Recently, I was in a discussion with a group of friends and we were all trying to determine what periods of our lives over the past sixty years have been most interesting. Surprisingly, for me, my seven years at GCI had some major consideration. That period definitely had a major impact on my development and future as a responsible individual. Here are some recollections:

I had attended Yaba Methodist Elementary School prior to my enrollment at Government College. At Yaba Methodist, two of our most popular old students in 1963 were Adekunle (A) Odukoya and Sydney Asiodu. Odukoya was a very good hockey player and Asiodu was a track star and football player for the Nigerian academicals. Both of them were to become Head Boys at their respective schools: Odukoya at GCI and Asiodu at Igbobi. Both of them had come to talk to me about their schools since I had been accepted at both schools.
Odukoya even visited me at home to tell me how he would take good care of me. At the end, I chose GCI and Odukoya rewarded me by assigning me to his school house, Swanston

A few months after school started in 1964, we had just moved to the new central dinning hall. One morning, a lot of us going for breakfast came in just a few seconds late. Head Boy Odukoya came out and pointed at me and asked everyone starting from me and behind me to go back and he ordered our food to be passed out as extras to students who were already eating. I made eye contact with him and reminded him who I was. He said yes, he knew who I was and that was why he was starting the line from me. I started crying and he was angry that I was crying over food and placed me on school punishment to teach me a lesson. I was shocked but that was a major learning moment for me.

When I was in Form Two, I felt that a particular senior boy in my House, who currently is a retired doctor in Ibadan, just enjoyed punishing me and to scare him and teach him a lesson, I told him that I had reported him to my grandmother in Owo who was a witch and she had assured me that he would fail his School Certificate exams. He begged me and stopped punishing me but I refused to forgive him. Of course, it was all a lie. There was no grandmother anywhere and I did not wish him any harm. He took his exams, the results came out and he passed. I had totally forgotten and went with the other juniors to congratulate him. I have never received such a forceful slap on my face. He ordered me out of sight and his room. Obviously, he was worried all throughout the period be was taking the exams. I am sure he has now finally forgiven me.

In Form Four, we had become legitimate senior boys. Form Five boys usually would be too busy preparing for their exams and Upper Six students had very little time for us. However, Lower Six students wanted to be in charge and the control of Form Four students was where they could show their power. In Swanston House, my classmates in Form Four were a lot more liberated than our other classmates in other houses. We became very good friends with our Lower Six seniors and almost became too close to be punished. In fact, we had organized a party during the Easter break and invited girls from the popular girls' schools around and conveniently invited some of our seniors to attend as a favor to them. We absolutely felt on top of the world.

My last three years in School were the best. In Form Five, we had now become Heads of rooms. It was almost impossible to be punished unless you were very, very bad. That meant that both the Head of House and the House Master would be involved. We earned the right to stay longer in the prep rooms, supposedly studying. We became supervisors and acted as if we were equal to the HSC students.

In Lower Six, 1 had now become a House Prefect. This time, my other co-prefects and I wanted to make sure that all lower form students conformed to authority, totally forgetting that we plotted to avoid conformity during our time in the lower forms.
My biggest joy came in Upper Six. I was Head of Swanston House. As Head of House, lived separately from other students and had a room to myself. Unfortunately, it was boring. I did not want to be by myself and ended up spending most of my time away from my room and with my other classmates, especially Odunsi, Ubogu, Okoh, and Fajemisin who I had conveniently assigned to the Senior Prefects room down the block from me. It was always a fight because I would occupy any available bed except Ubogu's. Ubogu's bed was always too neat to be messed up.

In addition to being Head of House, I also played Hockey for the school and the State and was the Editor of The Rock, the school magazine. I had major perks that came with the responsibility and I absolutely enjoyed every day of my final year at GCI.

We competed hard against each other in class academically and on the sports field but collaborated to defeat students and teams from opposing schools. We had the same high values and character and sometimes, scarily, behave and think alike.

It is surely amazing that a lot of us have stayed close to each other over the past fifty years and we surely give thanks to God. Even now, as a grown man, my best and most trusted friends are still the same ones I grew up with at GCI.

I find as I grow older that I love those most whom I loved first.
- Thomas Jefferson

Submitted By: 

ADETULA Akinleye Jimmy
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