Most early founders of the Metropolitan Club in 1959 were members of some existing Clubs such as the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, The Ikoyi Club 1938 and the Yoruba Tennis Club....
Most early founders of the Metropolitan Club in 1959 were members of some existing Clubs such as the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, The Ikoyi Club 1938 and the Yoruba Tennis Club.
The Lagos Lawn Tennis Club was originally a Colonial Club meant for our Colonial Masters. As one can see then and even today, the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club was part of the official Residence of the Secretary of State. Around the same area are St Saviours Church: (a place of worship for the Secretary, his staffs and other guests). The Race Course, now Tafawa Balewa Square was for their recreation. Kings College, Queens College, the General Hospital and the Secretariat which is the office of the Administrator. The Yatch Club and a place provided for a representative of Her majesty the Queen of England then was occupied by the British High Commissioner.
The founding fathers of The Metropolitan Club who were gentlemen some of whom had spent their formative years in the United Kingdom and had attended very good public schools and institutions of higher learning and have mixed freely and related with some English families. These gentlemen must have imbibed the English culture. As a result of this, they felt that a Club solely for Gentlemen was of necessity particularly also as the early politicians have taken over the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club.
Late Sir Adetokunbo Ademola in his wisdom rallied round some of his colleagues and friends both Black and White to be founders of the Club we now enjoy today.
They were Late Dr. (Chief) M. Koye Majekodunmi CON, CFR; Late Sir Leonard Daldry; Late Mr. Rotimi Williams, SAN QC; Late Chief H. O. Davies QC; Late Sir Kofo Abayomi; Late Dr. O. B. Alakija; Late Chief Joe Harold; Late Sir S.L.A Manuwa; Late Dr. C. Dupe Norman Williams; Late Hon. Justice Atanda Fatayi-Williams; Late Sir. Mobolaji Bank-Anthony; Late Chief S.L. Edu; Late Chief A. G. Leventis; Late Mr. Mandilas; Late Justice G. B. A. Coker; Late Sir Louis Mbanefo; Mr. Akintola Williams, OFR CFR CBE; Late Hon. Justice Charles Daddy Onyama; Late Chief Okwosa; Late Mr. E.C. Judd; Late Mr. Robert Flemming; Late Hon. Justice Idowu Taylor; Late Chief Okunowo; Chairman of Barclays Bank Nig. Ltd, Bank of British West Africa, United Africa Company (UAC); Lever Brothers; Shell Company of Nigeria, Late Chief Ayo Rosiji; Late Chief Anofi Gbogbadia; Late Mr. I. S. Adewale; Late Chief Agbaje; Late Chief Adeyemi Lawson.
Others who joined the founding fathers during the early 60s were Chief Chris Ogunbanjo; Late Chief S. O. Fadahunsi; Late Mr. Emmanuel Afolabi Silva; Late Chief T. A. Braitewaite OFR; Late Allan Sherley; Late Peter Conyers; Late Prof. S. O. Biobaku; Late Prof. H. O. Thomas; Late Chief Michael Ani; Late Chief Ade John; Late Amb. N. Ade Martins; Late Chief T. O. S. Benson; Late Chief Brandler; Late Hon. Justice Alexander; Late Dr. Salawu
Chief Executives and Principal Partners of all the firms of Chartered Accountants resident and practicing in Nigeria were invited.
They were Messrs. Price Water House; Coopers & Lybrand; Peat Marwick and Parnell Kerk Foster.
Having settled at its first premises at Igbosere Road in Lagos, the number of its members had increased and a more suitable place was required to accommodate them.
The first President Late Hon. Justice Sir. Adetokunbo Ademola then approached Late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa whom the Club had appointed as its first Patron to assist with getting a large and suitable meeting place for the Club.
The Late Prime Minister got the Minister for Lagos affairs to allocate a parcel of land along Kofo Abayomi Street in Victoria Island to the Club. The parcel of land was large enough to accommodate the Club and the other part to be used for lectures which is where the NIIA (Nigerian Institute of International Affairs) is now situated. The other part that was reserved for future expansion was later given away. This is a story for yet another time.
It is pertinent to state that the Rules and Byelaws governing the Metropolitan Club were drafted by a selection of the best and brightest Lawyers and Administrators from the most prestigious Universities and from the best Inns of Court in the United Kingdom.
It is therefore of great importance as beneficiaries of the wealth of experience of the founding fathers to uphold these Rules and Byelaws.
The point that comes to mind is the code of dressing within the Club during our usual Tuesday Lunch and other days of the week. It was proposed and rightly too that on Tuesday, members should come to Lunch in Dark Suits with Ties. It is a great shame when one hears some members stating that the Bye-laws did not specify the Dress code, but I have always said that the British Government does not have a written constitution, but as Gentlemen, they have governed their country over the years without one. We as Gentlemen should try to do likewise.
The founding fathers did not intend to have fashion parade or carnival show hence the dress code was proposed.
If I recall, there were only 2 late members, Chief Dr. M. Koye Majekodunmi and Late Chief Okunowo who used to wear the complete National Dress then.
Oloye J.A. Obafemi Olopade OFR, D. Eng (Honoris Causa)