Olabisi Kayode-Adedeji

The old students of Eko Boys’ High School,(EBHS) Lagos, have concluded arrangements for the 107th Founder’s Day Anniversary of the school scheduled to hold on Monday, January 13, 2020, with line up of activities

Penpushing reports that, a statement by Alhaji Mikail Adegoke Mumuni  said part of the activities lined up for the Anniversary is the Church Service sponsored by the 1980 Set of the school, as part of their own 40 years celebration of leaving the school.

The Church Service is billed to hold at Hoares Memorial Methodist Cathedral, 321 Herbert Macaulay Way, Sabo, Yaba, Lagos between 3:00 pm and 5: 00 pm on Monday, 13th January, 2020,adding that drums will be roll out for the epoch ceremony alongside other activities

Penpushing further reports that, Eko Boys High School Lagos was founded 13 January 1913 by Rev. William Benjamin Euba, a teacher and master of religion at the Methodist Boys High School, Lagos, who was the former Principal of Methodist Boys High School, Lagos, for seventeen years before establishing Eko Boys High School.

The statement said, it was with a desire to establish an African Institution that would provide educational opportunities for the less privilege citizens of Lagos that Rev. Euba established this school, which commenced academic operations  with 28 students at 30 Broad Street, Lagos, next building to St. George’s Hall, Lagos, opposite the Methodist Boys High School.

The statement added that, after a few months, the numbers of students have increased so considerably that the premises could not accommodate them, hence, a new premises had to be sought for. Rev. Euba who succeeded in obtaining new premises at Oil Mill street Lagos, the school moved to the new site the same year on October 14, 1913.

Penpushing also reports that, among  the students then were late Magistrate Adebiyi Desalu and Francis Euba, Orlando Martins, E.A Ewedemi, A.B. Soares, J.S Mc Gregor and Lawson of Salvation Army, and in another 10 years the school was progressing both in the fields of education, sports and religion.

The statement explained that,when the lease of the property expired in June 1924, the landlord was not willing to renew it, and the principal was faced with the problem of where to relocate the school,adding that with friends and some important people gathering heads together, knowing the school cannot be run on commercial basis, some estate agents were approached but no encouraging results were forthcoming.

‘ But when the Principal was on the verge of total frustration, he saw the beckoning hands of Late Joseph Henryson Doherty, ace merchant of Alakoro who offered to the Principal a plot of land at the junction of Andrew and Ricca Streets in Okepopo, Lagos’,the statement recalled.

‘The Principal quickly put up a temporary building of corrugated iron sheets to house the students, on the morning of July 21, 1924 the school moved from Oil Mills Street to Ricca Street. In appreciation of the kindness and the financial help, the school therefore named one of the school houses Henryson House’.

‘The founder Rev. Euba retired shortly after the registration of teachers started on the occasion of his birthday celebration on August 23, 1927, when he was 70 years old. He announced at the close of the occasion organized by the school, his retirement from all the activities of the school and handed over all the future management in the hands of Mr. Obadiah Edwards Roberts who he had much pleasure in appointing the principal of the school’.

‘The education officer, in his special report which was made after the school had moved to Ricca on 10 August 1928. The School is held in two rugged constructed corrugated iron building.  Screens are provided between all classrooms and there is a general atmosphere of intelligent organization which is seldom found in non-assisted schools’.

‘ On October 8, 1931 the founder practically handed over to Mr. O.E Roberts absolutely the proprietorship of the school in a declaration that run thus “I William Benjamin Euba, founder and Proprietor of Eko Boys High School, Lagos hereby decide to assign all and singular my interest in the said school to my Assistant Mr. Obadiah Edward Roberts the present Principal of the School, absolutely in consideration of his services to the School and pecuniary expenses incurred by him on behalf of the School and otherwise to the intent that henceforth the said Obadiah Edward Roberts shall enjoy the whole and full benefits and advantage of the said school and the future profits thereof as fully as I have done hitherto. And Mr. O.E. Roberts shall use his best endeavour to maintain as he has done in the past the reputation of the said school”

The statement said, with  this declaration the mantle of Elijah with his heavy weight fell on O.E. Roberts who was now faced with problems which confronted Rev. Euba in June 1924,adding that eight years after the School had moved from Oil Mill Street, the number of students had increased to the extent that the two small halls at Ricca could not contain them.

‘It was obvious a more spacious building must be secured to match with progress. On October 25, 1932 the School again moved from Ricca Street to 2 Ajele Street Lagos. On November 29, 1933, the founder and proprietor of the School Rev. Euba died peacefully in his farm house at Agbado Station’.

‘In December 1933, the Government approved the school for middle form standard and started to award middle four certificates. During World War Two, it was difficult for the Principal to have stable staff because the cost of living had risen and salaries of teachers had increased in the government aided and assisted schools’.

‘Since the school was already in arrears, loyal members of the staff advised the principal to make efforts to secure government assistance if the standard and efficiency in the school were to be maintained and more so, the existence of the school’.

‘ In September 1947, the legislative Council decided and put EBHS on their assisted schools and so the Board of Governors was formed with Mr. O.E Roberts as Chairman, A.R. George, A.A. Oseni, Sir Kofo Abayomi, Chief H.S.A. Thomas, A.B. Thomas, Chief Dr. Akinola Maja and Magistrate A. Desalu, the Secretary was Mr. A. Thompson. The Trustees of the Board were registered under the land Perpetual Succession Ordinance. As the years rolled by, the hardship encountered by way of progress became more serious’.

‘The school must have a permanent place. All efforts to acquire buildings in the Lagos Island or Ebute Metta in the Mainland of Lagos failed for lack of fund. But out of self-less devotion to the school, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Obadiah Edwards Roberts offered free his landed property at Moshawele, Mushin Lagos’.

‘The offer was accepted and the school building plan was developed in “E” shape to represent first letter of the name of the founder ’EUBA’. On May 7, 1948, the turning of the first sod took place on Nov. 27th after a brief religious ceremony performed by Arch. Of Lagos the Late Dr. J.O. Lucas; the foundation stone was laid by Sir Olumuyiwa Jibowu. By December 1949, the main building has been completed’.

‘Financial assistance in building the school was also received from Dr Akinola Maja. The school was opened with 300 pupils on the roll. As from the time the Board of Governors was formed, the board did not only embark on construction of buildings to accommodate the students but also took steps to train teachers at higher institutions for staffing of the school. In 1951, a two storey building was erected’.

‘The ground floor was used as staffroom and bursars office. The first floor for school library, and in 1954/1955 two arms of the main school building were raised to the first floor to provide for one more science laboratory and an assembly Hall. Two storey building in the zone were purchased in 1955/56 and were used as staff quarters’.

‘The area declared by Ikeja Town Planning Authority as Eko boys’ High School zone is about eight (8) acres, out of this 1.3 Acres represent the gift from the late Obadiah Edwards Roberts to the school and the Board had to negotiate with different plot owners in the zone. Up to December 1961, the Board has spent over £11,000 then in acquiring plots of land within the zone’.

‘The school is now on his way to Abijo in Lekki, Lagos Island, following the near total dilapidation of infrastructure at the Mushin campus. The foundation for the New site for the school was laid on 10 January 2013 by the then Governor Fashola. With the present commitment, it is hope that the dreams of building a befitting structure for school will be realised’,the statement emphasised.

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