ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 47

To Earl Sir with love

E.N.S. Fernando

By Roger Wijesuriya

Earl Fernando, popularly known and affectionately referred to as ‘Earl Sir’, belonged to a breed of teachers who are fast dying out. He served St. Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa with great devotion, dedication and commitment as a teacher of English and science in the senior classes and as the Prefect of Games.

He was a teacher and man I will always remember with affection and gratitude. He was an all-rounder in every respect; not only teaching academic subjects and supervising activities on the sports field, but also instructing, inculcating and impressing on every one of us the principles of discipline.

A strict disciplinarian, he exerted his authority with firmness and gentleness, always conscious of the feelings of the individual.
We particularly enjoyed his English class, where he took great pains to teach the correct pronunciation and usage of what he always referred to as the ‘Queen’s English’. I remember one incident in the English class when he was having trouble with a particular student who did not seem to get it right. He finally in exasperation threw up his hands and shouted out, “Why can’t you get it right? You guys keep saying ball for bowl, and for bowl, you say ball.”

He was not the ‘specialist’, teacher of the type we have today who confines himself to the subject he teaches and the class room only. Earl Sir walked all over the school during the breaks and after classes interacting with students.

He also made it a point to keep in touch with our parents as most of us lived in Moratuwa. Earl Sir found the time to drop in occasionally at our homes.

He was laid to rest not far from the college and although we won’t see him out on the streets any longer, his spirit will be felt within the portals of the college he loved so much.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.