The school is celebrating her 140th anniversary, so we need to celebrate with the school and also raise funds, because we have a project on our hands. We are building a new block of classrooms for the school; the old structure was pulled down in April this year because it was structurally defective and we need to rebuild this as part of our give-back to the society. So, whatever funds we raise during the weeklong activities we use for the building project.”
These were the words of the president, Methodist Girls High School Old Students Association, MGHSOGA, Mrs. Yomi Afolabi, on the occasion of the 140th anniversary of the school.
In a colourful celebration and beautifully adorned in pink and white, members of the association were full of excitement at the occasion they termed ‘the celebration of Emancipation Proclamation’. The old students held a one-week event which ended with a thanksgiving service/fund raising luncheon.
The week-long activities took off with a play titled “Itan” (the Story) powered by the old girls association and acted by current students at the National Theatre Iganmu, Lagos State.
‘Itan’, according to the director of the drama, Ayo Jaiyesinmi, talks about unity, using the issue of generational diversity to drive it home. It is the story of an old man rigid in his old ways and his son who belongs to the new skul (contemporary times). “You find out that there are lots of struggles right now, we don’t understand them. They are too fast, too young and to the young ones also their parents are old fashioned. But I believe that God has created us in such a way that we need each other. Whatever the generation is, we have our strengths and weaknesses, but together we downplay the weaknesses and allow our strengths to prevail,” said Jaiyesinmi.
Allowing our strengths to prevail, according to the Chairman, Planning Committee, MGHSOGA, Maj-Gen (Mrs.) Tilewa Amusu (retd), is what we need for our nation right now in Nigeria, “irrespective of our religion, tribe, there will always be different points of views, but together we are stronger. My advice to younger ones based on the drama is that they should not write off their parents; parents should also try to understand their wards, stop complaining, create time for them to really mentor them. We need to look inwards to mend these gaps so that we can have better families, better community and a better Nigeria,” said Amusu.
Speaking on what the school is doing differently to restore the standard of education in the school, the principal of the school, Dame Yemisi Idowu, pointed out that MGHS is a school with a difference, class and lot of tradition.”We try to inculcate the God-factor. A child without discipline can never receive a proper education let alone move up in life. Fundamentally, God-factor must not be left behind coupled with the commitment of the policy makers. Inability to put the right peg in the right hole is a major challenge, but at MGHS we have God, discipline, tradition, with brain and beauty all combined together.”
The second day of the weeklong activities ushered in the Holy Communion service/ Float, whereby the old girls went round the school premises to create awareness about the school. This was closely followed by the Price-Giving/Lecture and launching of Anniversary Magazine on Tuesday; the Students Activities/Cultural Day on Wednesday; Inter-House Sports Competition on Thursday. On Friday, it was another day for the old students to go back to school, even as they were seen dressed in school uniform, as well as inaugurated some of the school projects; one of such was the tree planting. One of the old students, Mrs. Sade Oladiji, spoke on the essence of the anniversary. “Our 140 anniversary project is to build the school building. We are going to do it, though it starts off slow, but once it takes off, the sky is not even the limit. With everybody’s support, we will get there,” she said.
On her part, Mrs. Ladun Anifonlaja, 76/77 set, an old girl visiting from California U.S, said it is important to continually give back to your alma mater; that way funds can be raised to support the school as it cannot be funded by PTA and the school alone.