Posted by News Express | 14 January 2013 | 3,578 times
The revered monarch of Kalabari Kingdom of Rivers State, King (Prof.) TJT Princewill, Amachree XI and Amanyanabo, is a happy man. He has been in an expansive mood since Saturday and for good reason: On that day, history was made in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, when Port Harcourt Polo Club founded in 1974 by General T.Y. Danjuma was handed its first modern Pavilion Complex built and donated by Prince Tonye T.J.T Princewill.
The N25m modern pavilion named after his father, King (Prof) TJT Princewill, CFR, was commissioned by the Amanyanabo himself during the opening ceremony of the 2013 Annual Port Harcourt International Polo Tournament. The King described the epoch-making event as a legacy he will never forget for the remaining part of his life on earth.
His words: “Today, my son, Prince Tonye Princewill has immortalised me by this act. So far as this complex exists, my name will be attached to it.”
King Princewill mesmerised the audience with his wisdom and mastery of the game of polo when he recalled with pride his polo-playing days as a member of the Vom Polo Club in Jos, Plareau State, in the 1970s.
“How my son came about this initiative still stands as a mystery to me as I have never briefed him about this aspect of my life as he was so small when I played the game in the ’70s. I feel fulfilled today as this event apart from reminding me of my days playing polo has made me a proud father,” the Amanyanabo said.
After commissioning the complex, King Princewill declared open the 2013 Annual Port Harcourt International Polo Tournament involving clubs from several countries, among them Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and South Africa, who hit town to compete for honours with hosts Nigeria.
In his remarks, Prince Tonye Princewill, who spoke through his legal adviser, Soalabo West Esq., thanked the management of Port Harcourt Polo Club for giving him the opportunity to donate the edifice which does not exist in any other Polo Club in Nigeria. He challenged other prominent individuals from the state to assist in promoting sports as the State Government cannot do it alone. The pavilion complex is made up of a covered stand for important dignitaries to watch the polo game, modern media gadgets, an auditorium, offices, conveniences and a host of other world class facilities.
In his speech, the President of the Club, Engr. Ibifiri Shehu Bob-Manuel, expressed sincere appreciation at the magnanimity of the Prince in donating the complex. He also expressed his gratitude to him for the zeal and commitment in delivering the edifice in such a short period after making the pledge only last year.
Bob-Manuel noted that the game of polo in the state has never had it so good since its inception in 1974 and that the club can now comfortably host international tournaments.
The tournament goes on for a week with major prizes on offer for the best of the world class teams. Some of the elite cups being competed for in this tournament are the General T.Y. Danjuma Cup, the President’s Cup, Governor’s cup, Roland Cookey-Gam Cup and the Talevera Cup.
•Photo: King Princewill cutting the tape to commission the pavilion.
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