It is hard to believe that 1,826 days have passed since you left us. I miss you as if it were yesterday.
I miss your smile, your hugs, your kisses, and just holding your hand. I think about you every day and speak to you in my head so often.
I wish you could see your grandchildren. I regret daily that you weren’t able to hang on just another one-and-a-half months to see Buggy. You would have loved them to bits, and enjoyed them so much. Malla looks so much like you. Recently, we looked at one of your boyhood photos, in one of the many albums of yours I treasure, and combed Malla’s hair with a middle parting. He looked the picture of you.
Life has never been the same without you, Dada, and I know it won’t be complete until I see you again and am back in your arms.
Among the many life lessons I have learnt through these years is that I did not appreciate you enough when you were with me. But I hope you know how deeply grateful I am to you, and how much I love you. Thank you for all the love you gave me, the faith you instilled in me, and the blessing of having you to call my father.
I wish I will be blessed to dream of you more often. At least, then I see you alive and well. Smiling, laughing.
I know you are much happier now with Jesus and Mother Mary. I also know that you are always looking over me. I will always hold you close in my heart. I need always to feel that you are with me and close to me.
Five years seems long with the pain of your loss. Every day I miss you more.
With all my love,
Your daughter, Shima
Exemplary politician who lives on in
the hearts of all
who knew him
M. L. M. Aboosally
It has been six long years since my beloved husband passed away, in December 2005. Not a day goes by without his presence in our thoughts.
He was a devoted father and grandfather, involved and always there for his children and grandchildren, in every aspect of their lives. Today, our children and grandchildren reside in all parts of the world, doing well in whatever occupation or studies they have undertaken. He would have been a very proud parent and grandparent.
It is sad he did not live to meet his youngest grandson or the latest addition to our family, our great-granddaughter. The only certainty in life is death. It is the quality of the life one lives that matters.
It gives me great satisfaction, as I reflect on our life together for 55 years, to remember the care and devotion he showed towards the family and me.
As a Member of Parliament, representing Balangoda for 17 years, District Minister of Ratnapura, Deputy Minister of Mahaweli, and Cabinet Minister of Labour, he did much for the development of his constituency, district and country. He is remembered with great love, respect and reverence for the qualities he possessed and lived by.
He was a man of absolute honesty and integrity. He never sought personal glory. He was a man who believed in fair play and justice. He never held a grudge and never sought vengeance. He was an exemplary politician.
As a family we are indeed proud of his achievements, but even prouder of his impeccable name and reputation, and the high esteem in which he is held by the people he loved and served.
My husband’s legacy is not measured by his achievements in life or by material wealth but in the love and respect that lives on in the hearts and minds of all who knew him.
The cheerful philanthropist, with a great sense of humour
S. A. W. Wijesinghe
S. A. W. Wijesinghe departed from this world on December 11, 2010. He was born in 1920, in Bunnehepola, a hamlet in the “coconut triangle.” An only child, born with the proverbial “silver spoon in his mouth”, he lost his parents before he reached the age of 24. With an inherited fortune, teetotaller and non-smoker, the young Wilson met our late father and proposed to my eldest sister, beautiful Chandra. They were married in 1945 and settled down in Panadura.
Glancing through old books from his collection, I found works of several renowned authors, all signed and dated in the 1938-41 period. He loved books and was reading the best writers from the age of 18. He courageously bore the loss of all his wealth and material possessions over the years. He was always cheerful, and never lost his sense of humour.
The times he spent with us are memorable and joyous. He loved to talk of the old times, his childhood, the growing up years. He would sing verses from the Tower Hall theatre dramas. In my retirement, we would spend hours discussing family, religion, history, and politics.
He never got over the untimely death of his wife (our sister Chandra), 15 years ago. After the demise of their only son, he left Panadura , where he had lived for 64 years, and went back to Kurunegala, his final abode, where he spent his final years in the loving care of his only daughter and son-in-law.
A couple of years ago, weak yet with a strong will, he walked over to the next house, where I lived, carrying a tattered pillowcase. He wanted my wife to stitch it. When she offered him a new pillowcase instead, he said, “No, I have quite a few unused ones, but this is a precious item. It is from Chandra’s pillow, which I always kept next to mine.”
When I visited S. A. W. Wijesinghe in Kurunegala a month before his death, the person looking after him told me: “He talks of owning a 500-acre tea estate in the Sri Pada area. His mind occasionally wanders, otherwise he is quite normal and alert.”
S. A. W. Wijesinghe’s mind was not wandering. He was referring to Dalhousie Estate, in Maskeliya, which he owned. He donated land on either side of the estate road to religious organisations. His biggest act of philanthropy was in 1951, when the Principal of Mahanama, Panadura, asked him for a contribution to help the school buy a 96-perch block of land for the school’s expansion project: S. A. W. Wijesinghe wrote a cheque for the full value of the property. The buildings that came up on the property stand as monuments to his memory.
We visited him in hospital a few days before his demise. He appreciated our coming to see him. When I wished him good-bye, there was such a beautiful smile on his face. He held my hand and said, “Life is … it’s all uncertain. … now get back, before it gets late. … thank you. …”
During his last few years, on a beautiful evening, with the sun going down and the moon rising serenely, bathing the landscape with its radiance, he would sing his favourite song, his frail voice gradually fading away.
“Sobhana Chandra … nega enava, Chandravo oba sihi venava …”
He died a happy man, craving nothing, and with a profound understanding of life and reality.
K. K. S. Perera
Friend, confidante and most
generous-hearted of teachers
Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. – James 3:1 (NIV)
Miss Ianthe, as she was known here at Logos College, was not just a teacher. Mentor, friend, confidante – she was truly a teacher, someone who went beyond imparting knowledge and gave freely, not only of her time but of herself.
She knew how to listen. She knew what to say, and when to say it. She saw every child as an individual, and believed each had something unique and wonderful to offer the world. She was in many ways the kind of teacher we all strive to be.
Today we thank God for her service and ministry here at Logos. Our memories of her vary. Some remember her as a colleague and close friend, quick to love and slow to judge. Others look back on her generosity, remembering the love and care she poured into everything.
She was the life and soul of any event at Logos, and her wide variety of dishes and treats will be missed by staff and students alike.
She was able, at the worst of times, to see the very best in those around her, and perhaps it was this that made her unconquerable, even in the face of the fiercest adversity. Although she has gone to be with Jesus, we are reminded of her all the time.
We see her daily in the growing confidence of a young adult she once expressed faith in, and in the quick wit of a little child who learnt English from her. Evidence of her love and care fall on our desks every week as students who have studied under her excel at what they do.
As we stood with our students at her funeral, and wondered how they would come to terms with her absence, we realised we could never really explain why Miss Ianthe was gone.
Then again, as we look at her life and legacy here at Logos, the why becomes less important. She was here, she loved all, and was loved by all, and God used her mightily in every sphere of school life. She was with us for a season, a season we will never forget. Although we will miss her, we know that she is at peace, resting safe in the presence of the Greatest Teacher of All.
The Staff of Logos
Wise, just and kind
Mrs. Ianthe was our teacher – wise
Just, kind, never telling lies;
She taught us speech, she taught it well
Of river, mountain, wood and dell.
Small in stature, great in heart,
Her faith in God will never depart;
She told us of God and His ways
Taught us many poems, gave us praise.
When the poetry competition came,
She gave us poems of much fame;
Her judgment was good, just and sound
When the time came, no flaw was found.
Mrs. Ianthe is with God now
Rejoicing in heaven, ask not how;
Her love and generosity will never be forgotten
Till the whole world is old, dead and rotten.
A Loving Student