Ugandans celebrate Queen’s life in church service


KAMPALA, Uganda — Hundreds of Ugandans attended a memorial service for Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, a somber ceremony that underscored affection for the British monarch who died in the East African country.

Among the speakers at the Anglican Cathedral in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, was Foreign Minister Jeje Odongo, who paid tribute to the Queen as an “endearing” leader.

“She wasn’t the only Queen of England,” she said. “She was queen to all of us in the Commonwealth.”

The Reverend Jonathan Kisawuzi, Dean of the Cathedral, spoke of the Queen’s “faith, courage and leadership” during her 70-year reign. “We will always remember her,” he said.

Uganda is one of 56 member states of the Commonwealth, a group of former British colonies that now includes others, like Rwanda, that were not part of the British Empire.

Ugandans remember Elizabeth fondly, remembering her attendance in Kampala at the 2007 Commonwealth Summit.

“It was a great occasion for Uganda,” Eunice Okullo, a political activist who was among those present at Thursday’s memorial service, said of the Queen’s visit 15 years ago. “She ate Ugandan food – that’s what they told us.”

Others spoke of the Queen’s ability to connect with the people she met.

“‘Just as we mourn, we also celebrate the Queen’s achievements,” retired Commissioner of Prisons Mary Kaddu said. “We celebrate her life. “

The Queen, who died on September 8, will have a state funeral on Monday at Westminster Abbey in London.



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