Students of the 1967-1968 set of the Comprehensive High School, Aiyetoro, Ogun State, recently came together to honour one of their former teachers and hostel mistress, Yetunde Holloway, for the positive contributions she made to their lives, 54 years after they left the school.
The honour, according to the alumni, was in recognition of her impact on their lives.
The old students presented Holloway with the sum of N500,000 for her non-governmental organisation, Mercy Seat, as well as fruit baskets for three other former teachers that were present at the event.
The event, which took place at Holloway’s house in Lagos, started with an opening prayer by one of the old students, which was followed by the introduction of the former students.
Some of the students then shared their different experiences with Holloway when they were still students of the school.
Evidently excited at the honour, Holloway noted that some of the ex-students had called and said they wanted to honour her while she was still alive.
According to her, she felt humbled by the gesture.
She said, “I felt that I must have impacted them positively for them to come up with this idea. I am still amazed by the gesture. I was a very strict teacher, who tried to instill discipline in the students, and I endeavoured to relate with them on an individual basis.
“I was not just a teacher in the classroom, but also in the hostels when they came to me to teach them. My expectation is to see the students I hadn’t seen in years because I know they all turned out well.”
Holloway also noted that she had had memorable encounters with some of her old students at different times over the years.
According to her, there was a time she wanted to purchase some goods in a store but discovered that the price of the goods were above her budget. But, a former student who was at the store then, paid for everything she bought.
A one-time head boy of the school, Theo Ayeni, also described Holloway as a star who he wished could relive her years again, so that others could have positive encounters with her.
He said, “When they (1967-1968 set) called me to inform me of their plans, I was very interested because she is a star and priceless jewel.”
A member of the planning committee for the event, Dupe Irele, also maintained that Holloway was a role model she wanted to be take after in the teaching profession. But, after her second degree, she went to work with the United Nations.
Irele said, “Mrs Holloway is a role model to me, and I wanted to like her. But, I had to change my career after I joined the United Nations.”
Other members of the planning committee include Akin Sanwoolu, Dupe Irele and Iyabo Modile.