That fateful day, February 21, 2008 was an extremely sad day that
brought very sad news of a dear one giving great pain of mind to all who
knew her specially to our family. It is really too much and too bitter
to hear that she is no more. To those of us who had the good fortune to
associate her closely, we have lost a sincere genuine personality from
our midst - a lovable and charming lady of exceptional calibre.
My association with her, commenced after the marriage of my daughter
to her son. It is little over a decade since I got to know her. She is
exceptionally a fine person, the type that one will rarely come across.
She was calm, soft spoken, warm and well mannered with her friendly
It is with great respect that I recall the time, though not very
long, I spent with her. Small in stature, she was a very smart lady
always attired very neatly in a simple way but sophisticated at the same
time in keeping with her dignity. The fact that she belonged to the old
stock of imperial days was well reflected in her. From her early
childhood she had been brought up in the family traditions and grew up
to be a pretty young lady at the time of her marriage.
Born to a very respectable and well-renowned aristocratic family in
the South during the Imperial regime, she was very proud to speak of her
ancestry. She took great delight in relating them to us as a common
topic when reminiscing the past. During happy moments she would narrate
the glorious past of her family. Being the only daughter, one person
whom she adored very much was her only brother Danister Serasinghe, a
reputed Lawyer of the Imperial era.
She has had a very happy family life married to late DIG Winnie
Samarawickrama, a very sincere and honest personality dedicated to the
profession - a person of rare quality who is said to have believed in
the honest performance of his duties. She took great delight and
pleasure in actively participating in the household activities naturally
in a happy family.
The stability of a good home was always there. She was a devoted wife
and an affectionate mother to her illustrious children, all doing well
in life. She lost her husband in late 90s’ (September 1996). She speaks
about her husband with admiration recalling the good work and the
service he had rendered.
She was a pillar of strength in all his activities. The Venerable
Nayaka Thera of Mettarama temple mentioned how she displayed her concern
and deep affection during the terminal illness of her husband who also
was in the habit of visiting and had close connections with the temple
consulting them on important matters. He repeatedly emphasized how he
had been blessed with a caring, dedicated wife who attended to all his
needs to the last.
She had a deep respect for the Sanga. She spent her sunset years
mostly involved in religious activities and regular alms were given to
the temple. She knew the essence of the teachings of the Buddha very
well. According to the Nayaka Thera, the merit she had acquired in her
life span was more than sufficient for her Sansaric journey.
We all have our special memories. Those I cherish most are her visits
to my residence with her son. This noble hearted lady will spend hours
reminiscing the past.
She had no grudges or ill will towards anybody, no gossip whatsoever.
During happy moments she will recall her student days at her Alma Mater.
I was told that she received her education boarded in the hostel of most
prestigious school at Matara, St. Mary’s Convent. She was a very
familiar figure in the school, actively participating in most of the
activities of the day. Very often she fondly recalled happy moments of
laughter in school.
Her sincerity and affection towards us can never be erased from my
mind. I remember so well the many trips we went together to Kataragama,
Kandy etc. to visit religious places, whose company I treasured very
On every occasion we met at, a party or get-together she was there
with her usual smile, warmth and hospitality beyond words. She was the
chief entertainer at family gatherings which was later passed on to her
children during the evening of her life. Her birthday, July 7 was
celebrated annually by the children where we also participated to make
Lalith figured prominently on every occasion. She had led a very good
social life helping the poor and the needy and also enjoyed her life to
the fullest before the demise of her husband after which she tried her
best to fulfil her family obligations.
Her mouth-watering brinjal pickle, marshmallows, milk and coconut
toffees prepared by her were delicacies enjoyed by the entire household.
Her demise is mourned by all her relatives and friends and those whom
she helped with a noble heart. Her only loving grandson, little Vihan
also feels her absence very much. She was often well praised as a very
Her memory will certainly live as one of those who led a very
meaningful life. She has left a memory so beautiful which will not fade
away with the passage of time. Let this be a tribute to her. The sweet
fragrance of the days gone by will never fade away. May she attain the
supreme bliss of Nibbana.
- Rupa Banduwardene