This is the story of a reputable Grammar School in Ile-Ife with a rich history that has produced eminent and distinguished Nigerians, who today have made a name for themselves. They have all become celebrities. They are achievers.
The school is called St. John’s Grammar School, Oke-Atan, Ile-Ife. It is a school that was set up in 1962. Preparations for the setting up of the school actually began in 1961.
According to available information, the Ministry of Education granted the approval to open a “new Private Secondary Grammar School for Boys” on the 27th day of September 1961 via Letter no. EDU/SG. 458/1/22 issued to His Lordship, Right Reverend Bishop O. McCoy, Bishop of Oshogbo Diocese as the Proprietor.
The school opened with 33 students and 2 members of Staff on the 19th day of January 1962.
The 2 members of staff were Principal: Reverend Father F. Cloutier W.F. B.A Laval, 1944 and Assistant Principal: Reverend Father G. Phaneuf W.F. B.A. Montreal, 1957.
Barely 8 years after opening, the school recorded a 100% sterling performance in the West African School Certificate GCE. The 1970 graduating set, whose result in the examination was released on the 4th day of June 1971, delivered a ‘resounding pleasant surprise!’ “Eight Division 1, (two of whom got Division 1 Distinction), Twenty Division 2, Fifteen Division 3, No Failure, No GCE. The best ever”.
We must, therefore, in gratitude, in the words of Reverend Father Fabian Cloutier reproduced hereunder, recognize among others those who made the building of the Alma Mater possible.
“When I accepted to be the Founding Principal, I did not foresee that I will spend 16 academic sessions in St. John’s. I was then told, “my reward would be in heaven”. Belonging to a Missionary Society, I was satisfied with this remote expectation. Right from the start, however, I realized that I was already being generously rewarded, first by the progress of the Students, secondly by the cooperation of the staff and thirdly, by the support of my Proprietor, The Catholic Mission and of my Board of Governors, Fourthly, by the good name students, staff and parents have built up together for the school, finally, by the gratitude and the affection of the Old students for their Alma Mater”.
“The success of a school is often attributed to its Principal. If I have achieved any success, I owe it first of all to Almighty God for His protection, guidance and blessings. Secondly to all those mentioned above. A thousand thanks to them all”.
At this stage, we should like to put on record the outstanding contributions of
The 4 families which generously donated parts of their precious land viz: Lami, Iredunmi, Ejesin and Aderemi Families.
Messrs. G A. Adeniran (the Proprietor’s Representative) and A. Adeyombo who were active members of the Board of Governors from its very first meeting on 3rd December 1964 to January 1977.
Rev. Brother J. Mooney, who not only drafted the plans of the main Classroom Block, the Science Block and the First Staff House but also executed them.
Rev. Fr. C. Roy who established Y.C.S. on a firm foundation in this school. He also planned the Sports Field and organized its levelling and marking as well as built the grandstand and supervised the building of the Assembly Hall.
Rev. Brothers J. Mullen and Wolfang who at one time or the other advised us and supervised building work.
Mr. T Adebamiro, who with his team of Carpenters has so far put on the Roof of all existing buildings in the School compound.
Mr. Peter Daramola, the Head Bricklayer who has to his credit the building of the Administrative block first floor, Two Staff Houses, The Second Classroom block, the Dining Hall, the Vice Principal’s House, the new Biology Laboratory and The Principal’s House.
A.T. Aremu, who as a Teacher and as Vice-Principal singled himself out by his maturity, tact, human understanding, competence, his sense of Leadership and of discipline thereby making a deep and lasting impression on the students, Staff and Parents.
The school has produced very many great Nigerians like former Osun Deputy Governor, Senator Iyiola Omisore, OVATION Publisher Bashorun Dele Momodu, Diran Odeyemi, Ibadan politician, Kehinde Bamigbetan former Lagos Information Commissioner. There are others like Senator Babajide Omoworare, Prof. Wale Ladipo (former Nat. Secretary PDP), Barrister Dele Oloke (Chairman NBA, Ikeja Branch), Hon. John Fasogbon (former Member Federal House of Reps-IFE Federal Constituency, Mr. Yomi Layinka (former SA, Media to late Oyo State, Governor, Abiola Ajimobi), Mr. Gbenga Adefaye (MD, Vanguard Media/Provost, NIJ), Mr. Ayo Alabi, Construction Giant and Dr. Festus Osoba (President of the Alumni). He is an Ophthalmologist. There are others like Dr. Ademola Ayodele, (a Gynaecologist & MD, Strongtower Hospital), Pharmacist Oyebanjo, (MD Mopson Pharmaceuticals) Justice Yinka Afolabi, Osun State High Court and Mr. Obafemi Obada (Editorial Board member, The PUNCH) The list is long and unending. There are many more celebrities.
The old students set up an Association a few years back with Chief Sunday Abimbola Bolaji as Protem Chairman, Chief Segun Owolade as Protem Publicity Secretary, and Gabriel Osoba as Protem Secretary.
President, was Chief Bolaji S.A., 1st Vice President, Evangelist Olayinka C.O., 2nd Vice President, Adelore A., Secretary Osoba G.A., Financial Secretary, Owolawi A.M., Treasurer, Omopariola P.A., Publicity Secretary, Chief Owolade S.A., Assistant Publicity Secretary, Adenuga S.B
The Association now has Chief Sunday Bolaji as President, Francis Oyawole (Late) as 1st Vice President, Chief Dejo Adejobi as 2nd Vice President, Tunji Adeyemo as Secretary-General, Prof. Gabriel Osoba as Asst. Secretary-General, Mr. Adebayo Olgbenla as Asst. Secretary-General, Tony Olufidipe as Treasurer, Dr. Saka Opeloye as Financial Secretary, Gbenga Adefaye as Publicity Secretary, Kehinde Bamigbetan as Social Secretary, and Tope Elushogbon in charge of as Record and Statistics, and Tunde Awoyemi also in charge of as Record and Statistics.
Ex-Officio Members: Adeyeba Adelekan (Late), Charles Babatunde Layade, Dr. Tao Mustapha, Diran Odeyemi, Dele Momodu, Chief M.O Paul, Oluomo Gbenga Owolabi, Femi Makinde, Prof. Dapo Adedire (Late), Chief Bioye Olatunbosun, Prof. Tunde Arayela, Dr. Festus Oshoba, Segun Awoyefa, Engineer Ayodele Alabi, Senator Iyiola Omisore, Compol (Rtd.) Awotinde Awosola Charles, Captain Adeniyi Ademiju, Barrister Dr Olusola Oyeyemi, Ayo Akinsomi, Sam Sina Oludunfe, Prof. ‘Wale Oladipo, Yinka Lawal, Bayo Ogunkunle, Prof. Adekunle Eludire, Segun Olafare, Alade Awofisayo, Laide Olaniyan, Bamigbetan Kehinde, Debo Adefisan, Justice Yinka Afolabi, Michael Osobu, Dr. Basil Babajide Fadipe, Dr. Julius Bode Fadipe, Felix Siyanbola Fadipe, Kenneth Olaleye Fadipe, Gbenga Adefaye, Seyi Adefisan, Oluomo Gbenga Owolabi, Dr. Tao Mustapha, Bishop Abiodun Olaoye, Tony Olufidipe, Francis Abiodun Fasesin, Tunde Ojeyinka, Dr. Lawrence Olajide Makinde, Ayo Badejo, Apostle Bisi Olaoye, Prof. Gabriel Oshoba, Dr. Fayenuwo G A, Ike Diaku, Oyebimpe Kehinde, Rev Akinwale Razak Balogun, Abiodun Coker, Engineer Wuyi Adetogun, Adeyeba Adedapo, Soji Adelore, Engineer Eluwole Posi Samuel, Surveyor Gbenga Alara, Adegoke Adereti Anthony, Omifare Olaolu, Taiwo Thomas, Ambassador Obisakin Lawrence, Adebisi Oladele, Obisakin Thomas Rotimi, and many others.