Dadda loved me a lot
Winston Weerakkody
I was his pet, he loved me a lot
But never told me so
But I have heard from others
And his deeds showed them all

The day he gave me away
As a bride to another
It had been his saddest day in life
My uncle told me so

The tears he shed on my wedding day
That I will never forget
He was losing his little girl
And gaining a son in life

He loved my eldest son
Like he loved no other
Took care of him and guided him
And spoilt him a little too.

God called him and he went away
To his eternal rest and home above
He may not be with us in life
But with God he will always be

He is present in our hearts
And there he will always be
He was my Dadda
And no one can take his place


She was gentleness personified
Mother Lewis, F.M.M. (Sr. Frances Monks)
The death of Mother Lewis who worked as a missionary in Sri Lanka, saddened me very much. She passed away in the United States, after a terminal illness patiently borne.

My first encounter with Mother Lewis was in 1947, when I was a student at O.L.V. Convent, Moratuwa. She had just arrived from the United States, and we were some of her earliest students. We were inclined to be rather naughty and inattentive at times, but she left a broad margin for our playfulness and soon established a fine rapport with us.

Nevertheless, we were too young, too "green" and too immature to appreciate her innate goodness, her dedication and her saintliness. She was just a nice teacher, kind, pleasant and soft-spoken. Within a short period, while she was still in her twenties (with a maturity far beyond her years), she was appointed Principal of O.L.V. Convent. By then she had won the hearts of all the teachers who gave her their whole-hearted co-operation.

After leaving school, I joined her staff to do part-time work for seven years. It was truly a joy to work for Mother Lewis. During that period not once did I hear her speak an unkind word to anyone. She was always affable and appreciative. She was a true friend and guide to me.

My yearning for convent life made me take up an appointment in a distant school, but Mother Lewis' kindness was never forgotten.

During her tenure as principal, the school made excellent progress in studies and sports. She took a keen interest, in extra-curricular activities, but first and foremost, she placed emphasis on the religious formation of her students. She realized that her students needed a solid religious foundation much more than academic achievements.

She maintained a high standard of discipline, but never did she raise her voice or resort to harsh tactics.

Her simple, unassuming ways, her calm, placid manner, her slim, tall figure and dignified bearing, her pleasant disposition, and above all, her kindness and compassion, left a deep impression on the minds of her students, and won for her their respect, admiration and loyalty.

Mother Lewis was gentleness personified. Her gentleness was something that I truly admired and marvelled at. Many were those who had a profound admiration for her, but very few could emulate her.

Sixty one years of her life had been consecrated to the Lord. After my retirement, during a traumatic period of my life, when I was (in the words of the psalmist) like 'a pelican of the wilderness', a 'sparrow alone upon the house top', Mother Lewis was a tower of strength to me.

A few years ago, on the advice of a doctor, she bade good-bye to Sri Lanka and returned to her homeland.

Towards the end, when her life was quiet ebbing away, she had been constantly saying, "I am going to see my divine spouse". While asking God's forgiveness for any ingratitude that I may have shown to such a wonderful person, I praise and thank God for Mother Lewis' beautiful life and for the joy that she brought to the lives of those who had the privilege of associating with her.

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