It all started like a joke. A few classmates of the 1976- 81 Class of Gboluji Anglican Grammar School, a 66-year-old college built by communal efforts in Ile-Oluji, the headquarters of Ile Oluji /Okeigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State, had mooted the idea of rekindling old flames and camaraderie that existed among them, while at the popular college.
For them, those old interesting years must be re-enacted, if not as juveniles, this time around, but as successful men and women, in vantage positions to review those years with nostalgia.
In 2018, to be precise, an online platform was created by the few, and the search for other former mates of the 1976-81 stock, began.
Interestingly, less than two years after the online platform, christened GBOSA 81, was set up, over 70 old school mates, spread across the globe, were ‘fished’ out and given the association’s membership status.
The newly-constituted executive members of the association, led by a finance and public affairs analyst, Mr. Adebiyi Adesuyi, and comprising others such as: Mr. Sola Akinmoyo – Vice President; Dr. David Opeyemi – General Secretary; Bode Akinwotu – Publicity Secretary; Mrs. Bunmi Oso – Treasurer; Ms. Kemi Agbayewa – Social Secretary; Mr. Kola Adenusi – Financial Secretary and Chief Femi Fadeyi – Chief Whip, said GBOSA 81, would be taken further.
“Yes, the good old days are back here. GBOSA 81 is rekindling old flames, and everybody is glad interacting with long-lost mates and friends on the platform. It is rather amazing, but I can assure you we are taking it beyond rekindling old flames,” said the association’s president.
As a way of ‘walking the talk’, for instance, in less than two years of its formation, the association had embarked on projects, and started achieving some of those lofty objectives.
In 2018, for instance, the association keyed into the plan of Ile-Oluji Assembly, a platform comprising prominent sons and daughters of the town, to re-furnish public secondary schools in the community.
“We bought 55 sets of chairs/desks from the chosen manufacturer at the cost of N440,000.00 (Four Hundred and Forty Thousand Naira) and delivered them to the School in August 2018,” Adesuyi stated.
The association also initiated the goal of stocking the school library with the latest editions of educational books, with over 400 books on various subjects, donated to the school library, at the maiden edition of the association’s Annual General Meeting in 2018.
On July 26, 2019, the association also gave prizes to 30 educationally-gifted students of Gboluji Grammar School, with prizes and certificates, which included textbooks, given to students who came first, second and third in Mathematics and English Language in the 2019 promotion examinations.
Interestingly, as part of activities marking the association’s second Annual General Meeting, held in the town, at the twilight of 2019, the association, again donated another set of books to the school library.
The decision of GBOSA 81 to digitise the school’s library management system was, without doubt, a venture that would have also drawn accolades from both staff and students of the institution.
The association, in 2019, launched the library management system developed by one of its members, Akinleye Akinyemi.
“The activation of the system is expected to be smooth and good for purpose. All these accomplishments were made possible through financial and non-financial support of members,” Adesuyi added.
Commending the officials and members of the association at one of those presentation events, the Principal, Gboluji Grammar School, Henry Adeyemo, expressed delight that a group of students could still come together, over three decades after leaving the school with the primary aim of lending support to their alma mater.
He expressed belief that such interventions and support would go a long way in providing succour to staff and students of the college, especially at a period it is becoming increasingly glaring that government can not do it alone.
“It is refreshingly remarkable to acknowledge the aura of love that exists among our members. But, have we achieved all we can achieve as individual members? We have not; we are going further beyond. Have we done enough for Gboluji Grammar School? We have not; we are going further beyond. Has GBOSA ‹81 reached the pinnacle of good deeds? It has not; we are taking the association further beyond,” Adesuyi said.