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Friday, August 5, 2011

BMJS: Continuing a tradition of excellence

By Ayo Ositelu

Accolades, encomiums as Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary, Ikorodu  holds 10th Valedictory Ceremony


BMJS: Continuing a tradition of excellence

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IF the Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Abiodun Adetiloye, the retired Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion),  had been  present , he would have relished in a justified sense of pride and accomplishment.

He would have  looked back with satisfaction  and fulfilment  that he  went ahead to establish Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary (BMJS),  Aguntoye-Lugbusi Village, Ikorodu in Lagos State which, a few days ago,   held its 10th Valedictory/Graduation Ceremony and Luncheon, honouring the 2011 graduating students of  school.

He would have derived immeasurable joy that BMJS has continued  the tradition for which Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)  schools are famous for, which is  to raise young Nigerians of academic excellence, piety, moral rectitude, and discipline .

Every minute of the valedictory ceremony and service, complete with a near - professional orchestral  rendition of Handel's Halellujah Chorus by the school choir ,  mentally catapulted  many parents present,  back to their own valedictory ceremonies , decades ago.

Among them  was Deacon Ayo Ositelu,  who remembered " a very similar Valedictory/Graduation Ceremony at Igbobi College in December, 1962."

His daughter, Evangeline was among the 175 graduating students.

Aside from the melodious hymns from the Songs of Praise, Ancient and Modern , Hymn Books , the award to various categories of winners, there were speeches by the Guest Speaker ,  Bishop Akin Odejide, and the School Principal, Venerable Olaoluwa Adeyemi.

The principal  heaped encomiums on the pioneer Principal, Rt. Rev. Akin  Odejide, his predecessor for laying a firm foundation .

Of course, he did not forget "to appreciate the efforts of our proprietors, the Most Revd. Dr. Ephraim Adebola Ademowo, Dean, Church of Nigeria, Archbishop Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos, and Bishop, Diocese of Lagosl; The Rt. Revd. Dr. Peter Awelewa Adebiyi, The Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos West, among others.

Said Ven Adeyemi, "We use this medium to appreciate our father, my father, the Most Revd. Dr. Joseph Abiodun Adetiloye, the retired primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), who in his wisdom, being led by the Holy Spirit, founded this school on Saint Luke's Day, 18th October, 1996.

"When he , Dr. Adetiloye, was nurturing the ambition of having a seminary, little did he know that God was using him to put in place a platform where patriots of great vision, mind, and God-fearing habits would be produced.

" Thanks to the Almighty God, and the foresight of our father , Adetiloye, many of our ex-students, have grown to be undergraduates and graduates of reputable universities in Nigeria and abroad, who are already causing great changes for the better in various career disciplines."

Venerable  Adeyemi also did not forget the vast contributions towards the rapid progress of the school by the Lagos Anglican Schools Management Board led by Dr. (Mrs) Olufemi Tayo - Ogunsanya, a former member of School's Board of Governors, who was so impressed by what she was seeing during the ceremony that she announced a personal award of a post-secondary scholarship to the the best overall student.

If he, too,  had come, the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, (SAN)  would also have left with a thing or two.

The governor would have been delighted to find out that his ambition to make Lagos State a haven of clean and beautiful environment is getting the much needed tap-root foundation in character - formation years of secondary school pupils.

His commissioner, Olutoyin Ayinde, one of the proud  parents present would attest to this fact.

At a time when everybody wants to live and practise their trade in Lagos Municipality where  former strictly-residential neighbourhoods  have been converted to commercial and even industrial areas,  the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola would have been pleasantly  surprised that such a forward-looking school could be situated in the far-away suburb of Ikorodu.

The result is that BMJS has brought life into a largely unknown and sleepy Aguntoye - Lugbusi Village ,  some distance , from the Ikorodu township.

Being an accomplished footballer himself,  the governor  would have been  pleasantly welcomed into the all-boarding co-educational  school by a university-type gate and a World Cup-size football field and athletics grounds, facilities  no longer available in metropolitan Lagos schools and environs.

The Governor would also have been pleasantly surprised by the rows of trees, well-mowed lush-green lawns, and  neat flower hedges.

Hard as he may search, he will not see any form of litter or clogged sewage.

With the trademark outstanding academic results, moral rectitude, strength of character, and acts of patriotism annually recorded by graduands of BMJS , the most recent being Chinwe Irogbarachi graduating First Class in Chemical Engineering at the Covenant University 2011 set, , Adetiloye's 'brainchild' may have lost its right to anonymity for ever. Not that Pa Adetiloye would be complaining either.