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iReporters share memories of meeting Desmond Tutu

By Susannah Palk for CNN
updated 8:56 AM EDT, Tue October 11, 2011
Chelsea Breana Bailey received a hug from Archbishop Desmond Tutu after giving him a card for his 79th birthday in Cape Town, South Africa. "He was very candid, humorous and open with the congregation," said Bailey. "About a week after we met, (Tutu) e-mailed a thank you note for the birthday card. I remember being stunned that he took the time to write the note." Chelsea Breana Bailey received a hug from Archbishop Desmond Tutu after giving him a card for his 79th birthday in Cape Town, South Africa. "He was very candid, humorous and open with the congregation," said Bailey. "About a week after we met, (Tutu) e-mailed a thank you note for the birthday card. I remember being stunned that he took the time to write the note."
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Meeting Desmond Tutu -- Cape Town
Meeting Desmond Tutu -- Heathrow airport
Meeting Desmond Tutu -- Somalia
Meeting Desmond Tutu -- Washington
Meeting Tutu -- Sailing round the world
Meeting Desmond Tutu -- Cyprus
Meeting Tutu -- Family Dinner, Georgia
Meeting Desmond Tutu -- New York City
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • iReporters wish Desmond Tutu a happy 80th birthday
  • Many share their memories and pictures of the charismatic peace activist
  • Tutu is remembered for his "kindness" and "sense of humor"

(CNN) -- As Desmond Tutu celebrates his 80th birthday, iReporters from across the world have shared their memories and moments with the charismatic peace activist and Nobel laureate.

As well as wishing the Archbishop a happy birthday, many described the lasting impressions Tutu has made on them.

While some recall Tutu's "passion for peace," other describe his "immense kindness" and almost all mention his "sense of humor" and "infectious laugh".

Chelsea Breana Bailey remembers giving Tutu a birthday card for his 79th birthday in Cape Town, South Africa.

"The world seems to only see Tutu as a revolutionary and outspoken anti-apartheid activist," Bailey said. "But it's important to remember that he's just a man -- the kind of person who gives a stranger a hug for a birthday card."

See more Desmond Tutu iReport submissions

Emma Smith, who met Tutu aboard a ship during a four-month study program called "Semester at Sea," says the Archbishop was fondly referred to by all as "Arch."

But what made a lasting impression on Smith was the inspirational speech Tutu gave to the assembled students, "You are young and full of promises," he said.

"Don't let anyone look down on your dreams. Believe you are making a difference, because you are. Dream, dream, dream. Dream the craziest of dreams!'"

Happy Birthday Desmond Tutu (or should we say "Arch")!

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