Alick Aluvihare passed away on May 17, 2009 in a private nursing home in Colombo at the age of 83.He hailed from an illustrious family in Aluvihare, Matale. Under the tutelage and guidance of Bernard Aluvihare, Alick took to politics, and in his very first attempt was elected the first mayor of the Matale Municipal Council.
It was smooth sailing from thereon, in his nearly 50 years of political life. He won all but one of the parliamentary elections, and with convincing majorities, proving the love and affection the people of Matale had for him.
He held important ministerial portfolios under the UNP government, and during this period secured employment for thousands of people, mostly in his electorate. His many contributions to society cannot be listed in a short appreciation like this.
He was ailing for some time. For reasons of health and for parliamentary sessions, he spent most of his time in Colombo. When he was ill, he would request my presence at his residence. I always obliged, treating, consoling and comforting him as best I could.
In the eulogies given at his funeral, Alick was described as a person with no secrets, and as a man with a generous heart and a clear, strong voice. He was also described as an “Indra Keela”, a pillar of strength.
He was extraordinarily brave, and adept at handling tense, difficult or explosive situations, which he defused in minutes and with the utmost ease.
A six-footer, Alick cut an imposing figure and could be spotted from a distance –a tall man with a most amiable expression.
Alick Aluvihare made a tremendous contribution to the upkeep of the historic Aluvihare Temple. His last accomplishment was the construction of a dagoba for the temple. With the assistance of the people and the blessings of the Maha Sangha, he completed this Herculean task in less than one year. It is the largest and most beautiful dagoba in the Matale district.
Alick ceremonially unveiled the stupa for public worship just a few days before his death. The dagoba was a tremendous personal triumph for him.
In another funeral oration for Alick , he was described as having “a clean pair of hands”. It is true that he was utterly honest and led a clean public life.
I extend my deepest sympathies to his family.
May he attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana.
Dr. K. J. S. Weerakkody