Condolence Message From The GCIOBA-Ibadan Branch Chairman On The Demise Of Dr Lalekan Are (1948)

image Condolence Message From The GCIOBA-Ibadan Branch Chairman On The Demise Of Dr Lalekan Are (OON) (514, Field, 1948) (December 2nd, 1933 � January 18th, 2020)

I learnt with great shock the passing away of our ever passionate, philanthropic and principled Patron, Dr Lalekan Ayokunnu Are (1948) (OON) on the noon of 18th January, 2020. This sad news has brought much soberness to the Branch and the entire Association at large, little wonder have we been receiving tributes, reflections and condolence messages from friends and well-wishers of Government College Ibadan at home and in diaspora since his heroic exit.

Dr Lekan Are, as widely known was a thoroughbred GCI Old Boy, foremost Educationist and renowned Industrialist. He showed his precocious brilliance at a tender age of 14 where he gained admission to GCI in 1948 with a Government Scholarship, and later on won the first prize in the Senior Boys Category (Arts) in 1951, and Football Colours in 1952.

Dr Lekan Are, with dauntless persistence, profound intelligence and uncommon vigour; pursued the GCI dream with his life, resources, influence, affluence and his all. Upon his return from Michigan State University in 1962 where he had his post-graduate studies in Crop Science, he joined Government College Ibadan Old Boys Association and became the Secretary of the GCIOBA-Ibadan Branch and in 1963, the National Honourary Secretary of the National Association, the positions of which he held till 1970 before returning abroad upon international appointment.

In 1978, he returned home and served as a member of the Fund Raising Sub-Committee for the Golden Jubilee of GCI in 1979, where the seed of the modern hexagonal GCI Library Complex, which no government secondary school of today can boast of, was planted. This earned him the membership of the GCI Library Fund in 1985. He also served as the Chairman of GCIPTA between 1988 and 2006, and was instrumental to the re-introduction of Boarding House to GCI in 1987 and other phenomenal developments to his highly cherished Alma Mater.

As a result of his diligence, selfless service and unparalleled commitments, Dr Lekan Are later served as the President of GCIOBA between 1988 and 2006. Dr Lekan Are�s undying love for GCI grew in leaps and knew no bounds. He was an exemplary Old Boy who earned respect from kings and queens. Until his death, he was the Patron of the Association, a position he held since October 2007.

I remember vividly Baba Are�s words at the month of November 2019 meeting I hosted at Jogor Centre where he attended despite his old age. The Sage as usual still gave the newly elected Executive members wise counsel. Your reminiscences will always be cherished and treasured.

Dr Lalekan Are (1948) though has gone from our sight, but never from our heart. We say not in grief that �he is no more� but in thankfulness to Almighty God for a life well spent and lives widely impacted that �he was�. No doubt, our Patron lived a life of legacy, a life devoted to service to God and humanity. His legacy lives on, and forever shall the footprints remain indelible in the annals of history of Government College Ibadan, and Government College Ibadan Old Boys Association.

We take solace in the fact that the GCI of his dream was achievable in his lifetime, as GCIOBA became the foremost and most progressive alumni association of a secondary school in Nigeria, with Branches deeply rooted across all continents, and GCI became the most sought after government secondary school in Oyo State (and soon in Nigeria, by God�s grace).

Ibadan Branch joins other Branches and Sets of this prestigious Association to commiserate with the GCIOBA National President, Dr Wale Babalakin (Grier, 1971); Are dynasty, Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, and the people of Oyo State; the entire Yoruba descendants and Nigerians at large. May God rest Baba�s soul. Amen. Adieu, my grand teur.

Our deepest sympathy!

Wole Agbaje (Field, 1977)
Chairman, GCIOBA-Ibadan Branch.