The first full “Old Budonians” were 19 boys that had completed the planned three year course in 1908. By the end of the 1910, there were 39 Old Budonians. In 1908 Henry, Walter Weatherhead thought the school had come a long way in a short time but knew that there was much more to be done and chose a school motto accordingly.
In 1908, Weatherhead invited the director of the Uganda Company, Mr. Barbour, to talk to the boys. He told them about the progress of South Africa and the work of Cecil Rhodes, quoting Rhode’s famous phrase, “ So little done, so much TO DO”
The boys were so taken by this motion that they set themselves to find the Luganda equivalent. After a while, one of them brought to Weatherhead the proverb Gakyali Mabaga.
The principal activity of the first Budo Old boys was to return to the old hill once every year and enjoy the annual evening meal which is known as SUPPER. They did no go to the hill for a meeting.
At the farewell supper in December 1912, Rev Henry Thomas Candy Weatherhead (2nd Budo headmaster 1912-1926) read out a letter he had received from some Old boys who said that after he had retired, they would no longer attend suppers because the Europeans who replaced him would not know them. He told the Old boys and “leavers” that this must not be so. They did not come for the sake of the headmaster but for the School which they had passed through. They must continue coming whoever was the headmaster.
His plea seems to have been headed and the Old Boys began to think beyond the “Weatherhead Era”.
In 1914, the Old Budonian Association was formed with the Kabaka as the patron, the president was to be “the headmaster of Budo, whoever he will be” The first secretary was Senseko W. Kulubya, at the time deputy speaker of the National Assembly, later Mayor of Kampala and for many years “Omuwanika” (treasurer) of the Buganda government. One of the first of his many services to the Association was to arrange the production of the Budonian Blazer.
The association soon became well-known in East Africa not only for its interest in the school but also for social and sporting activities. A football team was started. Football practices took place regularly at the “Coronation Ground” Canon Harold Myres Grace was 3rd Headmaster 1926-1934. He like the Budo Founders looked ahead to eventual University education in Uganda and insisted that this could not come until the country had schools which could send on students with a high standard of general education. This he convinced was the work that Budo could and should do. But it was hard to persuade the Baganda, justifiable proud of Budo, that it was Makerere rather than King’s College which should eventually become a university college of Uganda.
Grace set out on a scheme of turning Budo into a school for boys from junior to senior level and he and his wife moved house to Budo hill. The next six months after April 1926, must have been hard-going as a headmaster of two sizeable schools ten miles apart. He went into Mengo by car on three days a week and his wife went with him to work with and advise masters who would be coming to Budo. The transformation of “Budo OBs” into the “United Budonians Club” came soon after 1927, following the move of the Mengo High School from Namirembe to Budo Hill.
What had been Mengo High School became Budo Junior School and was housed in CHWA I and CHWA II, the present day GHANA and CANADA houses respectively. It was known as “lower school” while the rest of the school was known as “Upper school”. The Mess was located in the famous “Farmers Hall” on the lower block.
The badge of King’s College Budo, the Lion, was joined with that of Mengo High School to produce the present school crest of King’s College, Budo. It was also decided that now that Mengo High School had been joined with Budo, the Mengo High School graduands were Old Budonians defacto.
This status was extended to the 1927 Old Boys of Mengo High School as well. The result was the formation of a new Club which united the OBs of Budo and those of Mengo High School including those that had never set foot at the Budo Hill. This was dubbed the “United Old Budonians Club”. This provoked up roar among some Budo OBs of 1906-1926 and those of later years.
Discipline too was a problem in the first year of amalgamation. Although Grace’s previous leadership experience at Mengo was an asset to the new college, each of the two former separate schools had its own traditions and the boys tended to resent the loss of any of them.
The disputes among Old Budonians were only resolved when the Weatherheads and Rev. George Garret (former teacher at Budo and headmaster of Mengo High School), wrote a joint letter from England urging Old Budonians to join with the Mengo Old Boys for the good of the school and the country.
Your old “Kitibwa” (prestige) of belonging to the Old Budo no one can take from you. We three think of you and the old school with pride and affection but we also look forward to the college to give its new name going forward to still greater “Kitibwa” under Mr. Grace. We advise you to work together loyally in one united Old Budonians Union for the united parts of the new King’s College.
The Association was renamed The United Budonian Association but even in the late 1960’s there remained a few former students then in their seventies who proudly distinguished themselves as “real” Old Budonians.
Some of the Old Budonians who held that view included but not limited to;
- Samson Sebana, father of Mrs. Sarah Mugerwa
- Yakobo Kasumba, father of Dr. Stanley Kasumba at Lubaga Road.
- Nekkemeya Ssebuliba, among others
Some of the Mengo High School OB’S who gained membership of the United Old Budonians Club by the joint venture process included:
- Ssendegala Ssendikwanawa – Son of Mukwenda and father of Mrs Joanita Kagimu
- Stanley Kitaka Kisingiri -of Kabakanjagala Road
- Biyimbwa Mukasa -of Luwafu Salaama Road & Bulindo Kyadondo
- Eryesa Kutuza -of Mpereerwe Kyadondo
- Christopher M.S Kisosonkole –Grandfather of Ssabasajja Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II
This later became what is now known as “The Old Budonians’ Club.”