A Brief history of Birch Freeman High School

Birch Freeman High School, a Methodist Secondary School for boys, resumed in full session for the first time on the premises of the Methodist Primary School, Obele-Lawanson, in 1958.

The Federal Ministry of Education disclosed its intention to build a Secondary School for boys on a vast expanse of land behind the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba. The land, an isolated and marshy area, was over 8 acres in land mass.

The Methodist Mission

The Methodist Mission gladly took up the challenge and named the new school Birch Freeman High School, Surulere. The school was inaugurated on 6th February 1960 but lectures only commenced with the first set of 55 boys in 1961 under Chief D.S.O Soremekun (the First acting Principal).

Federal Ministry of Education

At that time, the Federal Ministry of Education had started to erect building on the site with a view to opening the school in January 1961. The synod education committee of January 1960 had received the report with pleasure and appointed Mr M. J. Etuk B.Sc (Vice Principal of the Methodist Boys High School, Lagos) as the Principal-designate.

Principals Designates

Mr. Etuk had since left for the United States of America for further studies. Before his departure, Mr. Etuk and the education Secretary mutually agreed that a working committee be set up and that the permission of the ministry of Education be sought for Chief D.S.O Soremekun to act as principal in Mr. Etuk’s absence.

Selfless Contributions

The first Principal left the school in 1968 to become Nigeria High Commissioner to Uganda.The history of the school cannot be complete without mentioning names of those who made selfless contributions. They worked wholeheartedly for the existence and greatness of the school.

  • Late Rev. H. Shodipo: the first President of Lagos Diocese and the prominent member of the Methodist Governing Board. His untiring effort and that of his supportive team gave birth to the establishment of Birch Freeman High School.
  • Mr. Roland Hughes: the Methodist Education Secretary, also played a prominent role in the establishment of Birch Freeman High School.
  • Late Mr. Aja Nwachukwu MP: Federal Minister of Education who unveiled the plaque to open the new school in April 1962.
  • Late Chief D.S.O Soremekun: the first acting Principal and later the school Bursar. A born teacher, an encouraging leader, caretaker and father of the school. He devoted so much of his energy, life time and substance to the success story of the school.
  • Late Mr. M.J. Etuk: the first Principal of the school. A great disciplinarian, an intellectual workaholic, devoted teacher and an embodiment of knowledge.
  • Late Pa Ogunyomi (Baba Latin): a teacher, disciplinarian, builder and a motivator. He never believed in impossibilities. He was responsible for the construction of the first motorable road into the school from the Surulere-end.
  • Mr. Ron Harry White (A Briton): the second principal, a Botanist and an ardent Scripture Union Member. His Holy spirit-filled life contributed to the high level of Spirituality among the boys. A man of high initiative and fine discipline. During his tenure as Principal, the school made its caps, ties and blazers in Britain.
  • Mr. Ademola Olaleye: the third Principal and an Arts master. A born teacher, articulate and the first head tutor whose immense contributions brought the school to limelight at so short a time.