Sheila Solarin, Widow of Late Tai Solarin dies at age 88
Ogun State – Sheila Solarin, the widow of late social critic and educationist, Dr Tai Solarin, died yesterday. She was 88. The co-founder of Mayflower School, Ikenne passed on about 4:30 p.m. at the Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State.
Sheila’s death came 18 years after her husband died on June 27, 1994 at the age of 71.
Sources said the British-born woman fell on her way to bed some months ago and was rushed to the hospital.
She was said to have had a broken hip as a result of weak bones occasioned by old age.
A surgery was also said to have been performed on her by doctors.
Sources learnt that Sheila’s two children, Corin and Tunde, were by her hospital bed when she died.
Her remains, it was learnt, had already been taken to the morgue of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital. Born Sheila Mary Tuer, the deceased met her husband and married in 1951 while both were serving with the Royal Air Force, following the Second World War.
In 1952, they decided to move to Nigeria and worked in Molusi College, Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State.
On January 27, 1956, the Solarins founded the famous Mayflower School, Ikenne.
For her services to education in Nigeria, Sheila was on October 17, 2007 honoured with an award of Member of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II.
Reacting, Corin said her mother was a good, kind-hearted and humane personality.
In a telephone chat, the daughter of the deceased added that Sheila’s love and service to humanity were exemplary and legendary.
“I cannot summarise her life and times in words. She was a good, kind-hearted and humane personality. She played the role of mother to thousands of people across the world. Her love and service to humanity were exemplary and legendary.” Also yesterday, former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, described the death of Madam Solarin, as “a huge loss.”
In a statement by his Media Assistant, Mr. Adegbenro Adebanjo, the former governor said the deceased was a bridge-builder and an epitome of the best of womanhood. Daniel noted that her contributions to the development of education in Nigeria would not be forgotten.
He said: “Even, after the demise of her husband, she kept the flag of Tai Solarin flying loftily in the education sector in Nigeria.
“Through her death, Nigeria has lost a humanist, educationist, bridge builder, and peace maker. We will miss her but take solace in the fact that she left behind a worthy legacy.”
In his own reaction, the Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Adegbenga Kaka, said Sheila would be missed just as her late husband was missed by Nigerians.