A 10-man executive, to run the affairs of Knights of St. John International (KSJI) Holy Cross Commandery 422 Owerri, has been installed. The colourful ceremony, which took place at the KSJI Hall behind the Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri, Saturday January 20, 2017 was conducted by a team of officers, from the Owerri Grand Commandery, led by the Immediate Past Grand President, Brig-Gen Prof. Ezekiel Ihionu on behalf of the Grand President Brig-Gen Anthony Enukeme. It would be recalled that the new officers were elected during the last Regular Meeting in December 2017. They are: Major Fabian Osuji – Worthy President, Bro Cosmas Nwaohiri – First Vice President and Bro Steve Ibe – Second Vice President. Others are: Bro Kennedy Amanze – Recording/Correspondence Secretary, Bro Justin Obi – Financial Secretary, Bro Osmond Ogini – Treasurer, Bro Henry Ukwunna – 1st Trustee, Bro Brendan Obasi – 2nd Trustee, Bro Cyril Ajoku – 3rd Trustee and Bro Hilary Ucheagwu – 4th Trustee.
The climax of the installation ceremony was the handing over of the Gavel (symbol; of authority) by the out-going Worthy President, Major C.C. Nwachukwu, now the Grand Second Vice President to his successor. This was after the new officers had been called out and their duties read out to them one after another from the KSJI Constitution by the Grand Secretary, Col Ibe. Prof Ihionu them ordered the Messenger to escort each officer to his proper sitting position at Regular Meetings including the Board of Trustees.
Addressing the new officers, Noble Ihionu who is also the Supreme Subordinate Second Vice President congratulated them for being the choice of their fellow knights and praised the outgoing executive for appreciating that it was time for them to go, shunning all selfish interests and thereby facilitating a conducive atmosphere for the free and fair election in the interest of the Order. He thanked Commandery 422 (to which he also belongs) for the co-operation given him during his four years as Grand President, adding that the commandery was his fallback position in times of difficulty. Noble Ihionu called on the Commendery to strive to be a model for others.
In his acceptance speech, the new Worthy President thanked fellow knights for the confidence reposed in them and assured them that his executive will work for the interest of the Order by lifting the Commandery to an enviable height by the time they leave office. He expressed gratitude to the Grand Team for coming and for all the pieces of advice given to the new officers. Major Osuji called for the cooperation of all, to enable the executive deliver on their mandate.
In his Valedictory/Handover Address, Major C.C. Nwachukwu, the outgoing Worthy President listed 18 achievements by his executive. They included: major infrastructural works at walkway, toilets and tiling repairs. They also included – purchase of Mass Vestments and altar cloths, new garage, dwarf fence, rewiring and new Directory. etc.
Preaching the homily at the Holy Mass that preceded the installation, the Spiritual Adviser of Commandery 422, Rev. Fr. Kizito Onyeka drew his lessons from the Reading of that day which were about the hidden treasure, that those who found it must be ready to possess at all costs. He called on knights to appreciate the gospel values. “Nothing on earth can be compared to the kingdom of God,” he warned. He reminded them of the need to enter by the narrow gate by shunning earthly power, wealth and influence. He called on knights to be committed Christians, generous and forgiving, following the footsteps of John the Baptist, patron saint of KSJI and Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi whose feast was being celebrated that day.