PRINCIPAL (1956 - 1957)

Mr Alfred Long was the foundation Housemaster for Field House and Games Master for the school before becoming Principal. He had been transferred to Ughelli in January 1954, but returned to GCI as Principal on December 9, 1955.

He was clean shaven and always impeccably dressed. It is therefore not surprising that he had a soft spot for neat students. He had a medium sized frame and walked with his head bent at an angle to his body. He took charge of the choir, the football teams and was a great master of Geography.

Ironically, for all his interest in the choir, he could not sing to tune. He only had the gift of the ears to conduct the singing and was an accomplished pianist. As a lover of music, he ensured that the school morning assembly was preceded by enchanting pieces.

As in the musical vein, Mr. Long could not play football even though he coached the teams . Again, he had a thorough knowledge of the game enough to coach the teams to victories. He was a gifted teacher.

Mr Long was very much at home with the Geography classes. He was very particular about the maps and diagrams the students drew. The closer the students drew their diagrams to the Atlas, the higher the score.

Alfred Long was very particular about discipline. The boys cryptically changed his first name Alfred to Adekunle. It was much easier to forewarn each other by announcing that Adekunle was around without arousing the Principal's curiousity.

However, the Principal had a dog who accompanied him for most of his strolls around the school compound. Once the boys saw the dog, they knew 'Adekunle' was around the corner. They either straightened up or vanished into thin air.

On a bright Tuesday afternoon, a school football match was to be played on the main field. The school rule was clear on the fact that all students had to be on the field. Some boys had other ideas. They organised an unofficial football match between some of the boys behind the Carr House. Suddenly, 'Adekunle's' dog appeared and those who could fly flew, and those who could vanish varnished but one student ran and hid in the bush by the field. "Adekunle's" dog trailed the scent and stood by the shrubs where the student hid. Mr Long walked close to his dog, sensing its 'catch' and called for the boy to come out even though he had not actually seen the boy.

Panting and trembling, the boy now made a desperate effort to run away as fast as his heels could carry him. As he made his move, the dog jumped and held on to his shirt. He was caught red handed and thus had no alternative but to come out of hiding.

Mr Long stood momentarily perplexed when the boy came out. He was the school captain of football supposed to be on the main field playing except for the fact that he had earlier reported sick! 'See me in the office tomorrow ' was Mr. Long's verdict. Suffice it to say that when Mr. Long says to a student that 'you are warned', the student should expect his name in the detention book on Friday for grass cutting on Saturday.

And when he says 'See me in the office tomorrow', God help the student.

Boys remember Mr Long for his intelligence and good memory. Using an open test, he awarded an annual prize for the most intelligent student. Akinwale (1954) recalls that Aboderin (1952) (now Prof. Aboderin of Obafemi Awolowo University) was a recipient of this award. As for his memory, Mr Long would come to each class to distribute report sheets and call everybody by name in alphabetical order without looking at the register. To this extent, he would omit names of those who were not in class

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- 1957
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