Petero Bitaka was born in Bugangaizi but came to Lukondwa near Masindi where he seems to have lived in the church mailo. He was the first Christian to be baptized in this place. He had been instructed for baptism by Nasanieri Kyawola, and was baptized by the Rev. C. H. T. Ecob on March 24, 1902. Soon afterwards he began to work as a church teacher, and in 1908 the Rev. H. B. Ladbury met him at Kigumba, Kiryandongo, where he was then teaching. In February, 1910 he went to Acoli and Yonosani Balikata, but Bitaka was the leader, and he stayed there for a year at a time when there were no European missionaries at Acoli. Later he trained and took one “letter,” and went to Lango to teach for a period of about four years. He eventually retired from teaching and returned to peasant farming, living near the church in Hoima.
Notes(short form; see List of Sources for complete citations):
Kyopaali and S. Kakumba, 1967; Masindi Baptism Register gives the name of his chief as being his church teacher, hence it is likely that he was a tenant on church mailo.
Masindi Baptism Register.
Ladbury Journals, February 3, 1908.
Gulu Service Book.
S. Kakumba, 1967.
This biography, written by Louise Pirouet, was included in “Appendix A: Biographical Notes,” on page 375 of “The Expansion of the Church of Uganda (N.A.C.) from Buganda into Northern and Western Uganda between 1891 and 1914, with Special Reference to the work of African Teachers and Evangelists” (PhD Thesis: University of East Africa, 1968). Pirouet published this thesis as Black Evangelists (London: Rex Collings, 1978). However, Black Evangelists does not reproduce the detailed biographies, complete with references to sources, found in Appendix A of the thesis. Print copies are available at Africana Section, Makerere University Library (U 02 P57); The Centre for Christianity Worldwide, Cambridge; and a microfilm copy at the School of Oriental Studies, London. [information from Angus Crichton]