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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

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R H M CHANDRASEKERA:

Rare personality blessed with fine qualities

A year has quickly passed since our dear Appachchi passed away. He died on January 14, 2011 in Sydney. Everything happened so swiftly within a week.

During that brief, stirred week after Appachchi's unfortunate fall on January 6, the doctors said that his chances of recovering were quite slim after the second CT scan. He breathed his last in his sleep with his family around him just as he always wanted, at the ICU of Westmead Hospital in Sydney. Our gratitude will always be there for those doctors and nursing staff in Sydney who looked after him with utmost kindness.

Though we feel sad and lost, we are consoled that he lived his life happy and leisurely, helping others, a burden on no one, stepping very lightly in his worldly journey and leaving this world as peacefully and calmly as he lived.

All our childhood memories come flooding so randomly and so vividly. During our young days in Bambalapitiya, we still remember how Appachchi would buy the largest chocolate in the shop for the three girls trotting home after school.

Amusing as it is, he loved to fill the house with items, bringing in various kinds of utensils and furniture; you speak of it and he would buy it. At times he would get chided by amma for bringing 'rubbish.' Our house being near the sea, as kids we had great fun on the beach. Most of the time, Appachchi joined us in all the fun and frolic, swimming and playing , having a marvelous time and coming home drenched without caring what the consequences would be. One of us would invariably run a temperature the next morning.

In retirement from a career spanning 37 years, it was a familiar sight seeing him sitting in his favourite corner reading the daily papers, morning, noon and evening. Now the favourite chair that he used is empty. It certainly is a sad and forlorn sight.

He was a good, decent human being, blessed with fine qualities. We like to remember him for what he was, a gentle, loving, caring, kind and considerate father who guided us, and a father who gave so much of his life to us. He imparted to us practical wisdom he gained from books as well as from his experience. He gave his unconditional love to all of us, his children, daughter-in-law, sons-in-law and grandchildren. He adored his grandchildren and the memory of 'aththa' will live in them for ever.

Our emotional ties will not come to an end with his passing away. Though one year has passed we are still bound by our love for Appachchi and will continue to be so, perhaps, most probably till the end of our time.

Appachchi was devoted to amma, looking after her for 55 long years. It was a beautiful, lasting friendship and partnership that they enjoyed. They were both understanding parents; we were given all the freedom to do what we wanted, of course guided by them but none of us misused that freedom and we are all glad we brought them honour and pride.

He spent his twilight years either reading the newspaper or a book on dhamma, ironically was reading a book on meditation, the day he had his sudden fall. He practiced and lived the basic dhamma principles; love, kindness and compassion. Religion was a part of his daily life, he was an active member of the dayaka sabha of two temples.

Thank you Appachchi for everything you did for amma and us. May you attain the Supreme Bliss of Nirvana.


V S Thurairajah:

Irreparable loss

V S Thurairajah an illustrious past student of Manipay Hindu College, and one who has made a significant contribution to the field of architecture for a period of more than 40 years, passed away on December 14, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. His death is an irreparable loss to the Tamil community. He belonged to a class of talented and dedicated men who took an equal interest in many activities outside his profession.

His drawings which were exhibited at the annual exhibition of the students work at school won many prizes and received the appreciation of both the principal and the art master. This early encouragement of his artistic abilities was impetus to his interest in art. The interest and knowledge of the fine arts influenced him greatly, later when he took up architecture as his chosen profession.

When architecture as a profession was hardly known in Ceylon, Thurairajah choose architecture as his career. In the year 1948, Thurairajah joined the JJ School of Arts in Bombay and completed a three year course and returned to Ceylon and joined the then public works department as junior architecture in 1951. The department sent him for further studies on a Colombo Plan scholarship in 1954.

He followed a course in architecture at the Architectural Association School in London, and obtained the A A Diploma. In addition he followed a post graduate course in tropical architecture. He returned to Ceylon and continued to work as an architect in the same department. After serving there for eight years, he established a firm of chartered architects under the name of Thurairajah Associates in 1964 which continues till the present time. His work covers a wide spectrum of built environments, serving a variety of human needs. His buildings cover the full range of architectural types - domestic, religious, governmental, recreational, welfare, educational, commercial and industrial.

He was elected as an associates of the Royal Institute of British architects and also as an associate of the Indian Institute of architects, as well as a fellow of the Royal Australian institute and arbitrators. The key characteristic of the architectural style of Thurairajah is its distinctive functional form that is soundly based on fundamentals of aesthetic principles. His training and experience in tropical architecture too is clear by evident in his approach to design solutions in the varied assignments he has carried out in Sri Lanka and abroad. Deep in our hearts he will always stay loved and remembered.


DR. NEVILLE AMERASINGHE:

Benevolent, amiable and scholarly personality....

My Cousin, Dr. Neville Amerasinghe passed away on November 5, 2010. His sudden demise has left a void in the intellectual and social field.

He was a lawyer who had a wide practice at the Mount Lavinia Courts and in other parts of the Island as well.

After completing his studies at S. Thomas's College Mount Lavinia, he joined the Law College and was called to the Bar in 1968.

He then joined the prestigious Law Firm of Julius & Creasy. Subsequently, he was involved in private practice and notarial work for 42 years which helped him to serve a large clientele.

He was particularly interested in the welfare of his relatives and friends and never charged a fee for appearing on their behalf in courts.

He was such a generous character who was concerned about maintaining cordial relations with his kith and kin.

He was concerned of his wife, children, sons-in-law and grandchildren. His eldest daughter Chathurika and the Son-in-law, Samith are in legal profession continuing his good work in that field. Whilst attending to his profession, he was committed to get involved in Buddhist Philosophy and activities including Buddhist analysis on state aspects of fundamental rights which are enshrined in the Constitution of our country as reflected in the Buddhist Jurisprudence.

In the year 2004, the Dharamapala - Olcott Memorial International Research Foundation bestowed Neville Amerasinghe with an Honorary Doctorate in Laws (LL.D) in recognition of his academic achievements and writings.

He was not only a great Scholar but also a noble and unassuming personality.

His untimely death was indeed a shock to those who were near and dear to him which is an irreparable loss to say the least.

After his sojourn in Sansara, may he attain the ultimate bliss of Nirvana...(Nibbanam Paraman Sukham...)


ROHINI KARUNARATHNE:

Tower of strength

Our dearest sister Rohini is the youngest in our family of nine, is no more. Three months ago on September 25, 2011, she departed from us leaving sad memories in our hearts.

She was a person of great charm and simplicity, and was a friend in need who extended her helping hand to everyone. Many have benefited from her assistance and guidance. Her loving care and patience towards everyone is remarkable.

Rohini performed her duties as a wife and a caring mother. Her family life was a guiding light to all parties concerned. She was intelligent and a tower of strength to the family. Her gentle smile and sound advice brought much relief to all of us.

Chuti nangi, was a devout Buddhist and we will always remember her exemplary qualities. She was a humble and a noble personality, also a rare kind of a human being.

May she attain the Supreme Bliss of Nibbana!

 

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