October 31 marked the second anniversary of the death of Viji Weerasinghe of Royal College who was a great educationist but never honoured either by a university or the government.
I would like to mention that probably never in the history of the teaching profession has a teacher received so much love, adoration, admiration and respect during his lifetime as Viji Weerasinghe of Royal College.
He was connected to Royal College for nearly 74 years - first as a student, teacher, Deputy Principal and later as senior advisor to the Royal College Old Boys' Association at the college premises itself.
The huge crowds who came to his funeral bore ample testimony to the popularity of this great but humble human being. Many distinguished leaders of our country have been taught by this great teacher and they always remember him with love and respect.
Though I am not a Royalist (I studied in the school adjoining Royal in the mid 1950’s) I got an assignment to coach one of the Royal College Under-13 Cricket teams in 1982 and 1983.
During this time Mr. Weerasinghe was the Deputy Principal of the middle school and as he looked a humane person I asked him whether it was possible to admit my son to the Grade III class. I also noted during this time that he treated and spoke to everybody on the staff from the minor employee to the teachers in the same manner without any discrimination.
He told me that a new Principal would be assuming duties the following week and if he agreed he would let me know.
Just one week later he called me and said the new Principal had agreed to admit my son.
This action of Mr. Weerasinghe changed our lives forever. Today, my son is holding a high post in the banking sector.