A glittering personality he touched us all
Jaffna recently had to bid goodbye to one of her illustrious elder citizens Mr. Kanagaratnam known to one and all as ‘Pappaa’. He was a gem of a man as his name verily means, a glittering personality and had been with us for years far exceeding the biblical span allotted to man.
He had his early education at St. John’s College, Jaffna, before entering the Sri Lanka Law College.
At St. John’s College he was an outstanding student, where he imbibed the noble quality of modesty.
This together with an innate desire to serve his people and friends, provided him with the base for success in the legal profession. Later he served as President of the St. John's College Old Boys’ Association for few years.
When St. John’s was in dire need to meet the pay of their staff during the takeover of schools, he rose to the occasion and reached out to his alma mater.
As an attorney-at-law, notary public, justice of the peace, unofficial magistrate and district coroner his tireless application to duty as a lawyer brought him success and recognition. He had the rare distinction of having been appointed as State Attorney within a decade of his entry to the Bar. His services were sought after by the Bank of Ceylon, Hatton National Bank and all the state corporations and departments that had offices in Jaffna.
He had a lucrative civil practice too. A few years ago, he celebrated 50 years at the Bar, a rare distinction. He also served as the Secretary of the Prisoners’ Welfare Association for more than 25 years.
Besides his professional duties at the Bar he was a long time Rotarian and past president of the organization. The spirit of service of reaching out to the community at large inculcated in him by the Rotary movement further enhanced his desire to help those in need.
He was the founder President of the Divine Life Society and a popular Chairman of the Northern Province Transport Board for many years. In short, he was a sincere advocate of all worthy causes. He had a rich voice, and enjoyed leading spiritual bajans at religious gatherings and festivities.
To his children, we offer our heartfelt sympathy and join them in their prayers for the Moksha of his soul in eternal glory.