KAMPALA – Renown priest and philanthropist Rev. Fr. Peter Gerald Picavet has passed on aged 82. Picavet has succumbed to a long illness he has been battling since 2010.
“Picavet has battled a lung-related illness since 2010 and was flown to Netherlands in 2011 for an operation but came back after.
He loved Uganda so much and he wanted to die and be buried here,” Busoga Cultural Research Centre director and YMCA chairperson Board of Directors Rev.
Fr. Richard Kayaga said,
“Born in Holland, Fr. Picavet arrived in Uganda in the early 1970s and contributed immensely to the education sector in Busoga, serving at Jinja Secondary School where he taught Religious Education and to schools like Kiira College Butiiki and Lake View Holy Cross SS where he sent very many students who were beneficiaries of his heart of gold.”
While eulogizing the deceased, the Kyabazinga of Busoga Willam Gabula Nadiope IV described the deceased as an illustrious son of Busoga who has helped transform so many lives.
“My last encounter with Picavet was in 2018 when I awarded him a medal of excellence on behalf of the Jinja Scouts Association for his contribution to the development of the scouting movement in Jinja and Busoga. However, he was not only involved in that. Through his work as a priest in the catholic church, Fr. Picavet touched and influenced so many lives,” the Kyabazinga said.
He said Picavet ran charity projects that took care of vulnerable children, including the late musician Moses Ssekibogo aka Mose Radio, something that gave them an opportunity in life.
“His love for Busoga saw him not return to his motherland Netherlands but opt to build his retirement home in Budondo in Butembe county,” he said.
Fr. Kayaga revealed that Fr. Picavet was in love with nature and bought a huge chunk of land in Buyala, Budondo sub-county, off the banks of River Nile where he planted a man-made forest and established his home on the precincts of the forest.
“He loved nature with its trees, flowers, vegetation and the singing birds and decided to live in the forest when he retired,” Kayaga said.
He said that Picavet in his Will barred mourners from placing flowers on his casket, insisting that they should instead take tree seedlings to plant in Buyala.
Rev. Fr. Picavet has served on several committees in Busoga region, including serving as chairperson Board of Directors of the International Institute of Health Sciences at Mailo Mbiri in Jinja, chairperson of The Aids Support Organisation (TASO), Jinja, former chairperson YMCA Board of Directors as well as serving on several committees in the municipal council as an advisor.
He helped build the gigantic Jinja SS Main Hall that has a capacity of 2,000 students and also built a students centre at Lubaga with focus on instilling discipline among children and youth.
On his part, the Principal of YMCA Jinja Branch Lambert Okure Drata in an interview with PML Daily said Picavet worked hard to transform YMCA into a modern vocational institution.
“When he became chairman of the education committee between 1992 and 1994, he gathered resources to ensure that the YMCA building that had been destroyed by the 1979 war of liberation is renovated. He also used his personal resources to put up a basketball coat for YMCA,” Drata said, adding that Fr Picavet helped built the capacity of multitudes of people.
Drata said Rev. Fr. Picavet was a renown priest, philanthropist, sports fanatic, teacher and scout who lived his entire life serving humanity.
At YMCA Jinja, the deceased Rev. Fr. has a hall of residence named after him in recognition of his service to humanity.