ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday April 27, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 48

A kind and brave heart and noble spirit

Dayan Weerakoon

The bana preaching and almsgiving for Dayan Weerakoon will be conducted this weekend Ven. Malwane Chandrarathana, a senior lecturer at the University of Kelaniya, will conduct the bana preaching. I have written many appreciations of friends, relatives and comrades, but I have had a struggle writing this appreciation of my brother Dayan.

Dayan was an extraordinary man – extremely kind-hearted among kind hearts, but also the toughest among the toughs. That special blend made him a special man.

Dayan learnt his alphabet at Kudawewa, at the village school. He was reluctant to wear slippers to school, because my mother was a teacher there. I often saw him going to school without slippers with his village mates. When he was seven he was sent to Colombo where he was boarded at Nalanda, until he left for university. He never missed the Big Match. The men in our family are all old Nalandians, and we would converge on Colombo from different parts of the country to attend the Big Match.

Dayan completed his commerce degree at the University of New Delhi in the early ’90s. We had an annual gathering in our home at Kudawewa, a special day in the family calendar. He would organise everything, a cosmopolitan entertainment that included walks in the village, a bath in the river, a drink of toddy and a grand lunch with Chilaw prawns.

Dayan joined the Fisheries Corporation as a management trainee. He undertook different assignments that took him all over the country. He excelled in his work. He was a “no nonsense” man, but also very kind-hearted. As a manager, he introduced many “firsts” to the corporate culture. He was a “total solutions” man; and wasted no time finding answers to problems faced by his subordinates, peers and superiors. A problem would be fixed in a matter of minutes or seconds.

Dayan’s love for his village and its people was exceptional. Despite his busy schedule, he would find time to participate in village activities, and also help to fund them. The villagers will not forget his brave, almost daredevil, rescue operations during the annual floods. He believed that if you could swim, you had a greater responsibility to save lives with your skill than win awards at sports competitions.

An errant driver took Dayan’s precious life in a road accident on January 27, 2008. Dayan was returning with his wife Nirmala to his home in Marawila.

May the Blessings of the Noble Triple Gem be with you, Dayan.

By Chandana Weerakoon

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