Aber OB

Anniversary Series, Aber P7 @100 years: Sweet memories by Ameny Owalinga George

(Last Updated On: 28 November 2023)

In this eighth edition of the Anniversary Series, Aber P7 @100 years, OB Ameny Owalinga George shares his sweet memories. 

He writes: It was one bright sunny day in 1973 when we arrived at Aber Primary School from Agwingiri P7 School (currently Amolatar district) on that side of Lake Kyoga.

Mr. Olwa Jacob Wilson, my father was a teacher. He had been transferred to Aber (his former primary school) where he studied as a little boy from 1948 to 1952. My siblings and I then became OBs and OGs by default because of the transfer of a great teacher, to a big school, with a long history.

It is very clear in my memory how we would wake up on Monday mornings to begin the long journey from home to Aber. Time check was usually 5:00 am, and the sky was still dark. To my young mind, it was night.

Shoeless, cold and sleepy, Apap (that’s how we call our dad) commanded us to walk faster or else we would be late for class. The approximate distance to cover was 6km. I was still a little boy of eight years. My feet hurt from the brittle sharp little stones on the dirty road, and then a big stone knocks my toes.

What followed were tears amidst sobs.  Although Apap is a teacher, Ayaa (our Mum) did not go to school, she remained in the village gardening, so on Fridays, we went back to her.

We had a nice time at the teacher’s quarters. Teacher’s children were a privileged lot. We did not bring brooms, spear grass or firewood to school like the rest. The Monday morning blues aside, we just walked from home, a stone’s throw away, to class.

Lunch and drinking water were also there. I remember other pupils would come to our house to beg for water!

 The teachers were just great! Among them were Apwony Obong, Apwony Erem Angelo, Apwony Ayo, the father of Dr. Jimmy Lamu; Apwony Owiny Nikanori; and Apwony Ogik James.

Others were Mrs Pulisikira Ocen the mother of my friends Odongo Willy, Amongi Kjane, Atim Joel and Ogwang Ocen.

I enjoyed every bit of classwork except mathematics. To date, my computation of figures is wanting. The only bit I know very well is how to count money.

Also read: Anniversary Series, Aber P7@100: Recollection by James Yafesi Ogwang

Many of my OBs and OGs have disappeared from the radar. Some dropped out because of lack of school fees, others due to early marriages and many died of HIV (Slim as it was called). I was always number (3) three in my P.3 class of 1977. Okabo Wilfred was always number (1) then Atoke, a girl, number (2).

It was not uncommon for pupils to change schools, especially from Aber to Atapara and vice-versa.  Many swapped schools after failing to score the pass marks required to join secondary schools. Some of the big boys and girls would repeat P7 many times, even up to seven times before they pass PLE or drop out of school altogether.

In my case, it was because I wanted to go back to Ayaa. Aber had its issues.

Also read: Dr Opio Acuti says LPG to use “whatever is available” to unite warring MPs

I talked to Apap recently and reminded him about the Namugongo sessions where wrongdoers received hot kibokos  as punishment and the 87-year-old, smiled broadly and replied: “Namugongo made you people go far, now see, you even drive a car.’’

To him, discipline is key to academic success. My brother, Odyek is now a teacher, and our younger brother Olok Benny who joined the school later is now a lawyer and lectures at the Law Development Center (LDC) in Kampala. Our late sister Amuge Polly taught at Aber primary school.

I also taught at St. Catherine Girls’ School where Hon. Beatrice Lagada, an OG of Aber was headmistress before I became an Immigration officer.

Aber Primary School was, Aber Is and Aber will be.

To donate to help revive the school, kindly deposit your contribution in the Post Bank with the following details:

Bank Name: Post Bank

A/C No: 2110067000010

A/C Name: Aber Primary School @100years 

Or

Through the Treasurer on MM No: 0772319382 in the name of Kabagambe Patrick or Head Teacher Mr Tom Apenyo, +256 772 398615.

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