Ashes of the late prominent educationist and former principal of St Augustine’s Mission, Father Keble Hugh Prosser, who died in the United Kingdom on November 5 last year, will be repatriated to Zimbabwe and buried at the mission in Penhalonga, Manicaland, where he spent most of his working life.
The Anglican Church cleric was cremated in the UK on November 18 last year and his ashes are expected to be buried at St Augustine’s Mission on March 5.
Chairperson of the apex committee of the Tsambe Old Students Association (TOSA), Albert Kamhunga, said it was Posser’s wish to be buried at St Augustine’s.
He said the TOSA committee, working with the Anglican Diocese of Manicaland, was currently co-ordinating the process of bringing Prosser’s ashes to Zimbabwe for burial.
“We are currently mobilising from former students, colleagues and well-wishers, the funding and materials required to give him a send-off that is befitting of his most distinguished service to the school, the community and Zimbabwean society at large,” he said.
Kamhunga said the burial will be preceded by a memorial service, to be held at the St Mary’s and All Saints Cathedral in Harare on March 3, adding that books of condolences would be opened at Anglican Church cathedrals in Bulawayo, Gweru, Masvingo, Harare, Chinhoyi and Mutare.
Prosser was born in 1931 in Alert Bay, British Columbia, Canada, and was ordained as a priest in 1958.
He majored in history and was also awarded a post-graduate certificate in education at the University of Leeds in 1963.
Affectionately known by his students as “Muzungu”, he joined the teaching staff at St Augustine’s in 1964 and was promoted to principal in 1974.
He is said to have influenced thousands of Zimbabweans into Christianity, and is remembered for demanding very high standards of education from teachers and students at St Augustine’s.
Prosser was also a human rights activist, who fought against racial segregation and discrimination, resulting in him being threatened with arrest by the feared Rhodesian Special Branch for collaborating with Zanla freedom fighters operating in areas surrounding the mission.
He managed to keep the school open throughout the war and carried on after independence until he left for his native United Kingdom in 1990.