Funeral date set for ‘pioneering’ Shrewsbury teacher

Professor Lalage Bown with his adopted daughters Taiwo Oluwatomisin and Kehinde Akin

Emeritus Professor Lalage Bown OBE died in Shrewsbury Hospital on December 17, aged 94, after a fall at home.

Since his death, tributes have been paid to Professor Bown, who has been described as an ‘icon’ and a ‘pioneer of the global adult education movement’.

The family have sent out invitations to the funeral service to be held at Shrewsbury Crematorium at 9.15am on January 28 and they plan to celebrate her life this summer with a scattering of ashes at the church where she grew up in Woolstaston.

Professor Bown, who spent 30 years of her life working in Africa, was named “Mother of Adult Education in Africa” ​​to celebrate her 70th birthday in 1997.

Among the many heartfelt tributes posted online are those of Taiwo Oluwatomisin and Kehinde Akin, the adopted daughters who lived with Professor Bown from the age of five in 1962. They called her Aunt Lala and say she was a “mother personified”.

“We came to see her when we were quite young,” they wrote.

Professor Bown photographed in Africa

“She raised us, took care of our education and everything that a parent or a mother should do with their children.

“We went everywhere with her except during the Nigerian Civil War in 1967 when all the foreigners left and we couldn’t go with her because the government banned it at the time.

“She came back in 1971 and we continued where we left off and never parted again until she died.

“We cannot find words to describe our aunt/mother as she was everything to us, a mother and a mentor,” they add.

Prof Bown in his youth

“She taught us to believe in ourselves and to stand up for ourselves and never to be looked down upon or to look down on anyone. Everyone was important because her humanity and her love for people from diverse backgrounds and cultures did not can never be forgotten.

“She came all the way to Nigeria to attend our graduation ceremony in 1980, as well as our 50th anniversary in 2006.

“As full grown adults, she never forced herself on us but gave us suggestions to think about our actions and our reactions to situations. She continued to give us motherly advice and guidance until ‘at the end of his life.”

Professor Lalage Bown had a memorable encounter with Prince Philip

Their last visit to her house was in August 2019, not knowing that it would be the last of its kind. We had planned to visit him in 2022 to celebrate a common birthday together according to his wishes.

“We don’t have enough words to describe her in this short tribute other than continuing where she left off. We love her so dearly, but Almighty God loved her the most and decided to take him.”

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