Queens College Lagos: First Nigerian Principal, Mrs. Efunjoke Coker Dies at 95 years.

The death has been announced of Mrs, Iphigenia Efunjoke Coker at the age of 95. She was born on the 29th of September, 1924 to Mr. and Mrs. Bankole Soluade of No. 118, Bamgbose Street, Lagos.

She attended St. Theresa’s High School, St. Agnes’s Teacher Training College and Queen’s College Yaba, Lagos. From 1952 to 1956, she attended the National University in Dublin (aka University College Dublin), Ireland, obtaining Bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics and English, and a Master’s degree in English.

Back in Nigeria, she taught at Queen’s School, Ede and Government College, Ibadan, and then took up a posting to Queen’s College, Yaba, Lagos as Vice Principal in 1962. She became the first Nigerian (and youngest) Principal of Queen’s College in 1963 and voluntarily retired from there in 1977 after fourteen years as Principal. In 1979, she was conferred with the national award of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) by General Olusegun Obasanjo for her immense contribution in the field of education as “a dedicated teacher, moral tutor, respected educationist, and a pace-setter in the emancipation of Nigerian womanhood”.

In retirement, she contributed as Member of the Advisory Council of the University of Ibadan, President of the Lagos State Red Cross Society for eight years, Member of the Directorate of the National Youth Service Corps, Member of Council of Yola Polytechnic, and was President of Zonta International Club of Lagos from 1982 to 1984.

Until her passing, Mrs Coker lived a healthy and fulfilled life at her home in Victoria Island, Lagos. Her home was a Mecca of sorts for old students of Queens College, Lagos of all sets and ages as well as their friends and families; who came from near and abroad to visit her.

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