23rd January 2000

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  • T.M.B. Mahat
  • Mrs. B. Manamperi Korale
  • Sakuntala Nugegoda
  • Attammi
  • T.M.B. Mahat

    Tony Mahat was the epitome of a sportsman cum gentleman. He was a role model for us when we were on the threshold of our teens.

    As Captain of the Trinity boxing teams of '46 and '47, Tony, ably assisted by Vice-captain Oscar Rajasooriya, polished our boxing skills. Bobby Jayaweera would make sporadic visits to coach us, but Tony and Oscar were the day -to -day mentors for Trinity to be winners of the Stubb's Shield on a number of occasions and to remain at the pinnacle even when the College re-introduced boxing after a lapse of ten years.

    In its wake of supreme success, Trinity produced some outstanding boxers. D.L.Y. Pakstun, L.K.L de Silva and Rajah Sumanasekera were awarded the coveted Lion in '48, '51 and '52 respectively. Mervyn Panditasekera, Ryan Tucker and Kingsley Moonamalle were the other fine pugilists within the roped square.Tony Mahat commenced his boxing career under George de Bruin in '43 and was in Michael Kagwa's teams of '44 and '45.

    Boxers make fine tacklers in rugby for the simple reason that they are fearless. Michael Kagwa, Leslie Handunge, R. Murugiah, Michael Schokman, D.L.Y. Pakstun, Mervyn Panditasekera, Rajah Williams, L.K.L. de Silva, Rajah Sumanasekera, Sena de Silva, Mahinda Ratwatte, M.U. Odayar and his sons, Ickram and Reza and Tony de Sylva prove my point.

    Tony was of this elite band. He played Trinity rugger under the facile hooker, G. Sanmugam who had taken over from that prince of scrum-halves, S.B. Pilapitiya. Tony's erstwhile teammates were K. Arumugam, N. Halangoda,Asoka Imbuldeniya, R.B. Rodrigue, Michael Schokman, Clarence Senanayake, P.R. Tennekoon and Tony Vander Poorten.

    On leaving school, Tony joined the Police Force and played rugger for the Police in the company of Michael Schokman, S. Sivendran S.S. Bambaradeniya, Quintus Jayasinghe, Franklin Jacob, 'Brute' Mahendran, James Senaratne, Sunath and Rahula de Silva, 'Lectho' Ephraums, Terry Williams, Muni Gomes and Rodney Aluvihare. He retired as SSP and took over the Airport Security System.

    Never in hospital, a supreme figure of human fitness, why had he to go just as he had entered the 71st year of his life?

    Sharm de Alwis

    Mrs. B. Manamperi Korale

    Tuesday Twelfth of October was a gloomy day
    Most unexpected a call reached us the morning that day
    It rained very hard, the sky so dim, what a day
    You sneaked away not giving a chance to keep you another day.
    You were a southerner, got married to a southerner
    A fact you were so proud of forever.
    Being among sons of Nalanda far and near
    Made you content as they were so dear.
    One by one we left you mother dear
    But never did you shed a tear.
    Accepted the fact that you cannot have us forever
    And watched our milestones here.
    The time now is mine, didn't you say
    To do what I like and also pray
    Did your bit to the race amidst teargas spray
    Then plunged into Dhamma in an intimate way.
    Eat to live and live not to eat,you used to say
    Reading and following Dhamma became your way
    Founding the temple Seruwila one may say
    Was a dream come true for you, we should say.
    As children we watched you in silence, with pride
    You were active, alert in spite of a rough ride
    Getting frail with age and health since late
    Yet refused to leave your place,may be your fate.
    We fought for your life so dear to us
    Even though you wanted to leave us
    The concern for the troubles of all of us
    Was so much the worry not of your sickness.
    The day we brought you home was a happy day
    We talked and laughed for many a day
    Didn't we cheat death, we used to say
    But grinning and nodding you still had your way.
    Take me home for two days you said
    Like a fool I did as I was told
    Did your duty to Sangha near your fold
    Was the last thing you did, we were told
    Amma we still need you very much
    At every turn we see you so much
    Want to share with you that much
    The void is felt and it pains too much.
    Mothers we find here, there,everywhere
    Ones like you we cannot find anywhere
    You were a giver mother-not a taker
    We only realized that much later.
    Although we yearn to meet you again in Sansara
    We know your desire was a short run to Nirvana
    May your merits done in this birth and the former
    Take you away from pain to reach Nibbana.

    Loku Duwa

    Sakuntala Nugegoda

    Thursday, September 30,1999. All day the heavens held back their grief. But by four o'clock in the afternoon, even the resolve of the devas could not be contained and the skies opened up, to shed their tears.

    Not in a vulgar tropical downpour but with quiet dignity, like soft petals from the skies. For just then had Kandy, and Trinity College, bade farewell to a beloved daughter.

    Sakuntala Nugegoda for almost twenty years,was more than "teacher" to generations of young boys who entered Trinity.

    She was the foster mother who took her charges through those first hesitant steps of schooling, with tender arms and warm heart. If Sidney Poitier, in "To Sir, With Love", typified the quintessential school teacher, Trinity College could boast of a distinguished line of Kindergarten teachers, who were cast in the same mould and are remembered by boys, with love and affection, even well into their middle age.

    Mrs. Keyt, Mrs. Gnanam, Mrs. Pilimatalauwe, Mrs. Batepola, Mrs. Weerakoon come easily to mind as part of theTrinity legend and Sakuntala surely belongs to this elite band. As scrawled in the hesitant handwriting of the Year 1 and Year 2 boys, and the firmer fists of the Seniors, on the sympathy cards, Sakuntala was indeed "Our Loving Teacher". With beauty of face and a vivacious personality, she spread radiance in any company.

    Yet, above all, it was the courage, dignity and resolve with which she faced her fatal illness that brought out the true worth and character of Sakuntala.

    "An illness bravely borne" is an oft -repeated cliche, but what Sakuntala displayed was the stuff that one only reads of in the Reader's Digest': courage and character; strength and humour; grace and dignity were evident in abundance, even as she fought the ravages of the disease and the torment of her treatment. She did not seek sympathy, but rather, she spread it around, inspiring all around her, her family, her friends and her beloved students. She did not ask, but gave lavishly. Much against advice, and to the pleasant surprise, of her attending physicians, she insisted on travelling down for the second leg of the Bradby only a few weeks before her demise, and her exhortations from the stands rang with the same vibrant tone that had become so familiar in the last twenty years.

    Many tributes have been paid to this remarkable mother, teacher and friend. I add my own to thank Sakuntala, as much for all the joy and happiness she spread around, as for the lessons she taught us in facing adversity with fortitude, faith and humour.

    May the courage and faith you displayed give Ranjith, Dinesh, Gayan and Shavanthi the strength to bear their loss with equanimity.

    May you attain the supreme bliss of Nirvana!

    Neil Halpe


    You have never been just my grandmother
    You are my teacher, my mentor
    You held our family together
    The strong bond that keeps us from falling apart.
    You have guided us all
    Sons, daughters, in-laws, and grandchildren.
    You have taught us how to be good, honest, caring people.
    How could we be any less, with you as our shining example?
    You are the most outstanding person I have ever met.
    I am truly blessed to have ever known you
    Let alone have you in my family .. in my blood.
    Thank you for showing me the love, kindness, generosity, and
    Understanding you have offered, time and again.
    Thank you for showing me the meaning of compassion and giving.
    Thank you for believing in me... in us all.
    Because of you, we know we are all capable of handling
    Whatever life hands us..... except maybe losing you.
    I promise I will be thinking of you during the important times in my life.
    My graduation from high school and university; my wedding and so on.
    I will make sure that my children know that their great grandmother was a
    Beautiful, strong, smart, kind and inspirationally perfect person.
    The world is truly a better place because of you.
    I can only hope to reach even a fraction of your success as a human being.
    Buddhu Saranai, Mage Sudu Aththammi
    I love you so much.


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