The long-serving Makerere University chaplain, Msgr Lawrence Kanyike, has bid farewell to the “Ivory Tower” at a colourful but emotional ceremony during which he broke down into sobs in a sentimental farewell speech.
“I don’t deserve all these gifts but I will always treasure you for turning me into what I am today,” the cleric said as he broke down.
“All I request you is to always remember me as having loved you,” he added.
Remembered for his love and counsel to the students, Msgr Kanyike was showered with gifts that included a brand new Ford Ranger Double Cabin pickup, a tread mill, a washing machine and portraits.
The university chancellor, Prof Mondo Kagonyera, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Edward Ddumba, former vice chancellors Prof George Kiya and Prof Livingstone Luboobi also graced the occasion.
Kampala Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, who presided over the function, asked the university management to get closer to students in a bid to avoid conflicts.
The prelate, who referred to Msgr Kanyike as a man with a “big heart where all of you have been fitting”, said the outgoing chaplain had helped with friends from abroad to enlarge structures of the chaplaincy and grow its community over the period of thirty years he has served.
The Archbishop introduced Fr Josephat Ddungu as successor of Msgr Kanyike with Fr Aloysius Ssensamba as his deputy. “Give the same cooperation and support to him as you have given to the Msgr,” the Archbishop said.
Prof Kagonyera and Prof Ddumba extoled the outgoing chaplain as a man who loved students, gave free and very useful counsel not only to students but also staff and always spoke his mind.
“I have worked with Monsignor for some time. He does not hesitate to say what he thinks is right in a manner he thinks fit. He could at one time have rubbed some people the wrong way,” Prof Kagonyera said.
He called for a system by the university to recognise outstanding performing staff like Msgr Kanyike.
Msgr Kanyike disclosed that he had left chaplaincy coffers solid with more than Shs200 million.