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LAGOS, NIGERIA.     Wednesday, February 19 2003






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Family, friends honour late educationist, Ogunlesi
From Iyabo Sotunde, Ibadan

IT was a moment of the post-humous honour for the late first President of the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), Chief Gladys Tanimowo Ogunlesi as her associates and friends gathered in Ibadan, Oyo State capital to celebrate the life and times of the seasoned educationist and social motivator.

The event was a colourful exhibition of the photographs of the deceased by her children as part of the week-long burial activities lined up by the family for the founder of the Children Home School (CHS) in Ibadan.

At the well-attended ceremony held at the Chapel of the Children Home School, Ibadan, were members of NCWS including Prof. Adetoun Ogunseye, the first woman professor in the country; Mrs. Fola Ighodalo and the first woman permanent secretary in the Western Region, Mrs. Fola Ade-Ajayi. The members of the Odua Group of Companies led by the manager (Corporate Affairs), Akogun Lekan Alabi, were also there.

Addressing the people at the exhibition entitled: "The Matriach", a daughter of the deceased, Mrs. Anuoluwapo Adio-Moses explained: "The purpose for the exhibition was to give us the opportunity to relive the memories of mummy, you know when one has a gift, it is important to celebrate such gifts", she added.

Describing the late Ogunlesi as a role model to many and one who lived a selfless life, Mrs. Adio-Moses said the event was a way of celebrating the kind of life she lived and appreciating her contributions to the growth of the larger society.

"She was dutiful, diligent and loving, a symbol of everything that is decent. She taught us the dignity of labour, thank God she had a glorious transition", she stated.

While opening the exhibition, Alabi stressed the need to imbibe the virtues of the deceased and emulate her good works, saying that the late Ogunlesi left a legacy that one could look up to in one's daily activities.

The exhibition featured scores of the late Ogunlesi's photographs, showing her different societal engagements while alive.

There were those that depicted her as a wife, mother, grandmother and indeed, a matriarch.

As a christian, there were photographs featuring her as the "Diocesan Mother" of Remo Diocese, Anglican Communion, the Iya-Ijo of St. Paul's Cathedral, Sagamu; founding member of St. Anne's Church, Ibadan while as an educationist, she was featured as the proprietress of the Children Home School, Christ High School, as well as the Gladys Home College, all based in Ibadan.

As a leader and social motivator, there were photographs featuring her as a catalyst in the Action Group, board member of various government communities of the Western Region, among others.

The seasoned educationist and woman leader died on December 20, 2002 at the age of 94.


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