Sunday, 12 March 2017

Requiem to William Adeolu Rosanwo, greatest engineer of his time

                  By Bayo Ogunmupe
       Engineer William Adeolu Rosanwo (1931-2016) was born on October 20, 1931 into the respected family of Gabriel Awowekun Rosanwo and Madam Victoria Sheneiye Rosanwo of Iwesi, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria. Adeolu attended Ereko Primary School,Ijebu Ode and the Baptist Academy, Lagos.
     Willy as he was fondly called sat for the West African School Certificate Examination and the Higher School Certificate Examination, passing them with distinction. Then he left for England to study engineering. After three years apprenticeship, as was the practice at that time, he returned to Nigeria as a qualified engineer. Upon his return, he secured an appointment as a structural engineer with the United African Company (UAC), a company richer and older than Nigeria at that time.
     Rosanwo worked for a decade  for UAC shuttling between Lagos and Aba, Abia State. Dissatisfied with their working conditions, Rosanwo resigned from the UAC to join the Federal Ministry of Works as an Assistant Works Superintendent in September 1961. Along with his uncle Johnson Rosanwo, Adeolu became a pillar of the Baptist Church, Yaba, Lagos. From his Works Ministry Rosanwo attended refresher courses in mechanical and civil engineering in London, UK and Tokyo, Japan.
     During the Yakubu Gowon regime, Rosanwo supervised the building of Ikorodu Road, Lagos and the Bank Anthony Way, Ikeja. He then supervised various formations in the ministries of Works and the Environment. Other formations built by Rosanwo included Ijora Waterworks, Ikoyi Government Reservation Area and the Yaba Central Division. He was commended for setting up the Yaba Mechanical Workshop by the then Minister of Works, General Mamman Kontagora. He managed the Workshop until he retired in 1991 after 30 years of meritorious service. He was a caring husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle.
     His ancestor, Elder Gabriel Rosanwo was a successful merchant shuttling between Lagos and Ijebu Ode. Elder Gabriel was the first person who took the Baptist missionaries from Broad Street, Lagos to Iwesi in Ijebu Ode in 1902. No wonder serving God runs in the blood of the Adeolu family. Thus, Willy was a chorister and organist at the Yaba Baptist Church for decades. Later, he became the choirmaster and Music Director of the Church for many years without pay. Also, Rosanwo's contribution as an organist to a weekly Radio programme tagged "Sunday Night at the Organ," then on Radio Nigeria and Radio Lagos endeared him to listeners and their interpreters immensely. Willy has come,seen and conquered with children and grandchildren. What will they say of you? Accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour and your path to paradise will be smooth.

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