He strove to do justice according to the law
Tudor De Alwis
I associated closely with Uncle Tudor since my childhood. In my mind, the judge intertwined with the man, and it is difficult to appreciate one without addressing the other. Never pompous or arrogant, he yet earned the respect of those who appeared before him and also those he dealt with in ordinary life. He achieved this because he was reasonable and decent. Perhaps, in these times ridden with crises and disillusionment, these qualities go unnoticed. Not that Uncle Tudor ever complained. Such things did not matter to him.

Tudor was the third son of an officer of the courts in Pasdum Korala, at the time we were still a colony. As a child he had a somewhat strict but comfortable upbringing. He studied at St. John's, Panadura with a reputation for discipline and good results. Latin and the classics were part of his curriculum. I have heard that he was studious and mild mannered in school.

His father was delighted when Tudor took to law. After passing out as an advocate he practised in the Panadura and Kalutara courts. He also won the hand of Celine Perera, a pretty solicitor. This was a time when there were very few female practitioners of the law.

After a short period he joined the judiciary as a magistrate.

It is said that society is in transition. The turmoil that pervades the country doubtlessly affected the judiciary too. Though troubled by the social chaos around him, Uncle Tudor was clear in his mind what his role as a judge was. He strove to do justice according to the law.

He did not believe that a judicial appointment automatically conferred judicial wisdom on the appointee. A good judge had to work at it everyday. There were no shortcuts. He studied the law, mastered the facts and then demanded every argument from the lawyers. There are indeed many eminent lawyers who paid glowing tribute to his work as a judge.

But all around him was a nation in the process of losing its sanity. Constitutions were adopted and discarded, laws were amended and repealed, judges were hired and fired on a whim, and many judges themselves regarded the judiciary as a career and some took to manoeuvring themselves to higher courts over the heads of more capable and often senior colleagues.

It was widely thought that some judgements were obviously made to placate the powers that be. Of course these institutions have now lost most of their lustre. Uncle Tudor was not one to lose his head. I am proud that to his last day in the judiciary he maintained the highest principles of judicial integrity and decorum.

Like all of us, he had his share of joys and sorrow. I suspect that the loss of his daughter Shanez in the prime of her life was a blow he never fully recovered from. But he mourned privately and with dignity. That was Uncle Tudor, judge and good man.

"The spirits of just men made perfect."
Ravi Perera

Brighta Jayasekera
You, in whose hands her final destiny lay,
Have now dulled her limbs and stilled her voice.
Will You tell her that I came, touched her brow
And whispered my love?

Memories of years past blur my eyes
As I remember her laughter and her joy
The tenderness of her hand holding mine
The hours we spoke, the dreams that threaded
And bound to her so strong, the ones she nurtured
Strengthened: cocooned within her courage
And her faith that they would justify, be true
To each act of love, each sacrifice she made
They remain a memory of her immortality

But I stand aside alone in my futile longing
For she is now no more : can You tell her please
That I kissed her cold feet and pledged my love
As I bid farewell.
Manel Abhayaratna

Treasured memories
W.G.A. Silva
'Thaatha' we were privileged by your living and we are more privileged by your death, thirteen years ago. I say this because the path to God is more confirmed in us when we reflect on your life.

We are proud to say that we are in the process of inheriting your unmatched human qualities. It brings joy to think of you. These precious memories will be treasured and appreciated until we meet with our Lord Jesus Christ, when He comes again to unite all of us and share His glory.
Son Rohan

Gentleman politician
K.A. Wilbert
K.A. Wilbert of Wattarantenna, a member of the K.M.C. for a time, was an honourable man. He won the hearts of everyone.

His life was dedicated to the service of his fellowmen. He treated all alike, whether they were rich or poor.

People loved and respected him very much.

A soft spoken, kind-hearted gentleman, Wilbert has gone to his eternal rest. Goodbye, dear friend. We shall never, ever forget you. You were our gentleman politician.
Edward Wijeratna

He demonstrated the love of God
Rev. Gamini Serasinha
'Teach me dear Lord to have unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in your sight.' - 1 Peter 3: 4.

The third death anniversary of Rev. Gamini Serasinha fell on September 3. Those who have had the privilege of associating with Father Gamini, as we affectionately called him, knew him as a great encourager who demonstrated the love of God at all times.

Fr. Gamini's life was dedicated to teaching people that the greatest need was a new relationship with God through the forgiveness of sins. He ardently believed that 'In all things God works together for good to them that love Him' (Philippians 1: 12 -18 ).

He was my Parish Priest at St. Paul's Church, Kandy for several years when I was a child. My family had a close relationship with him and he visited our home often to pray with us.

My next encounter with him was after I moved to Colombo for employment and started attending St. Mary's and St. John's Church, Nugegoda where he served as Vicar.

Fr. Gamini had time for all people irrespective of their status.

When I visited him once in the vicarage he already had some visitors.

When I went in they were seated comfortably and chatting to him - they were a blind beggar couple from the Nugegoda super- market.

I once sought Fr. Gamini's counsel as I was disturbed over an office matter.

He advised me that those who desired to be Christ's disciple should have an idea of what it meant to carry the cross. He made me realise that death, though it is the end of a transitory life, meant it was time to go home to Christ and begin a new life. He let God rule his life and was prepared to go 'home' at any time.

He worked hard to bring harmony and goodwill among people.

He believed that if we cared for those who did not have much, God would take the responsibility of caring for us not only on earth but for eternity.

Fr. Gamini never took God for granted. He was grateful for the privileges he received from God and in turn was serious about the responsibilities given to him.

He emphasized through every teaching that our commitment and love to God should be steadfast. Sharing our resources with the needy was a requirement he stressed on. He believed and trusted in the divine leadership of Jesus and His power over disease, sincerity, sensitivity, humanity, love and faith.
- Sanjiv Wijayasinghe

Religion played a unique role in her life
Mallika Abeysirigunewardena
It is four years since the death of my beloved wife Mallika Abeysirigunewardena (nee Mallika Geraldine Yapa Abeywardena) on August 23, 1998 at the Kandy General Hospital after a brief illness.

Mallika was a devout Buddhist in whose life religion played a unique role.

She had her primary education in the English medium at Vincent Girls' High School, Batticaloa during the time of renowned Principal G. Craft. Later she attended Holy Family Convent, Kalutara, St. Thomas' Girls' School, Matale, St. Bernadette's College, Polgahawela during the period of the famous Grammarian Principal W.H. Samaranayake, St. Scholastica's Girls' College, Kandy (now Hemamali Girls' College), Christ Church College, Kurunegala and lastly St. Ursula's Convent, Badulla. She had to move from one school to another so frequently because her father, the late Gerald Edwin Yapa Abeywardena, a senior station master, was transferred from time to time.

During her school career she excelled in netball and athletics. Mallika was a woman of many facets. Having resided in Pilimatalawa, Yatinuwara for nearly 43 years, there was nobody in the area who did not know her.

Later on in life she turned her hand to writing and was the provincial correspondent for the now defunct 'Sun' and later the 'Times of Ceylon' and 'Daily Mirror' newspapers.

The person who guided me and our children for 40 years is no more. Without her loving care and affection my life is desolate. When our wonderful life comes to my mind, my eyes turn teary.

Sunday, August 23, 1998 when she passed away in the wee hours of the morning, was the saddest day in my life. With each passing day, the loneliness becomes more unbearable. May she attain Ama Maha Nivana - great blissful Nirvana !
Ealian Abeysirigunewardena


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