Distinguished surgeon and dazzling all-rounder
Dr. A. T. S. Paul
A. T. S. Paul, one of Sri Lanka's leading thoracic surgeons, passed away at the age of 94 on Sunday, April 27.
He hailed from a distinguished medical family. His father was the illustrious Dr S. C. Paul, who was Senior Surgeon of the General Hospital for 25 years, assuming the position when he was a mere 30 years. When British Governor Sir John Anderson had to be operated upon, the British medical authorities recommended that Dr. Paul be appointed to perform the operation. He was the first Ceylonese to hold an F. R. C. S. His eldest son was the illustrious Dr. Milroy Paul, Professor of Surgery for 27 years, who was invited on three occasions to deliver the distinguished Hunterian Oration to the Royal College of Surgeons.
Dr. A. T. S. Paul was an all rounder of rare distinction. He graduated with first class honours (with three distinctions) from what was then the Medical College (the only other first class graduate being the distinguished Dr. George Ratnavale). That same year, Dr. Paul won a first prize from the Art Gallery for his drawing of the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore, captained a cricket team, and built both a boat and a model plane.
As a cricketer, he was the star spin bowler of the Tamil Union. having once performed a hat trick, clean bowling four star batsmen of the star-studded SSC team. He was also an excellent marksman.
A triple F. R. C. S. specialising in thoracic surgery. Dr. Paul, with Dr. Weinman, devised a mechanism to improve the success of heart surgery.
He ended his successful career as senior thoracic surgeon of the General Hospital. His favourite recreation was sailing.
This year, he was the oldest living person to have played in a Royal-Thomian cricket encounter. We say goodbye to a rare individual.
His only surviving son, Dr. S. C. Paul, is a surgeon based in England.