Robert Anthony Woods from Ireland who spent close to 3 decades at St Charles Lwanga School, Catholic Diocese of Kitui which he built literally from scratch into an academic powerhouse is dead.
His death was announced Rt. Rev. John Mbinda CSSp, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Lodwar. Woods passed on on Thursday early morning while receiving treatment in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.
“Woods passed on today around 2 am while at the ICU at Eldoret, where he was admitted yesterday around 4 pm. He had traveled from Lodwar to Eldoret for some work commitment and fell sick while at Eldoret,” Mike Nzule, the Chairman of St.Charles Lwanga Old Boys Association stated.
Mr. Tony Woods, an Irish lay missionary arrived in Kitui at the age of 24 in 1968 and devoted his entire life to not only instructing but also shaping generations of learners, some of whom went on to become well-known figures in politics, the armed forces, the judiciary, the private sector, and the diaspora.
Tony who later went to Lodwar to be the Chancellor of the Diocese of Lodwar in Northern Kenya will be fondly remembered for his commitment, humility, and zeal to achieve goals.
Tony popularly referred to as ‘Miti’ or RAW was eulogized by former St.Charles Lwanga alumni as a father figure who ensured that no student was sent home because of school fees.
“I am deeply shocked because this morning I called St Charles Lwanga school to find out whether he was around. But Father Nzule told me that he is still at Lodwar. My sincere condolences to all who interacted with RA Woods,” Paul Inuvu said in a WhatsApp group for the St.Charles Lwanga Old Boys.
Eric Mutua the former chairman of the Law Society of Kenya eulogized Woods as a good man and a fabulous teacher and mentor adding that his passing on cannot take away what is implanted in all of the alumni and the society about his goodness.
“Fare Thee Well, Mr. Robert Anthony Woods – a rare man of valor, candor, generosity, and exemplary character. Miti, you were a great guardian and role model, especially at St. Charles Lwanga School, where your immense love for your students changed so many lives for the better.” Eric said.
“Many of us from poor backgrounds entered St. Charles Lwanga as non-entities. For four or six years, we wore naivety as our badge of honor. You, on your part, looked at each of us and saw a great future full of promise. You molded us into men of substance. Miti, may your candle continue to shine ever brighter and brighter,” Onesmus Kilonzo, the Director of Governor Malombe’s Press Team who is an alumnus of the O-Level Class of 1984 said.
His death comes at a time when the St.Charles Lwanga School was preparing to hold a fundraiser on 3rd June 2023 at the school, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua is expected to be the chief guest.
Some of the notable alumni from the school are Makali Mulu (Kitui Central MP), Gideon Mulyungi (Mwingi Central MP), Bishop Joseph Mwongela of Catholic Diocese of Kitui, Harrison Maluki (Migwani MCA and Kitui Majority Leader), Lawyer Benjamin Mwikya Musyoki (represented NASA coalition during presidential petition at the Supreme court in 2017), among others.