10 St. Patrick’s Avenue, Jos. PEO’s House
My mother and father, Jean and David Dobson, went to Nigeria a couple of years after they married in 1950; quite a contrast from industrial West Yorkshire. They lived with David’s mother, Flossie, in Halifax. My father joined the then Colonial Service to work in education. My mother continued to work sometimes, putting her secretarial experience to good use both in the Service and on occasion as a teacher of shorthand and typing, but for most of the time, particularly after I came along, she was not in employment, though much energy was involved in supporting my father in his work as well, as was common then. I’ve shared bits and pieces in photo sites and on here over the years, but was prompted to document their experience a little more intentionally after revisiting an album with these images from their first posting in the north of Nigeria, and their first home not just in Nigeria, but on their own.
These are scanned from 70-year-old, tiny photos that have travelled to and from Nigeria many times over the years, and I didn’t want to detach them from the album pages which dad had painstakingly assembled and captioned, so the quality isn’t great, but I thought it worth while. I posted some to a group on social media and it has resulted quite a bit of comment and in a hunt for the house! St Patrick’s Avenue had been renamed Ibrahim Taiwo Avenue, I had discovered and the group has confirmed, but as of today we are not sure we have the exact one yet… When we do I’ll add a ‘now’ shot with permission.
This was all before my time, so I have no direct recollections, but still find the photos very evocative. My father’s posting here was only 9 months, initially as Education Officer, then as Acting Provincial Education Officer, before they moved on to Zaria.
Enjoy a few extracts from the family album.