebohun, A; Adelu, A; Adewoyin, O; Alakija, B; Amusan, O; Arojojoye, B; Arojojoye, Y; Balogun, B; Banjo, A; Banjoko, A; Ero-Phillips, E.O; Koyejo, A. O; Ogunyinka, T. O; Smith, F. and Tubosun, I. A.

Some of us will remember Theodore MADIKE whose school number is 1663. He was in Carr House, Class 1A in our set, but had to leave for the East at the outbreak of the Civil War.

We recently got together through Facebook. He asked after so many of our boys that I had to salute his sharp memory. Not only those in Carr House or those from Ebenezer, Oke-Ado, the Primary School he attended, but he mentioned Adeleke ('Oto'), Deji Oni, Macaulay (GH) and a host of others. He is a medical doctor resident in the Philippines.

Though he entered GCI with the 1966 set, he never had a chance to go through the full experience with us. But, at heart, he remains a member of the 1966 set. Such are the bonds that bind.

Culled from "Looking Back and Looking Forward" - a 1966 Set Publication.

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