Robert Anthony Woods an Irish Missionary who came to Kenya at the age of 24 years was laid to rest at St. Charles Lwanga School in Kitui Central where he taught for three decades.
He came to the school three years after it was founded where he was a dedicated teacher who was later given the role of a headteacher after the founder Fr. Steve Donohou went to perform other duties in Kitui Diocese.
Woods who was popularly known as ‘Miti’ (a Kamba word for trees) was eulogized as a dedicated man who lived his life for others. He was described as a man who selflessly served all the people with all that he had including donating all his 30-year gratuity to help the less fortunate.
In his tribute during the funeral mass of the late Woods attended by thousands, Kitui Governor Julius Malombe noted that Woods’ virtues, character, and good deeds needed to be emulated by all people to make the country a better place.
The Governor commended the old boys’ establishment of a foundation in 2015 in honor of Woods where funds are pooled together to support needy but bright students.
“We need to support the foundation so that that the foundation can help a lot of students.
I was just walking with one of my Chief Officers who was an Old Boy here and he told me he came here due to lack of school fees and Mr. Tony paid school fees for him all four years. Now he’s on my team of Chief officers and a bright one, so we need to support Tony Woods Foundation in memory of his good deed from him,” Governor Malombe stated.
Former Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu eulogized Woods as selfless, and a man who focused his energies on helping the poor in society. “He was my neighbor, I was always delighted to see him helping the boys although we didn’t see each most of the time since he came when I was busy during the first liberation of our country, there were times we spent together and I was glad when the Old Boys Association build a house near my home. We should all emulate the good deeds he used to serve our community without looking where they came from,” Ngilu said.
The Old Boys led by Bishop Joseph Mwongela of the Catholic Diocese of Kitui eulogized him as a person who gave it all to the society.
“It is a known fact that he gave his final dues from his employer the Teachers Service Commission, to construct the latest teachers’ quarters at the School. He was touched deeply by any suffering and he even went out of his way to assist needy cases in Kitui, not necessarily related to the school. He believed in elevating development in the society,” the eulogy of the Old Boys read.
“When he was long gone to serve the people of Turkana through the Catholic Diocese of Lodwar, the boys kept in touch, and he was still visiting Kitui very often. The boys thought of the best way to honor him. It was easy to convince him to settle back into his second retirement to Kitui, and specifically Lwanga. We cherish and celebrate Woods, he means a lot to us.” it went on.
The Lwanga Old Boys made a clarion call to all the former boys of the school to ‘go back to their roots to celebrate their legacy’ to immortalize Woods and pass the pride to the generations that pass through Lwanga. The late Tony Woods since he was a missionary and lived like a Priest had no wife or children.