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Friday, 19 April 2013

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Dhammadinna Lakshmie De Lanerolle (nee Seneviratne):

Tribute to a loving sister

It is almost three months since my eldest sister passed away leaving immense pain and sorrow in the hearts of those who dearly love her. All my life she had been my guiding light giving me advice, love and care when ever I needed.

As a small child I remember rushing to her for help when I got into mischief. She often took the blame and got rebuked by my parents for spoiling me.

When my father died she as the eldest stepped into his role and gave my mother the moral strength in bringing up the young family. She tried her best to give the love and care we missed after our father’s death. Eventually after my mother passed away she became the second mother in the family upholding all the family traditions.

She was my close friend till she passed away. She was also my constant companion wherever I went till I got married. She was a friend not only to me but also to my friends who fondly called her “our lucky akka”. Even when I was not in Sri Lanka, she was in touch with my friends who looked up to her as a loving sister.

When tragedy struck her after losing her husband at a young age she took up the challenge very bravely to bring up her two little girls the younger one being just a year old. She devoted her life to bring up her daughters with great love and care taking utmost efforts to instil Buddhist values.

In her quite way she rejoiced the achievements of her two daughters. While Devika’s academic performances made her happy she was elated when Arunie won the first place in the Light of Asia oratorical contest.

She took a deep and abiding interest in Buddhist philosophy and practice.

She committed herself to social work especially to care for the orphaned children at the Kalutara Vishaka Children’s Home for more than 30 years. For many years she took a lead role in conducting the dhamma classes at the Atthadassi Sunday Dhamma School. She also actively participated in the charity projects of the Kalutara Buddhist Society.

The alms giving to the Galduwa monastery was an event that she meticulously planned and looked forward to every year. She made it a point to include some of those who could not afford go on their own in the pilgrim group.

She was well respected and honoured for her dedicated services to the community. In 2008, she was awarded the tittle “Desha Keerthi Diriya Matha” by the Western Province Sangha Council in recognition of her community and charity work. Being very humble and quite she kept these recognitions to herself about which many were not aware till she passed away.

I was very fortunate to have her in Canberra a few times particularly last year when she came for a long holiday to stay with her younger daughter.

This gave me the opportunity to spend a lot of time with her. We enjoyed talking about old times, sharing jokes and having intimate heart to heart chats.

I will always cherish these episodes. I was not there to bid her farewell on her last journey but I will always remember the last days we spent together in Canberra. It never occurred to me that this was going to be the last time together. Although she is not physically near us she will always live in our hearts.

‘Thank-you’ is a little word for all what she has done to me, to her daughters and others who lived around her.

It is our fervent wish that her sorjourn in Samsara be very short in reaching the ultimate bliss of Nirvana.


Aunty Ruby:

A legend, precious and rare

Like a Ruby, precious and rare,
Almost a hundred, she still stood there,
An epitome of courtesy, diplomacy and manners -
She instilled in little Rummy
That soup is eaten and not drunk!
Alive alive o!alive, alive o!
Like the cockles and mussels sold by the maid in Irish folk song - alive alive o!
Until the very end, she stood strong on her feet,
At ninety nine her spirit, barely could we beat.
Ate she but little and was very controlled,
From eating to spending, thrifty she was.
Having lived through a Great War,
The hardship of existence she bore,
And thought it key to impart to us all
Even a simple meal of bread she would share
With the downtrodden and those who were there,
Depriving the privileged and spoiling the deprived -
She strived to achieve to balance in her stride.
Like a feather light and agile,
Soft yet strong; a woman still, on her own.
Questioned in her youth yet appreciated today,
Her will and determination to succeed in life’s way.
An institution of what she bore,
Aunty Ruby’s name spans numerous shores-
From Australia to Lanka to the Big Apple
Of Aunty Ruby they would speak.
You are truly a legend, precious and rare.
We hope you are rewarded by the Supreme; where you are.
We love you and thank you Aunty - for all,
It is a great loss the Salie family bears.

 

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