Tonye Graham- Douglas, Emi Membere-Otaji, call for rescue of declining centres of knowledge


– Bag prestigious awards at Baptist high school, PH

 Four time federal minister, Alabo Tonye Graham Douglas and President of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Emi Membere-Otaji have both been honoured with the prestigious ‘Distinguished Old Student’ Award of the Baptist High School Port Harcourt Old students association.

The colourful award ceremony which was part of events to mark 70th anniversary celebration of Baptist High School Port Harcourt witnessed the gathering of the crème de la crème of society, high networth and prominent individuals from diverse backgrounds and section of the society who had at one time or the other passed through the renowned institution.

In his remark, chairman of the occasion and President of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Emi Membere-Otaji, said he would continue to have fond memories of the school that was the best citadel of learning in the heydays. He however lamented that the history and structure of the school is under serious threat following the ensuing decadence, neglect and systematic encroachment upon its land leading to the near total destruction of the entire school. According to him, all hands must be on deck to change the fortunes and reposition the school to its precipice. “As old students we are critical stakeholders, hence we must work closely to preserve the rich history and excellence Baptist High School has been known for.

Appreciating the award, he also advised that all must give back to an institution that laid the foundation for the various exploits. “Having basically achieved a good legacy from the school, it is only necessary for us to do the needful so that the present crop of students will also benefit from us as we benefited from the benevolence of a public school system, charging the incoming Exco to strive to reposition the school by building on the momentum of the past Exco, We need to galvanize effort through rallying the influence and positions of old students in various strata of society to get the school back to where it should be.  He called for a synergy between the school physical neighbours, Rivers state government and the old students to bring about the needed change.

In his remark, four time minister of the federal republic of Nigeria and recipient of the Distinguished Baptist Old Students Association award, Alabo Tonye Graham Douglas, noted that his life was planted and germinated in Baptist High school, adding that the success and height he has attained today is attributed to the moral and academic upbringing inculcated in him by BHS.

For the school he said, “Yes we need to do more, so that others will also be impacted and the only way is for us all to work assiduously and contribute our resources to bring back the glory days. What is the way forward, I join myself in the plan to donate cash, I will also in conjunction with others see how we can start the process of rebuilding the school library” he was quoted as saying.

 In his remark the outgoing president of the Old Boys’ Association, Monima E. Karibi Whyte said the infrastructural decay is worrisome, but added that it behoves on the association to change the face of the institution. “With the theme of the anniversary God and Truth, Our Heritage, he said BHS is truly a heritage hence the 70 years celebration provides an opportunity for the association to intervene meaningfully and change the narratives.

The incoming President of BHS old students association Karibi George in his remark said the task ahead is quite enormous and called for the support of all and sundry. “As we celebrate our 70 years of existence it is hoped that the ‘old boys’ would rise to preserve their alma mater and restore its lost glory”, he was quoted as saying..

Replete with an enviable and rich history of excellence, Baptist High School Port Harcourt has churned out many prominent Nigerians in all spheres of life – politics, academics, military, business, among others.

 The school was regarded as one of the best public schools in Rivers state in its heydays, with an orientation of hard work, and good moral standard infused in the consciousness of the students. BHS was established on 19th of January 1948 by missionaries from the Baptist Missionary Church of America.