A few years ago, our Bishop, Rt.Rev. C.C. Okorocha, in his magnanimity graciously allocated to the Knights a piece of land owned by the Diocese. The Council decided to develop the land in phases.
Phase One involved fencing the whole area with concrete blocks to avoid possible encroachment. When we embarked on the fencing, we encountered distractions from those who claimed to be the original owners of the land, and we had to financially settle the various groups who turned up. I wish to acknowledge the services rendered by Sir Kingdom Akuruka to accomplish this phase.
Phase Two involved the construction of four-roomed commercial shops to front the area and keep the place busy. We also embarked on the sinking of a borehole to service the complex. This phase also involved the building of a gate and a security house. Here again I mention Sir Clifford Onyekuru and Sir Mike Chkukwuezi, who supervised the completion of this phase.
Phase Three involved the construction of a permanent Secretariat for the Council. We have to mention the contributions of the following members of the Order. Sir Uche Anusiem who designed the building, Sir Simon Emepue who supervised the initial stages of the construction, Sir Maxwell Iwuamadi and his team of the Tenders Committee, who chose the various groups that worked on the project; the last but not the least, we have to acknowledge the contribution of the Deputy President, Sir Gab Oduah, who stood in for me and supervised the take off of the construction during my absence.
On Wednesday, February 8, 2012, the Bishop accompanied by his wife Dr. Mrs Okorocha, laid the foundation of the Secretariat building and also turned the sod for the construction in the next phase.
Phase Four will involve the construction of:
(a) An Assembly Hall designed to accommodate 2500 persons. The Ladies of St. Christopher have volunteered to take on this aspect of the phase
(b) A tennis Court
(c) A small utility hall to house other recreational options.
The Body of Knights and Ladies have been very understanding and supportive. Let me at this stage mention that Sir Raymond Ndukwe kindly sent his machine to clear this site free of charge as we only fueled the machines.
Today, we have all assembled to witness the dedication of phases 1-3 of our efforts at giving our Council a recognizable foothold, and a place we shall call our own. We have come a long way and I really commend all our members for their support.
We thank God for this little effort. We particularly thank our Lord Bishop whose vision propelled us to start this project. It was the Bishop’s gift of land that fired our resolve to develop it this far. Our Lord Bishop thank you.
Our Council is the second Council to have a secretariat, the first being the Council of Knights of Diocese on the Niger, which also led the way in the engagement of a paid Administrative Secretary. We now have in our employ in our Secretariat an Administrative Secretary, a Finance Officer, a Computer Operator, a Driver, a Security man, and a Gardner.
We hope that when we complete the fourth and final Phase of our development plan for this place, the Knights of this Dioceses will have a Secretariat, a meeting Hall, and a place of relaxation.
Let me thank the Knights and Ladies who have not relented in their support for the actualization of our dream to have a place of our own.
We want to thank all our guests especially my brother Presidents, the Archdeacons, administrators and other Priests who are here present. Your presence is a veritable source of encouragement to us.
Finally, let me specially commend the Ladies of our Council for their determination to build the hall, I want to assure them that the Knights are behind them. Our shoulders are ready, should they need a lean-to.
It is my honour and privilege to invite the Bishop first to bless our new alternative Outing Uniform, secondly to dedicate our new Secretariat and finally to lay the foundation stone of our new Hall.