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Name: KNIGHT, Oliver Hayward MA (Rev.)

Nee: son of William Duncan Knight

Birth Date: 16 Nov 1875 Hampstead

Death Date: 21 Mar 1969 Kitale

First Date: 1920

Profession: Chaplain - Eldoret & Kitale 1920 - 1969

Area: Kitale, Eldoret

Married: In Rathdown, Ireland 17 Nov 1908 Edith Elizabeth Thompson b. 11 Nov 1879 Dublin, d. 9 Aug 1974 Kitale

Children: Desmond Kenzo (21 Aug 1910 Kobe, Japan-3 Aug 2000 Bunbury, W. Australia); Robert Gurney (26 Nov 1912 Kobe-7 Feb 1975 Mankayane, Swaziland); Alan (5 Nov 1915 Rathdown-1 Apr 1999 Nairobi)

Book Reference: KAD, Red 25, Red 31, Hut, Red 22, Trans Nzoia Scrap Book, Foster, Barnes

General Information:

Gazette 6 Dec 1938 Trans Nzoia Voters List has Hayward
Red 22 - Member Education Board, Kenya
Trans Nzoia Scrap Book - Trans Nzoia Church History - The first church of St. John's Elgon was built at Kiminini in 1924/25 by a willing band of helpers who brought gum poles and cement. Padre Knight filled the role of Chaplain until its first incumbent was installed in December 1926.
Trans Nzoia Scrap Book - The Rev O.H. Knight, who had spent 15 years in Japan as a CMS missionary, came to Eldoret in 1920 as Chaplain. He was accompanied by his wife and three sons. Their house was some way out of town in what is now the Eldoret Club, though it has been greatly enlarged since then. He was responsible for a large area including the Uasin Gishu and the Trans Nzoia Districts He had no car at first and was constantly on safari on foot and by bicycle, covering great distances as he visited scattered farmers in their homes. At first there was no church and services were held in the houses of his parishioners, but he built the first church in mud and wattle, just outside what is now the DC's Office in Eldoret. It served as Courthouse later, for many years, after the permanent church had been built. In 1923 Padre Knight retired and bought a farm in the Trans Nzoia, but for the next 40 years he served the District voluntarily, taking services, Sunday by Sunday, in churches and Clubs and private houses, including his own. When a full-time Chaplain was appointed to the District he worked in closely with him, assisting with weddings, funerals, christenings, and all the duties of a Chaplain and these increased as the District developed. There is a story which shows his enterprise and dauntless spirit. In 1926 he imported a steam traction-engine from John Fowler in England. He and Eddie Duirs assembled it at railhead in Eldoret and then started to drive it up to Kitale. Unfortunately the rains started just then and the unhandy vehicle was constantly getting bogged down in soft ground and on ant hills. It also took an army of men cutting and stacking firewood along the road for it and teams of oxen to cart water. The bridges of those days were all declared unsafe - by the Road Board - for a traction-engine whose weight was 10 tons, but Padre Knight crossed his bridges and argued about them afterwards! Finally, several weeks later (it is 45 miles from Eldoret to Kitale) he drove triumphantly into Kitale pulling the two five-ton trucks behind him: he felt it had all been worth while. Padre Knight always acted as a full member of the community. He served on various Government Educational Committees in the early days, and was a keen member of the Trans Nzoia District Council for many years. As he developed his farm he served on the District Agricultural Committees and was a very active member of the Kenya Police Reserve. In November 1968 he will be 93, and his wife will be 89. They celebrate their Diamond Wedding in that month also, and though they are no longer able to take such an active part in the life of the District, yet their interest in all that happens is still intense, and their love and pride in the District that they have served is undiminished
Foster - In 1957 he retired and farmed in the Mount Elgon area with his son Lt.-Col. Alan Knight
Kitale cemetery - Oliver Haywood Knight - born 1875, died 21 Mar 1969
Hut 1922 Farmer Farm 6480
Patrick Collinson - The Cow Bells of Kitale - London Review of Books - "… bad feeling between the Selwyns and their immediate neighbours, the Brettells, was exacerbated by the knowledge that the Brettells were 'encouraging' strange Suk onto their property and trading with them. This was a contentious issue: were the settlers to live like gentlemen farmers, exploiting the native population as labour, or were they to form commercial relationships with black Africans as fellow producers? The Selwyns were on one side of this argument, the Brettells on the other. The bad feeling otherwise had to do with the fact that the Brettells had been converted to Buchmanism (Moral Rearmament) by another neighbour and their own employer, a prosperous farmer and padre called Knight. Knight had sacked the (very competent) manager of his mill and replaced him with Brettell. Knight and Brettell had tried to recruit Geoffrey Selwyn to the cause but he had told them where they could go. This rankled. Both the Selwyns regarded Buchmanism as a narrow-minded perversion of Christianity, and Geoffrey’s outspoken resistance to its ideology was not irrelevant to their problems.
Gazette 18 Apr 1969 probate

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