In loving memory of Ms. Ann Cutler
The Church Missionary Society, Church of Uganda and the Gayaza High School fraternity with deep sadness announce the passing of Ms. Ann Cutler on Wednesday 13th May, in Haslemere, UK.
She joined Gayaza High School in 1961, where she served for 40 years. We are extremely grateful for her contribution to the Church, Girls' Education, Girls' Empowerment and Sports.
May her soul rest in Eternal peace. Ann Cutler was my neighbour during my first two years of working at Gayaza high school. She knew the date of birth of all members of the community and one was assured of a birthday card at least from her.
We thank God for having given us Miss Cutler. She was a blessing to us all and moulded us into the women we are today. Her Faith and Love for the Lord was very deep. I remember getting my first punishment in Gayaza before even making a week in the school. This was during our first hockey game to which she very clearly told us not to raise our hockey sticks at 180 degrees but keep them at about 45 degrees. So to me who loved Maths this was really clear. Lo and behold one of us who l will not mention swung her stick way up almost knocking me over. I without thinking yelled at her are you mad!! To my surprise l was told to stand aside and watch the rest play not the one who had swung her stick. That was a test of humility. It was a reminder to think before you speak. It was a lesson l will not forget. May her soul rest in Eternal peace.
We celebrate somebody who lived with us and taught us how a Christian teacher behaves. She was a very committed teacher who always kept time. She was very particular and knew all the students by looking at their feet. Very few students then had the privilege of owning sports shoes so they would go for PE without shoes. She taught us Scottish dance, which she would do once a week. At the beginning of the term, she would take our measurements to know our level of growth; height, and weight. When you improved she would feel very happy. Cutler exposed us to lots of games like table tennis, country dancing, and netball, among others. When we came back to teach, she always made us feel comfortable and there is a lot we learnt from her. Currently, whenever we sing some songs like the Gayaza Anthem we remember her because she loved singing.
Thanks for representing. Judith Banya my ’89 year mate from GJS, that white busuuti with red sash, reminiscent of our Sunday uniform, is quite a force to reckon with. We have so loved it. This evening, in rememberance of the great Ms Anne Cutler with a booming un-muzungu-like voice beckoning us for “early-mo”, I did my aerobics with even more gusto. I just had to make it up to her. RIP Ms Anne Cutler, now home in glory, a piece of us is gone….
Ann was my Dad’s cousin . She was away for most of the time I was growing up but always visited us when she was on leave …. she was a bridesmaid at my parents wedding and my Godmother.
Ann was such fun when she visited us , she would play games in the garden with me and chase me with worms and I would run away squealing!
She bought me my bible , treasured to this day and sent little gifts from Uganda most of which I still have.
I knew Ann was kind and good but I never realised how many lives she touched . I am so proud of her and will always miss her .
I was a sporty girl even in primary, but I can never forget the nurturing of my abilities by Miss Cutler. From tennis, to athletics, to badminton – I thoroughly enjoyed them all! However the bigger impact was on my Christian walk, because a number of us would go for Bible study at her home – sometimes to discuss a theme, sometimes a book, and other times just to listen to Christian music. What dedication, what a fruitful life; the Bible say some seed will yield 30 times, others sixty times and even a hundred times. I thank the Lord for her life for the testimonies on this page and beyond bear witness to the good seed in her.
Miss Cutler had such a profound influence on my life. I joined Gayaza in 1994 in S1 and was there till December 1999. I still try to teach my kids how to do si do their partner and promenade.
She nurtured my love for sports. I still play Tennis, badminton and ping pong among other sports. She laid a great foundation with good technique.
She was the first one to write me when I moved to USA. She encouraged me in the Lord and cautioned me not to forget my roots and all the things I learned during my time at Gayaza. I still have that letter. It meant the world to me.
Her crown will jeweled out for all the lives she gave to over the years. Rest In Peace! We will see you on the other side.
My first memory of Miss Cutler was on March 1st 1983, when I reported to Gayaza High School in S1, but she was an element in my life from that day until I finished S6 in March 1989. Her influence on my character can still be seen.
Miss Cutler had a very clear voice, even penetrating and, at times, frightening. I presume that developed as a result of shouting instructions across the games fields/courts so that those instructions could not be misinterpreted. I soon got into the early morning routine of country dancing. I enjoyed it, partly because on that day it meant I escaped housework. Miss Cutler nurtured my inborn love for athletics and games and I participated in whatever game or sport she introduced – netball in first term, rounders, tennis, badminton and athletics in second term and hockey in third term. I was always at her door to get the key to the games room so I could play table tennis, badminton or tennis in my free time.
I will always associate my early trips out of Gayaza with Miss Cutler. In S1 I went, as part of the Gayaza athletics team, back to Jinja, to participate in the National Secondary Schools Athletics Competitions. There Miss Cutler encouraged me to try 400m hurdles. Although I had not trained for it, I won the race much to her surprise and from then on, she would encourage and teach me to play every sport she took and I in turn, would return this with enthusiasm and dedication.
This was the first of many excursions, some of them in her ‘Jesus is Lord’ car in which she drove me to Lugogo stadium, for competitions in badminton, table tennis and tennis. Thanks to these matches I won several trophies for the school. I went on to be a teacher and have continued her legacy of introducing sport and swimming to children at every school I have taught in. I still play netball and continue to encourage my daughter and others to play a sport.
Miss Cutler was very particular about details. From her I learned to be punctual. Never be late unless you were prepared to have that voice calling your name for half the school to hear. Punctuality is one of my good points up to now. Again, certain areas of grass were to beautify the school and take a short cut at your own peril. Miss Cutler somehow managed to be in the vicinity and “Christine Magona” would echo round the grounds when I thought I was unobserved.
Miss Cutler let me enjoy sport. She also created the position Games Prefect when I was in S6 and I was the first holder of this post, so again she had a hand in moulding my leadership qualities. We interacted a lot more during that time, discussing teams, participants, organising inter house competitions and she left me to run the individual competitions – table tennis, badminton, tennis etc.
It was the genuine concern and personal touch that made Miss Cutler special. She did not consider teaching a job, it was a vocation and her whole life was devoted to Gayaza and everyone connected with it. Every student who passed through her hands in the 40 years she served was special to her. I am sure she is now being looked after in the heavenly place she earned. I know I am a better person for having known her.
I joined GHS in 1961 Junior Secondary School at the same time Miss Cutler joined GHS.
I left after 8 years at the school leaving her there.
The only PE/ Sports teacher I knew so well from trying to encourage me to swim(which up to now I cannot yet I can only dive!)
She said Phoebe you must swim not dive and she took my name off the swimming list since we had to travel out of school as we had no swimming pool in the compound.
She then introduced me seriously to sports where I would run sprinting 100 metres
I was centre forward in hockey
I threw the javelin and I was so good
I could have gone for commonwealth games eventually olympics
BUT my friends told me that
“ I will be so muscular and no man will marry me”
To Miss Cutler’s surprise I never joined the practice the following days and refused to throw the javelin ever again
I DID NOT TELL HER THE REASON WHY! And she respected my decision to quit throwing the javelin!
I eventually got married to a very nice handsome young Acoli Surgeon a
Mr Wilson Okwonga MBChB FRCS
Thanks to my caring friends
However Miss Cutler our love for you, your lovely smile and sincere genuine respect for our feelings remain with us forever.
May your soul rest in eternal peace in Jesus name.
Dr Phoebe Abe MBChB MSc FRSA
(General Practitioner in UK
International & national FGM Advisor
CEO Dr Abe Foundation)
Dearest miss Cutler. There is something that no one has mentioned here. Thank you for watching over all the little girls under your instruction through prayer. I believe that you are having a party in heaven with all the others who have gone before you. Till we meet again, goodbye for now.
Ms Cutler, you served God well. You taught us to put God first in all we do, you raised us as ladies who push our shoulders back and hold our heads high, you raised generations of confident, all round women who have spread all over this world. When the Lord called you, you did not hesitate because you were sure you had completed your work on earth. Sleep tight ma’m we are proud of you and you legacy lives on.
As I continue to educate the world over, I took one aspect from Ann Cutler “know your students by name, that way you control them” and it still works well. Iam glad I taught with you and allowed me to take charge of tennis in GHS. Rest well Ann. FYI,
Posted as a fellow teacher not OG
God looked around His garden
And He found an empty place
He then looked down upon the Earth
And saw your tired face
He put His arms around you and
Lifted you to rest
God’s garden must be beautiful
He always takes the best.
He knew that you were suffering
He knew that you were in pain
He knew that you would never
Get well on earth again
He saw the road was getting tough
And the hills were hard to climb
So He closed your weary eyelids
And whispered; Peace be thine.
It broke our hearts to lose you
But we know you are not alone
In company of angels above
Watching and protecting you
You left us with good memories
When God called you Home.
RIP Miss Anne Cutler
I remember the first time I met Ann at Gayaza in 1966 when I joined the school to teach Geography. It was with open arms and a warm smile that wiped away my lack of confidence on my first day. I knew I could go to her for advice. She welcomed and supported everyone with love. I was so sad to remember her suffering so during the last few years. Barbara Marsden ( Cooper)
In loving memory of the late Ann Cutler
(My former Bible, P.E. and Knitting teacher at Gayaza High School)
Fare thee well
You who nursed us so well
In our hearts you’ll ever dwell
For you did us so well.
Fare thee well
You the gold that sparkles in the dark
In our hearts you’ve left a great mark
You are spotless as you go through the arch.
Fare thee well
Mother with a heart so tender
Like a hen you’ve been our Defender
That you are gone, who will be our hearts’ mender?
Fare thee well
You who led with wisdom
We’ll live to miss our freedom
You were a special gem in the Teacher Kingdom.
Fare thee well
The Pole that held us together
The Woman of all types of weather
Your record shines brighter than leather.
Fare thee well
May you rest in glorious bliss
On earth, your demise is a great miss
But Heaven has received a golden piece
Sleep, Ann – in comfort and blithely peace.
Fare thee well.
ANN CUTLER – OUR MEMORIES JUST BEGUN
Miss Cutler, we fondly called you
Your passing wells tears in our eyes
Little girls who nevertheless know they’re well-grounded
Memories of Heidi heralding your coming to class
Teaching us Bible
Bible study at your house
Sitting at your feet
Early-Mo that taught us to arise and live
Scottish dance, sports, sports and more sports
Your rich home library
Your genuine and firm love
Nurtured, shaped and impacted our lives
Each little girl has a story to tell
You served the Lord well
You showed us the way
Rest well our beloved Ann Cutler
Our memories just begun
for Class 1978 to 1983 , by Alexandra Kukunda
Miss Cutler, you were my first class teacher in GHS. The first term of that year, 1C was bad news! I went back home with a bad report, which I believe up to today was because I could not understand your English accent! Being the first time to interact with luzungu from muzungu! Hmmmm! It was tough! That report, together with the scolding it earned me at home, made me dislike you for a moment. But it was a wake-up call. Second term proved different, as I guess I had figured out a way of understanding you and that you intended well. I began to see your goodness from then as a great teacher of character. I enjoyed so much the Scottish dance classes at 6am, as well as other sports, bible studies, the novels, clubs, jigsaw puzzles, all which formed a foundation for my adulthood. I still stand on these today. May your soul rest in peace!
May your soul rest in peace. Thank you 💛
Miss Cutler…!!! Ebyange naawe byali bya mbirigo nnyoooooo. We always knew what to expect from each other, whenever our paths crossed. We were like the legendary Tom & Jerry. Whenever I was good, which was quite rare, you always commended me unconditionally, with love and a smile. Whenever I was a rebel & horrid, which wasn’t rare at all, we both knew what next. I was your regular RE: black book, punishment tree, dining room chores and everything in that category. You said to me I caused your hair to grey, my sincere apologies. Although I was always your prime suspect, even for things I never did, I know, behind your frowns you always had a smiling face. I always prized you, my class teacher. May you rest in peace… Miss Cutler!
Every time I read John 14:12; ‘ we will do greater things’; I always wonder how? Reading all the tributes, Miss Cutler indeed changed lives which in-turn impacted others.
Ten years after Gayaza, I wrote to Miss Cutler to thank her for the influence over my life. In particular, I was grateful for the Bible study at her home and informed her I had a Bible class at our local church.
She replied with a verse which said, ‘what I have given you pass on.’ She also sent me a postcard with Deut. 33:27 which I have shared with many people. Indeed, ‘ The Almighty GOD is our refuge and underneath are HIS everlasting arms.’
Ann, We shall miss you a lot. Scottish dancing at 06h30..Awesome even though I still have two left feet! Ann you were the embodiment of all that is fun, energetic and character building. Tough as nails we owe a lot of our discipline to dedicated teachers like you. May you soul rest in eternal peace. Sarah
Great full for the sport education…RIP
What a privilege it was to have Miss Cutler as a teacher! I will always remember her kindness. When my father was abducted from our home she quietly sent someone to the dorm to check in on me. A few years later my beloved aunt died and I had to go to Miss Cutler for permission to go home. To my amazement she remembered that my aunty had been battling cancer! I was stunned that she would know that when she had so many girls to teach. With great empathy she gave me permission to leave Gayaza for the funeral and I remember feeling valued because she had bothered to remember what was going on in my insignificant little life. Rest in power beloved teacher. We are so glad you chose to serve in Uganda.
Miss Cutler made us love sports. It was simply a joy to “dosido your partner and your partner dosido”. She developed our badminton and hockey skills and styles. I will forever cherish you. I am sure you are resting in eternal peace. Fare thee well.
Ms. Anne Cutler was a special breed. I truly thank God for all the years she served at Gayaza High School. Ms. Cutler was part of our lives throughout the years I spent in Gayaza as we heard a lot about her even while still on the j Gayaza Junior side. Her dedication to her calling to serve God’s children is a special gift to each one of us who passed thru GHS during the 40 years she was part of the school. She was firm, disciplined, loving and she had presence.
I loved her hearty laugh. I enjoyed the bible study fellowships at her residence which I religiously attended after I accepted Christ as my Saviour and Lord.
Waking up early for P. E was not fun though I lived with it and learnt to play badminton, and country dancing. I struggled with this though she never gave up on us.
In Senior 1 and 2 I was quite naughty and chicky. Ms. Cutler sent me to the punishment tree several times. She would counsel me and then let me go after sometime.
She was funny. She encouraged us to love reading. She deeply loved the Lord and though her voice was not as angelic as that of Ms. Hobby she sang with sincerity.
Those who were in Hutchison during our years in Gayaza we believed that Ms. Cutler had eyes and ears on all sides of her head. She would pass outside our dormitory and though we would be talking in whispers she would remind us its already lights out time. She would command us to sleep with a reminder about PE or house work in the morning. Sometimes she would call the person talking by name. How she worked it out always left me wondering/ remained a mystery.
Ms. Cutler is in heaven. She positively touched our lives and we owe it her and to God she served so faithfully to do the same to those in our circles of influence.
Rest in peace till me meet again in glory.
Jane Nannono Kavuma Kayonga
I remember in Primary two at GH Junior school, some of us who could have included Barbara & Winnie were chosen to go to the Senior school to sing and to welcome a new teacher. This was Ms. Ann Cutler.
From primary 3 to Senior 3 , I was a member of the School Athelitics , netball, hockey, Rounders teams therefore interacted with Ms Cutler closely . We visited many schools in Ug under her leadership. It was hard work to defeat us. Our Relay team dominated the National school championship for over 6 years. I was always in the number one position of the 4 runners.
For the hockey team, whenever the dark red mangoes by the pitch were in season, I would switch to being the goal keeper & yet I would climb the mango tree & shake the mangoes to the ground during playing time. Later we would carry one school bag to Hutchinson pantry and share them !!
Then in S3 I was warned about the effect of the rigorous exercise in the races that my leg and arm muscles could become like those of men. Do not ask me who gave me the advice. Such was the peer pressure of the day.
Ms. Cutler never saw me in the school teams. She wanted me back on the fields. She tried hard to find out why I had just given up my God- given gift. I never told her so we parted on a very sad note. Later, we became friends as I worked with her & Ms Warren to reactivate the Old GHS old girls Association from 1991.
I have very fond memories of her in the regular practice period from 6- 7am.
I treasure those periods since they taught me a lot about life- from punctuality, discipline, team work, competitiveness, winning some and losing some & having fun. These contributed a lot to who I am today- always trying to improve myself & never settling for less.
Thank you Ms . Cutler for the fun& being a good coach, mentor and sponsor.
You took GHS to great heights in sports & Athelitics.
Thanking God for your long, rich life. We are the richer for having been your students and friends.
Jane Nannono Kavuma Kayonga
Miss Cuter, you really made a huge impact on our lives, you loved us to the end and we shall forever miss you.
I thank God that I was able to spend some quality time with you at Shortmill House. I always looked forward to those visits, they gave me so much joy. You never lost your humour! Rest in peace our dear teacher and friend. We will meet again.
A Budo boy will share the message he just sent to his Gayaza sister-in-love and his Gayaza niece:
I do not recall ever meeting Miss Anne Cutler in person. Just always heard of/about her. Naye ssisobola kugamba nti ss’alaba ku Miss Anne Culter oba nti ss’amamunya. Mba nnimbye. The truth is: if you have met Elizabeth Nabiwemba (my niece) or Ekiriya Gidudu or Rachel Mayanja or Christina Bagunywa (my sister-in-love) or Julia Semambo or Elizabeth Ibanda of any one of so many of those other clones of the fullness of the Holy Spirit, … if you have met one of those people, then you met Miss Culter. …. And if you ever met Anne Cutler herself, then you met a Type of Jesus!! Some people are like that!
Miss Ann Cuttler, dancing to the fiddlers tune in heaven right now, stepping it in and stepping it out . Too soon a memory, forever remembered.
I was educated by Ms.Cuttler from S1-S6, I remember the annual photogragh that she attached to our progress reports…..she always told me Catherine you have to keep good grades so that we maintain this bursary. I couldn’t afford to disappoint her…..How? That spirit of excellence that she instilled in us is still with me to date. Thanks.
I was a sore spot when it came to sports….I would hear her saying loudly “Maiteki, stop playing like your playing in a frying pan”. I also ended up under the punishment tree once over sports and she forgot all about me till late😟. I loved the early morning dancing, it gave an escape from the hard work, a release😍, I still remember the songs. Thanks.
Cant forget her spring walk across the lawn and singing in chapel. She loved and served God and man with all her heart, soul and mind. Rest with the angels till we meet again.# Pay it forward ladies for Ann C
[5/16, 10:03 PM] Juliet Kiwanuka 1981: Ms Cutler inspired my walking style. To walk with purpose, bounce and a smile. That lady had a walk.
[5/16, 10:04 PM] Juliet Kiwanuka 1981: And a swing with the arms😊
You were such a special teacher and mentor. I still have a vivid memory of those Scottish dancing classes that you taught us to love. You sacfriced 40 years of your life to teach, mentor and impact on many Ugandan girls and surely made a difference in our lives. You will always be remembered.
I thank God for my mom who insisted I go to her school Gayaza even when all my friends were planning to go to other schools. It was much more than book smart education. We learnt to be ladies. And Miss Ann Cutler was one of the great ones who imparted this to us! Although I didn’t enjoy waking up early, I loved the early morning dancing with Miss. Cutler. I remember how she would project her voice across the field and remind us we were late and how she always had some clever remark about the way we danced and how she taught us the proper way to stand, which was a problem for some of us with knock knees! Those were my fun times in school. I remember she was very principled and I admired that about her. I remember bible study with her under a tree and all the questions we used to ask for which she gave us her wisdom and I loved her love for God and the gospel! Surely she is resting with our Savior! I reminded of the apostle Paul when he said in 2Tim4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”. May we be inspired to be a blessing to many as she has been to us! Rest with Jesus Miss Ann Cutler!
I find myself somewhat lost for words because in you I saw opportunity. Opportunity for mentorship. I was both fascinated and terrified by you. Possibly because of the vibe I picked up from the response you evoked. Your voice bellowing out at the break of dawn and seeing your formidable stance in a distance immediately made all late morning starters; me inclusive breaking into a sprint towards the classroom block for Morning Prep. At this point in my life I can not say that I was anything special. I was a timid, unchallenged, dreamy eyed girl with no real convictions, simply going through the motions and half heartedly trying to make sense of my new world. Your early morning jolt effectively started a rebirth that saw me actively engage and live in the moment, seeking to grow spiritually, physically and mentally.
I was not much of a sportswoman then, which to me meant that I couldn’t quite stand out to be noticed by you. The Scottish dancing might have been my salvation except that majority enjoyed it and naturally responded to your calls. As I continued to fly under your radar still in awe, I came to appreciate the efficiency and thoroughness with which you delivered ever lesson and every sermon. You had amazing energy that I wish I could have as I now serve as a teacher. But most of all, I am appreciative of the fact that through your commitment to our school and to us, I learnt to know God. The most impactful sermon I ever listened to was one you preached on Good Friday that vividly depicted Christ’s suffering up to the cross. I am forever grateful to you for sharing your heart and life with us.
I remember Ms Ann Cutler with a great sense of respect and her loss leaves a deep void in my memories about the school that I love and which greatly influenced what I am today. Ms Cutler is among two people who called me by my second name of Proscovia which I spell with a double “ss”. The other is non other than Barbara Waligo Senkatuuka whose deputy I was when she was Headgirl. Ms Cultler taught us to walk upright, – poise and posture and not to shuffle our feet. She had a way of knowing who was walking outside the verandah of our S1C class( She was the Class Teacher) by the sound of the footsteps they made. Now that made us behave even when she was not around because you could easily unknowingly get into trouble. We always used to look forward to her early morning country dancing lessons and she did not disappoint. Miss Ann Cutler was no stranger to reading you the riot act if she found you wanting. I remember when we almost had a strike at the school over which uniform to wear at a concert following our stellar performance at the Music Festival. The O level Festival choir members wanted to wear HSC uniform as opposed to the white ceremonial or Sunday uniform of white and red, and threatening to strike if the school did not allow them. Ms. Warren called an urgent meeting of the School Prefects body to calm.down the students and we went to the Staffroom.to meet the staff where Ms Warren and Ms Hobday were quite worried about this whole situation. I remember Ms Cutler being very resolute about this matter and quickly resolved that if we let the O level girls have their way it will be a precedent and in utter defiance of the schools authority, a position which my colleagues and I agreed with unanimously. So Ms Warren gave the girls an option – those who wanted to go to the after festival celebration could do so on condition that they wear the usual white and red and those who did not want to do so should stay or better still every one wears their designated uniform representing their classes. I think they all went in the end and the storm.calmed down. The lesson which I learnt from that incident remains with me to date. When it is time to do the right thing do it without fear or favour and be firm and resolute about it. Rest in Peace dear Ann Cutler you run a good race, kept the faith and now the crown awaits!
Thanks you so much Lord for giving us a gift of a saint in the form of a teacher,
Lord How she cared to know who didn’t , have school fees, who couldn’t jump with the ball and who couldn’t dance like the Scottish! Yet Lord she loved us all the same!
Indeed she had her own way of making up the deficit in us ! Yes Lord I was a one who could not jump with the ball , too lazy to dance “Dosido with my partner” & yet one day when I was all sulky because I was late & wanted to fein ill, she graciously looked me up and cheekily told me how pretty I looked when I smiled!
Non had given such a compliment except my hub yet to come! I have kept similing since that time ! RIP Miss Cutler 🙏
Florence Isabirye Muranga
The legacy you left for all of us is insurmountable- even to those of us who were not good in sports. May we take up that challenge to live healthy, physically active lives, with God on our side.
Ms. Ann Cutler,
Your support and example are one of the reasons many of us are still thriving in our families and work places.
Your legacy lives on!
Rest In Peace.
I hope Ms. Cutler knew that she made a mark on so many of us. I remember her for teaching my Scottish dancing, and hockey. She had a strong arm for hockey, even in her 60s. She also had a dry humor; just my kind of person. I wish I had known her as an adult, we would have gotten along famously. Farewell, Ms. Anne Cutler
Miss Cutler was a dedicated teacher and indeed a missionary. She was in charge of Bible training, by end of 1st term in Gayaza every one knew all the Bible books in their order. We could open the Bible and get to any scripture reference very fast. She also helped us to memorise scripture. And then the early morning PE lessons at 5.00am. She loved the girls so much that she knew every girl in the school by name and would pray for them all year round. She would recognise you in the dark, and from your shadow. Most girls went to her for counsel. We cannot forget her and surely her works will follow her. Rest in eternal peace dear Ann Cutler. You have fought a good fight.
Ms. Ann Cutler – Dance with the angels till we meet again in glory!!! You were such a blessing to many of us Gayaza Girls… I would have probably dropped out of school in S.3 if you had not got me a half-bursary from a UK-based church … as for the earlyMo, the confirmation class+Jairus’ Daughter drama, the S.6 “God is able” bible study etc… To whom much is given, much is required … You left us with such a huge debt of love … By God’s grace we too will love like you demonstrated!
From the little P6 Gayaza girl in ’61 to the Prof. of English I have become, I’ve known Ms. Ann Cutler!
I knew her in those early 60s when GHS was small enough and combined all of us–Primary, Junior, Senior under one umbrella held by Ms. JOAN COX. Miss Cutler resided on the Secondary School side where her main responsibilities were in the field of Physical Education. Much has already been written on her teaching of the wide array of games and sports this English teacher from the British CMS to our Anglican Church school in Uganda introduced to Gayaza curriculum over her 40 years tenure here. My focus in this short tribute lies in her unique and highly valued contribution: coaching Gayaza girls to perform at a competitive professional level that earned trophies after trouphies from Nakivubo, Wankulukuku, and Lugogo stadiums in and around Kampala!
Gayaza’ s name gained fame and prestige not just from our outstanding performance in academic subjects, but also from our sports teams. While my elder sister Margaret Masembe was a High Jump star, clearing 5ft during her Gayaza days, my younger sister, Florence Masembe, was coached in Tennis by Miss Cutler to become the national Women’s champion, a title she achieved while a student at GHS.
My own part in these GHS sports teams was in athletics! I was especially selected to be in the relay team, both in the lower school and in the Secondary School. I loved this relay team sport, not just it’s challenge to Sprint as fast as a hare, but also the special treat the athletes got each year–competing with other schools in regional and national outings that provided those rare occasions at this locked-in boarding school.
Miss Cutler would prepare us for that ride from GHS gate to the huge stadium at Nakivubo or Lugogo. Dressed in our beige, mini round skirt sports uniforms, we would pick up our packed lunch from the dining room, board the school van, and away to a new “world” where all was sports, sports, and race after race. For a whole day, we forgot about the boarding school and it’s enclosed existance as we waited for that “on your marks, get set, whooo” and at the whistle, we would sprint through the air, stopping only when the next runner in the relay team snatched that baton and flew off!
GHS was always sure to earn a trophy in 100 yards, 220 yards, relay as well as high jump and long jump! Thanks, for Ms. CUTLER’S expertise and skillful training.
Our trip back to school was always accompanied by the celebratory singing in the school van.
We shall never forget Ms. Cutler, our sports teacher.
Rest in peace, Ann Cutler, you made a mark in my life and brought fame to our girls school too.
“There are two kinds of teachers, the kind that fill you with so much quail shot that you can’t move and the kind that just gives you a little prod behind and you jump to the skies” Robert Frost. This aptly puts the role that Miss Ann Cutler played in my life and indeed in the lives of so many students who went through her hands.
She made a great impression on every student even those who did not particularly love sports. Even so many years later there is no student whose life she touched who does not remember her with lots of love, affection and respect.
For those of us who loved sports we can say with Dan Rather” The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called ‘truth'”.
She encouraged my love for sports lawn tennis, squash and mountain climbing. I still play tennis and squash and exercise everyday curtsey of my dear departed teacher. I played lawn tennis with celebrities Arthur Ash and Stan Smith because of her.
Then she became a colleague when I returned to Gayaza every vacation whike at Makerere University to teach PE. She mentored and encouraged me as I navigated teaching others sports.
She made a lasting impact in my life and indeed in the lives of thousands of students including my baby sister. Rest with the angels and am certain the Lord said “Well done thou good and faithful servant”
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The past few days my kids, said mom you look sad, are you okay? I told them I feel sad, because I had lost a great mentor, in her own way she mentored so many of us – by her words, actions, style and sometimes, silence.
The song came right back to me – as Ms. Hobday, went an octave higher and pounded the piano to “The Saints above, adore you Lord and glorify your name….” Ms. Cutler would look up to the heavens, arms raised up as high as she could, and swayed back and forth. I bet you, the entire chapel noticed her moves. There was something magical as she called up to the heavens – We all peeked to see what she was doing every time this song was played.
Ms. Cutler taught me a lot about life and strategy. As we played rounders- throw a fast to a “not so great player,” and a “slow lazy pitch just above the bat” for the great players. The rest was history. You got your opponent out because they did not run to first base with the hope that it would be called as a “no-ball.” – Just run to first base, you have nothing to lose in life. You may get there before your opponent sometimes, but you will not get there 100% of the times when you stand looking with your bat at Ms. Cutler, hoping for another chance to bat.
She believed in me, when I did not. As I tried to humbly represent Gayaza at Lugogo in table tennis, she would say Tibagwa, “a big part of the game is mental, pretend that you are playing with one of your friends.” I lived to see another round.
Never give up. I remember running the 400m race and I was coming in last, by a really long stretch. I felt embarrassed. As I run, Ms. Cutler looking on, I told myself I needed to cross the finish line. I thought she would ask me what happened, but her actions told me that it did not matter how I began the race, it was more important how I finished the race.
Thank you Ms. Cutler for never giving up on us, for teaching us and carrying us through the good, the bad and the ugly.
The heavens above welcome you home. We celebrate you. For all you have done for me/us- thank you. Save a sit for us dearest teacher- We love you.
Though I have always loved sports, when I went to Gayaza and met Miss Cutler, she took my love of it to another level. She inspired me into different sports and up to today I can still recall how she took my hand and showed me how to play a back hand in Tennis. How I loved getting up very early in the morning to go and dance “Mairi’s Wedding, Dashing White Sergeant, Do Si Do” to name a few of the Scottish tunes we danced to. Since then I developed a passion for Tennis and Scottish Dancing which I believe will stay with me for a long time. Just like the memories of her time teaching us physical education.
May she rest in eternal peace. 🙏🏾
You taught my mother, you taught me. You always gave us books from your library and you signed them off yourself.
You had firm tender care, not wanting to see anyone left behind. You were gifted in many ways and you shared everything you had.
Thank you for enduring endless hardships and giving your life to us for all your life. Indeed we can say of you like Paul said that,” To live is Christ, to die is gain…”You must be singing with the angels in your deep voice!
You Ann Cutler,
You surely made your mark in our lives through your caring attitude as our P.E. Teacher. May you RIP.
Memories of Ms Ann Cutler
As our S1C class teacher, Ms.Cutler did not allow us make noise with our chairs as we stood up.
Starched belts were a must for her PE lessons.
I loved her bible lessons and the bible studies she led. Taught me to read the bible on my own.
I remember her singing one of the Gayaza Hymns,with the words “the saints above adore you Lord” and l believe she is now singing with them.
Ms Cutler never had a sick day. I always looked forward to dosido or allamand with your partner in the mornings. Her walk with a purpose with a swing of the arms and a smile was awesome. I walk like that today. Her sacrifice was a reminder daily for her to have left her kin and comfy abode to nature girls far away from her home always left me in awe. Rest In Peace Ms. Cutler. Gods speed.🙏🏽
I will forever cherish those morning dances n above all the value of time . Forever loved n missed Rip Miss Cutler
Miss Cutler taught us to be principled. I remember her bible exams all questions had to be answered in order set God was to be spelt with capital G. That taught me to follow instructions. Some of us were not good at games but she would encourage us especially to play games like hockey,rings and badminton to keep you interested. Never pass under the volley ball net she would tell us, and then she would look at you straight in the eye. Go and stand at my verandah then Chify would come to keep an eye on you. The discipline she taught us I still apply and at work I’m constantly reminded that I must have been taught by whites. Thank you so much Miss Cutler for the opportunity of getting to know you.
Lilian Nanfuka Kirabo
Ms. Cutler was a great teacher. She balanced love and discipline.
From her I learnt to exercise and I am in the gym before 5.30am during working days thanks to Ms. Cutler.
I easily open my bible, thanks to Ms. Cutler.
Surely she will be missed by all the lives that she touched.
Miss Cutler taught us the principles of panctuality, discipline and inculcated in each one of us a love for sports and early morning Scottish dancing. Christianity and the love for Jesus was at the forefront of all this. We thank the Lord for the gift of 40 years of your positive influence on the lives of thousands of girls at Gayaza High School. May the Lord receive your spirit and may you rest in the arms of Angels forever Ms Anne Cutler.
Ms Cutler, you will always be remembered by many especially with the early mo which we used to enjoy. We thank God for all the years you have lived. Rest in peace
One of the people that stands out in my memory is my Senior 1 (6th Grade for Americans, Year 7 for British Curriculum peeps) Class teacher Miss Anne Cutler…
How do I eulogize you, Miss Cutler, how do I share about how bits and pieces of things you said and taught me, still inform how I approach many things today?
Senior 1C, (C for Cutler). I felt so grown up and important reporting to boarding school and was given my first uniform dress frame ( I was given a brown one … my late brother teased me about it and called it bark cloth. I’m still offended). I was 13 years old.
In Gayaza High School, you were given the uniform roughly stitched and you did the hemming yourself with a needle and thread. You had to embroider your own badge. They gave you the cloth with the ink monogram and you proceeded to painstakingly sew in the red thread until all the black ink disappeared and you had a neat Red badge and then sew into onto the front panel of your uniform. Same with your P.E. kit which was a short shift dress with the “pantalon” shorts underneath. You did the hemming for those and worked the elastic into the waistband yourself.
You had to starch and iron the uniform belt and shine your shoes and make neat work of your hair… then report to Miss Cutler on Saturday, wearing your own handiwork. Your own crooked hemming, your own botched badge, your own tight pantalon. If your handiwork was pathetic, chances were you would have to either do it again, or proudly show it off, seeing as it was yours to wear. People whose badges were annoyingly neat, Connie Balagadde Ssemakula and Doreen Adengo 🤨. My needle always had a mind of it’s own. It didn’t help that my jolly and soft-spoken “kamwaaka” Sandra Kamenya was left handed 😆 … But today, I can sew neatly. Thank you Miss Cutler.
Miss Cutler had a hawk-like stare, stood ram-rod straight and had a deep booming voice. To a 13 year old, she was formidable. When she led Sunday prayers, she had a way of swaying back and forth as she sang. In addition to being my class teacher, she also taught me Bible (CRE) and P.E. I remember learning the books of the bible, then learning memory verses. She had a dog called Chiffi. They went everywhere together, even to class.
I was terrible at P.E, particularly Rounders (similar to Baseball). I used to hyperventilate every time I had to bat. I remember looking at people like Cathy P. Sunshine, cracking that ball every time it was pitched. And I didn’t understand why, when it came to my turn, I wanted to toss the bat and duck. My lawn tennis partner was Babs Kagga. We never did a single volley between us. We spent the entire time laughing. I still can’t play Tennis, to save my life but I understand the scores. I did learn how to do a neat do-si-do with my dance partner at 6:30am.
One day after rounders, instead of placing the bat on the pile, I stood at a distance and tossed it on the pile “ah, ah, ah, ah” came the loud voice behind me. “Go to the punishment tree” meeehhnn. I learned later that my crimes were two-fold 1. Disrespecting school equipment 2. I could have hurt someone by tossing that bat. Some people didn’t mind being under that tree (See pics for the tree). I minded a lot. To this day, as a civil servant I do not disrespect Government property even if it isn’t mine. I feel a need to always hand over what I receive in good condition, for the next person to use.
Without overtly doing so, Miss Cutler introduced us to different habits that I still keep to this day. In S1 first term we used to pick up 100/- of our pocket money from her every Saturday, to spend at the canteen (tuck shop) the coming week. If she hadn’t done that, most of us would probably have run through the entire load of pocket money our parents had left with us, within one week. Whenever I got that money, I took off my tithe to put in the Chapel offertory on Sunday. I still tithe to this day.
I was born premature and was a skinny child. Every Saturday we would go to Miss Cutler’s house and she would weigh each of us and measure us with her tape measure to see if we were actually growing 😅 I’m laughing and crying at the same time, as I remember her going “160cm, 90 lbs tsk, tsk, tsk, still too short and too skinny”. I used to stroll there with Maroushka Kanywani and Keishamaza Rukikaire. She didn’t “tsk, tsk” at them. They were towering those days… now those days of “too small” are behind me, we discuss things like Keto with these, my old friends 🤪
Miss Cutler honed my love for reading. She had a personal Library of age-appropriate books. We were allowed to borrow 2 and return them the following Saturday. I discovered the diaries of Anne Frank, Little House on the Prairie and countless other stories in Miss Cutler’s bookshelf. When I outgrew it, I attacked the school Main Library, which I had hitherto avoided because it had all these HSC girls in their cream blouses and Green skirts and biology and chemistry books, who looked ready to tell me off just for existing. I read so many books from that Library. By the time I got to campus, some of the books were on the Literature Course Curriculum. Thank you Miss Cutler.
We had to step aside when we encountered an HSC girl on any of the school paths. Esther Kyomugisha remember how we used to practice holding our clipboards to the side and walking with “digi” 🤣. Respect for authority. It’s still ingrained there somewhere. “Don’t run in the rain!” Remember this Janet Lwantale Serukenya?
I still love manicured lawns and can hear her voice saying “don’t walk on the grass”
You never had any biological children, but you mothered hundreds of us.
Miss Ann Cutler died peacefully on 13th May 2020, at her lovely Care Home In Haslemere. She was 86.
Rest in Power, Anne Cutler.
This rekindled so many nice memories, beautifully written. Thanks
The discipline, panctuality, morals, sports and Scottish dancing, and above all Christianity in me were all achieved with the presence and guidance of Ms Anne Cutler.
You surely have left a huge dent in the GHS franchise. I truly believe that you are with the Angels in heaven rejoicing.
Fare thee well Ms Ann Cutler.
I celebrate your dedication to follow Jesus wherever He called you. For you that meant leaving your home to dedicate 40 years of your life to the education of the Ugandan girl.
Through that you taught my mother and aunties and taught me as well.
I can never forget your disdain for a lady chewing gum. To this day I just cannot do gum! The strength of your voice…firm yet loving and your dedication.
Rest well Ms Cutler
As a student, I learnt punctuality and high precision organisation while remaining very humble. Later on in life, courage, perseverance and above all love. My S 1 Class teacher, rest in peace.
Miss Cutler taught me that cleanliness was next to Godliness. Apart from the sports and Scottish dances where we would dosido your partner, she taught us how to be neat and kempt and above all to love God and stand for your values. You left an indelible mark! Rest with the Angels.
Miss Ann Cutler, I was blessed to know you and be nurtured by you! I will not forget your firm and strict nature that smoothed many of my rough edges. Thanks for being you and being giving me many sweet memories of early Mo and my favorite-rounders! Untill we meet again, rest well!
You valued and cared to know every child by name irrespective of their personalities, faith or abilities. You showed us that everyone plays an important role in a team. We cherish the values of hard work, time keeping, discipline, persistence and perseverance that you instilled in us. You fought the good fight and now rest in the arms of the Father who graciously shared your life with us. Blessed be the name of the Lord !
Rest in peace Ann(as we understand you chose to be called in the later years).
May the angels receive you.
At every beginning of term, miss Cuteer Would weigh us to find out how much we had lost or gained, as a sign of caring. She really cared. RIP our dear PE teacher.
TRIBUTE TO MISS ANN CUTLER.
I have been wondering where to start when reflecting on the impact Miss Cutler had on my life and I’m at a loss because there are too many ways.
They say the first 15 years of your life define the rest of your life and who ever interacted with you during that time helped mold you. I’m proud to say Miss Cutler was one of the people who helped mold me.
Many people like to recall that they were the teacher’s pet, the favourite, or the ‘biscuit’ as we used to say in Gayaza. In my case, I was definitely Miss Cutler’s biscuit.
For those of you who don’t know, I was raised at Kabanyolo University Farm which shares a fence with Gayaza High School. Five Aniku girls went through Gayaza High (a private christian girl’s boarding school) where we were mentored in drama, music, bible study, sports, love for literature, public speaking and academia.
I never paid full tuition in the years I was at Gayaza. I’m sure Ann Cutler had something to do with that.
The sleeveless dresses worn by Miss Hobday and Miss Cutler were designed and made by my mom.
Her dogs and my dad’s dogs were related and whenever our dogs ‘escaped’ and ran around Gayaza High, Miss Cutler would give me a pass to take them home. This was something I always looked forward to.
I would house sit for Miss Cutler whenever she was out of town during school holidays. There was always a handwritten note of thanks, an envelope full of money and several bars of chocolate for me in the guest room. I had access to her personal home library where I would spend hours engrossed in the stories and I think that’s where I developed my love of reading.
Ever the encourager, she instilled in me a love for sports especially long jump, javelin, badminton, field hockey, and rounders ( like baseball). In rounders she would always tell the other girls to go way way way back cause in her words ” Patience was a slugger”. She was always encouraging.
In S1 all students were given a brand new bible by Miss Cutler. She used to say that if we read our bible everyday, we would succeed in everything we did.
She led Early Morning PE at 6:15 am or “early mo” as we used to call it. She taught us the social graces required in Scottish folkdance and she was NEVER late.
For those who never got a chance to be mentored by Miss Ann Cutler, you really missed out on meeting one of those rare individuals who, without prejudice, honestly wanted you to succeed in all you did especially in sports, faith, and the arts.
The Aniku family will never forget the kindness she bestowed upon us. Rest in peace Miss Ann Cutler and thanks for everything.
Rest in peace miss cutler.i still miss the Scottish dance.
Ann, you taught me,you taught with me,you administered with me,you showed me respect and God’s love you as my deputy. I thank God for all that rubbed off.
You will be remembered by many in my family. Ruth Kavuma Nvumetta (1963-2001) Gayaza High School
Will always miss your love. Rest in perfect peace Miss Cutler
Miss Cutler you real made an impact in our live.We are greatful that you crossed our path.We shall forever miss you our PE teacher.May God emblace you in his loving arms.RIP Miss Cutler
You will be truly missed, Ms Cutler, our lovely PE teacher. RIP dear
Miss Cutler will forever remain in my heart as a treasure for teaching character through mature bible study, precision and timeliness in everything and integrity through the vote counting exercises that a privileged few of us did at her house. May the God of justice be merciful to you Our Life Teacher ♥️
Miss Ann Cutler. I’ve been dreading this moment. When death strikes very close I often go into denial. It’s my way of coping. I guess I have been trying to do that with Miss Cutler’s death. She had been on my mind a few weeks ago. I asked after her but nobody seemed to know how she was. I said a silent prayer and left it at that. Miss Cutler was a beautiful soul. A strong and principled disciplinarian, but loving to a fault. A lady of deep convictions and she passed them on with deep faith. A humble servant of God, whom she deeply revered. She loved Gayaza deeply. Even after her retirement, her concern when one met her was for Gayaza. She was a lady with a deep sense of discernment and a depth of compassion to match it. She, Miss Warren and Miss Hobday seemed to symbolise Gayaza as we knew it in the 80s. Her death leaves a huge sense of loss. But… Miss Cutler was a strong, practical lady. She would not have wanted us to endlessly wallow in sorrow. She would want us to pick ourselves up and continue her legacy. So …let us continue to build the Gayaza she and her colleagues at the CMS dreamed of. We continue her legacy and do her proud if we commit to supporting the school to continue producing girls with the values that they so cherished and upheld. May God comfort us all. Rest in peace our dear Ann. You run a good race. You lived a humble, rich life. You gave your best years for us, may God richly reward you.