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First Nigerian principal of Queen’s College Efunjoke Coker dies


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.

Funeral arrangements for the Late Mrs Coker, include a wake-keeping service to be held at City Hall, Catholic Mission Street, Lagos on Thursday 16th January 2020 at 5pm. The funeral service will be at Holy Cross Cathedral, Catholic Mission Street Lagos on Friday 17th January 2020 at 10am.

She will be greatly missed by her family and the old girls of Queen’s College, especially those who attended the school between 1962 and 1977.


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Efunjoke Coker
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