LAGOSâ€”TODAY at the St. Andrewâ€™s Anglican Church, 29, Oskar Ibru Way (formally Marine Road), GRA, Apapa, Lagos, family members and friends of Mrs. Elsie Nelly Michael Ibru will gather to pray for and recall fond memories of her.
Mrs. Elsie Michael Ibru passed on, 3 February 1990 at the age of 62.
Born on December 1, 1927 in Calabar, Cross River State, to the late Mr. Erwin Krupp of Hamburg, West Germany, and the late Elean Bope Nkouta of Batanga, Cameroun, Elsie was married to business magnate, Olorogun Michael C. O. Ibru.
Elsieâ€™s mother, Elean Bope, later got married to the late Chief Reuben Menilla Pepple, who was the traditional Prime Minister of Bonny.
â€œAuntie,â€ as she was fondly called, enjoyed a very busy and fulfilled life and wholeheartedly dedicated herself to God, her family, friends and loved ones.
Her early school years were spent in Rivers State. But she completed her primary education at Mary Hanney Memorial Girlâ€™s School, Oron, Akwa Ibom State. Her secondary education was at St. Theresaâ€™s College, Ibadan.
After her secondary education, she taught for several years at Mount Carmel School, Ebute-Metta and Ladi-Lak Institute, Yaba, both in Lagos, where she endeared herself to staff and students alike. She was the leader of the Boy Cubs Pack, having attended a leadership course for Boy Cubs. Due to her zeal and genuine interest in children, she donated a trophy to the Lagos State Council for competitions in arts and crafts by the Boy Cubs movement.
In 1955, she attended an intensive course in Secretarial Studies in the United Kingdom, a dream come true for most young women at that time; and on her return from England, she worked as the Confidential Secretary to the General Manager of the now defunct West African Pilot newspaper.
On the eve of Independence in 1959, she moved on to the African Continental Bank, where she again worked as the Confidential Secretary to the General Manager. She held the post for seven years, working tirelessly and demonstrating a high sense of loyalty, confidence and responsibility. Her hard work and efficiency soon earned her the enviable position of Personnel Manager, a post reserved for men at that time! She held this position with dignity and excellence until she retired in 1973 to establish her own business.
Auntie was the Chairman and Managing Director of Flower Shop Limited, Chairman of F Steiner & Co Limited and Director in other companies within the Ibru Organization.
Despite her busy and involved business life, she never failed to meaningfully participate in important social and welfare activities. She easily distinguished herself as a humanitarian, a lover of children and a dedicated member of her church.
Elsie was a founding member of the Federation of Cameroun Women Association; and following in the footsteps of her mother, she also became the Grand Patroness and Chief Adviser of the group.
Her many successes were indeed a function of her in-born essence of love and her closeness to God. She not only devoted her time to serving God, but she also lived an exemplary Christian life. As one of the earliest side ladies of the All Saints (Anglican) Church, Yaba, she contributed immensely to the growth and development of the church and the formation of the Girlâ€™s Guild. She also established a school for deaf children in her parish, among her many other laudable activities.
Although St. Andrewâ€™s Anglican Church in Apapa, where she lived during her lifetime, was founded after her death, it was Auntieâ€™s prayer that a church of Anglican Communion should someday be established in her local community.
Auntie belonged to many social groups.
She was Vice President of the Young Womenâ€™s Christian Fellowship; Patroness of the Ladies Friendly Society, Busy Bees, Band of Hope, Menâ€™s Christian Circle, Progressive Youth Association, Catholic Womenâ€™s Organisation, St. Paulâ€™s Catholic Church, Ebute-Metta and a member of the Inner Wheel Club. She was also on the Executive Council of the Federal Nigeria Society for the Blind, and many others. And as a result of her selfless service to society, she was honoured by the world renowned Womenâ€™s Voluntary Service organisation.
Auntie is blessed with four sons, three daughters, 16 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She was a pillar of strength to her children and a devoted and loyal wife. A beautiful and loving mother, who filled many hearts with her very special warmth and care. Auntie made her house a home and always instantly created a â€œhappy family feeling!â€