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granddad

September 30, 2020 Leave a comment

Dr Oluwöle Banköle was a Grade A Human Being. He was simply awesome; loved and revered by many. I never quite understood the pillar he was, and what he meant to so many people, until his funeral. He was simply Granddad to me; the only one I knew, and the best ever.

He was a caring and loving family man. Family was very important to him. For as long as I can remember, he was an ever-present figure in my life. Growing up, he was at almost every birthday and family functions. Most recently, despite all odds, he made it to my wedding ceremonies last year.

He was always so cheerful. I don’t think I ever saw a frown on his face. He had a such a lovely smile and infectious laughter to go with his bubbly personality. I mean, his presence could literally light up a room! If I didn’t know any better, I’d have thought he was the happiest man on earth; maybe he was.

I loved going to visit him. When I was younger, it was secretly about the little treats and/or money he would give my younger sister and I (mine was usually more 😁), especially when we visited him at his clinic. As we munched on our snacks, he would sometimes teach us something about the human body and bones. Even at that age, I could tell he really enjoyed being an osteopath. I remember when he made me his willing assistant in the treatment of my sister’s legs. He thought me how to massage them in between her appointments with him. That was fun.

As I got older, my visits were less frequent because I lived outside the country, but they became more about family history and life lessons. I love a good story, and he had an abundance of really good ones he was always happy to share. I got to learn a lot about my great grandfather, J. B. Bankole, from his stories. I was sometimes amazed by how much he could accurately recall in such great detail.

When I made the shift from medicine to entrepreneurship, he encouraged to me to keep at it, and develop myself into the leader I could be; even bought me “The Spirit of Leadership” by Dr Myles Munroe. His support meant a lot of me.

He was a consummate gentleman – kind, principled, smart, and very well spoken. If you’re close to me, you’ll know I have a very low threshold for poor grammar. In the not-so-distant past, I could cut someone off mid-sentence to make a correction🤦🏾‍♂️. I’ve gotten better; now, I’d try to let you finish. Well, it would seem that trait is genetic. One of the reverends during the wake mentioned that about him, and shared his experience – after a sermon, granddad met up with him to correct his pronunciation of “sword” i.e. it’s pronounced “sawed” not “swored” 😄. That cracked everyone up.

I miss everything about him – especially his laugh, two-cheek pecks, and stories. The last time we spoke, he thanked me profusely for calling (as he usually did) and told me every thing has a beginning and an end; he’d had a good life, no regrets, and looking forward to going home to rest.

He lived an exemplary life and left behind a brilliant legacy; I’m blessed and honored to be his grandson. May his gentle soul continue to rest in perfect peace.

OSTEOPATH CHIEF DR. OLUWOLE OLUFEMI BANKOLE
Early Years, Education and Training
Dr. Oluwole Olufemi Bankole was born on September 12, 1931 to Late Pa Josiah Babatunde Bankole, the first black cashier at the Barclays Bank D.C.O. as well as Late Phebean Asake Bankole, an Awori porcelain trader at Ita-Garawu [in old-time], Isale-Eko, Lagos. He had nothing but a stellar upbringing; educated at the famous Abeokuta Grammar School, under the tutelage of Late Reverend Ransome Kuti. It was very clear from early childhood that he was destined for greatness. At the age of 24, he went the way of the elite Lagosians back in the day, when JBB (as his father was popularly called) opted to send him, and a handful of his siblings, to London for further studies in search of the proverbial Golden Fleece. He worked and toiled in his digs until 1964 when he graduated from yet another elite institution – the Royal School of Osteopathy, now known as the University College of Osteopathy.

Professional Life
In London, he started his private practice and grew it into a tight and reputable Osteopathic practice. The pictures he sent home to his mother, as well as his two children in Nigeria (Fehintola Oludolapo and Olujimi Olumuyiwa) are still engraved in our memories. He was so dark and handsome in his white Doctor’s Scrubs. However, being the only child of Phebean Asake was quite traumatic for both mother and child. In those days, traveling to London was like traveling to the moon. The years turned into decades and both mother and child missed each other greatly. The die was cast. It was just a matter of time before he came back home. The demise of JBB in May, 1975 became the remote cause for his ultimate return home. First, he visited for his father’s burial, followed by a full-scale return home to Nigeria in 1980. Soon after, he opened the Dr Oluwole Bankole Osteopathic Clinics – one on Queens Street, Yaba, and another on Brown Street, Oshodi. He practiced and treated patients from then well into his eighties.

Character
Dr. Bankole was a man of the people, extremely soft-spoken, and he really wasn’t good at losing his temper, except when hungry. Late Phebean knew that too well – he had to “re-train” his mother on the essence of timely meals when he returned home. We all still remember his healthy advice – “you need five medium meals a day within a space of three hours from each other.” At any other given moment, he was full of life and vivacity. An avid Lawn tennis player and swimmer, he was very health conscious and agile.
As an osteopath, he once treated his eldest son, Jimi, who still marvels at how and where his father found the energy to contort his body during treatment. Dr. Bankole was very, very good at his trade.

Professional Bodies & Associations
In addition to being the Founder of the Osteopathic Practitioners Association of Nigeria, Dr. Bankole was also a member of numerous professional bodies and held executive positions at some, including being: President of the National Complementary and Alternative Medical Association (NACAMA) / Nigerian Council of Physicians of Natural Medicine, Registrar of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), Registrar of the Medical Rehabilitation Therapists Board of Nigeria (MRTBN), Provost of Lagos State College of Health Technology (LASCOHET), and Senior Lecturer at Lagos State College of Health Technology – School of Complementary Health Sciences.
Dr. Bankole was also an active member of a number of Christian associations and groups, including Egbe Agba – Folawiyo Bankole Memorial Methodist Church Nigeria, Christian League – Folawiyo Bankole Memorial Methodist Church Nigeria, Boys’ Brigade – Folawiyo Bankole Memorial Methodist Church Nigeria, and Praise Band – Folawiyo Bankole Memorial Methodist Church Nigeria. He was also President of the Men’s Fellowship – Methodist Church Nigeria (Lagos Mainland Diocese).

Dr. Oluwole Bankole was happily married with many lovely children and grandchildren.