By Nicholas Kajoba
WITH only 13 students, Namilyango College School was started in 1902 by the Mill Hill Fathers led by Bishop Henry Halon.
After 105 years, the student population has grown to 1,010 for both ordinary and advanced level. The school celebrated its anniversary recently at the school play ground.
True to its motto NISI DOMINUS (without God we toil in vain) the celebrations started with a High Mass led by the Lugazi diocese Bishop Mathias Ssekamanya.
The school, founded in a bushy area in Mukono district, has grown into one of the academic giants in the country.
Then known as Sacred Heart Namilyango High School, it was established to train catechists and sons of chiefs to shape them into responsible leaders.
During the celebrations, Ssekamanya opened a sh20m extension of the dining hall constructed by the Namilyango College Old Boys Association (NACOBA). He also officially launched the schoolâ€™s website.
Ssekamanya hailed the teachers for upholding discipline in the school. He urged them to pray for success in their examinations.
He also hailed the Mill Hill fathers for establishing the school on a strong religious foundation. Ssekamanya, however, called upon NACOBA to help in the renovation of the old buildings.
Gelard Muguluma, the headmaster, said that the pressing need was renovation of all buildings and decongesting school houses.
He said the student population would be greater if the school had the capacity to accommodate large numbers.
The school has 58 teachers, 23 non-teaching staff and 50 support staff.
Muguluma dispelled rumours that the academic standard of the school was declining.
â€œWe have continued to produce good grades. We have potential to do better and are determined to do so,â€ he said.
The school has built modern facilities like halls, laboratories and a computer library, which was named after Fr. Bernard Kuipers, the first headmaster.
The college has also established itself as one of the leading sports giants in the country.
It has won several sports accolades like the Junior Boxing championships in the 60s and several football titles. The school is currently the champion of the Coca-cola Schoolâ€™s Rugby League and are record winners of the rugby championships.
They have produced several stars in the national rugby team. The school also came second in the just-concluded Fr Grimes National Chess Championships.
Speaking on behalf of old boys, the secretary of NACOBA, John Stanley Kintu, hailed the Mill Hill fathers for setting up the school which has produced many successful people.
Prominent old boys include Gulu LC5 chairman, Nobert Mao, State minister for Investment Prof. Semakula Kiwanuka, former bank of Uganda governor Leo Kibirango, former minister the late Kezimbira Miyingo and Dr Andrew Lutakome Kayiira (deceased).
Others are Fr. Lawrence Kanyike, the Chaplain of St Augustine Chapel at Makerere University, presidential advisor Onegi Obel, judges John Katutsi and Bart Katureebe, former prison Commissioner General Joseph Etima, lawyers Pius Kawere and John Sempebwa.
The celebrations climaxed with a football match between the old boys and the current students.