A man of example

This is in remembrance of a great man, good friend, loving father and grandfather who left this world 12 years ago.

Born in Badulla in 1912, Arphin Mahamoor was educated at Uva College. Not only did Mr. Arphin excel in the academic field but he was also a good sportsman. He played football, rugby and hockey for his school and Uva clubs.

On leaving school, he joined the Badulla branch of Commercial Co. (Engineers) Ltd. as a junior clerk in 1930. He was promoted as chief clerk in 1947, which post he held for 21 years. Later he was transferred to the Colombo office and given the post of Chief Officer Special Grade and placed in charge of the Valuation Department, where he completed more than 42 years of service.

Mr. Mahamoor was kind to his fellow workers, friends, neighbours and family. He was a man of example. He was straightforward, religious and honest. He was very kind to the poor.

- A Family Member

The good life he led guides us

Two years ago, when I heard the shocking news of the senseless killing of Sujith, my first reaction was that of anger against the then-prevailing political scenario which was such, that a human being could be done away with at anyone's whim or fancy.

To imagine that the life of young Sujith, who upheld justice, fairplay, honesty and integrity, could be wiped out by an assassin's bullet was beyond comprehension.

When the anger and shock had subsided, it was to his dear mother, Priya, that my thoughts flew. How could she, who had borne him, nurtured him, watched him grow up to be the fine young man he was, face this cruel blow? Being one of Priya's closest friends, I knew of the bond that existed between them, even after his marriage to Angela.

Today, I still think of him as living amongst us. I cannot believe that a life so full of trust in the Almighty, of desire to serve others, dedicated to family and friends, is no more.

I do not believe that anyone who had met him, known him, spoken to him, even for a short period would not have been touched or influenced by the many admirable qualities he possessed.

Unknown to people, he may have left some imprint of his own good nature on them. In his own unobtrusive way, he may have, by example, taught them the lessons of caring and sharing, of generosity and unselfishness, of showing a brave and smiling face in times of adversity, of cheerfulness and confidence.

None other than his family members, relatives and friends -- especially his colleagues at the Christian Movement of which he was an active member -- and above all his dear mother, for whom he had a special place in his heart, will know that a single bullet snuffed out a valuable life.

It is tragic that his little daughter Ayesha, who hardly remembers her father's gentle face, has to grow up without his guidance.

Only God can give them the strength to carry the beautiful memory of such a dear life.
Only the thought of Sujith as they knew him, will help them understand the ways of God.

Jesus said: "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me, though he dies, yet shall he live..." (John: 11.25).

Rest in peace, Sujith and continue to guide our lives, as you "tread the green, green grass of your heavenly father's home".
Antoinette Ferdinand

He epitomised selfless service

It is three months since my uncle Dr. P. Sivasubramaniam passed away. He was the second son of a distinctive man, the late Dr. S. Ponniah. Anything I attempt to write about my uncle will be a mere drop in the ocean of encomiums that have been showered on him in life as well as death.

Though he was born to the manor he lived simply and without ostentation. His gentility manifested itself in his unobtrusive manners and in a predilection for learning, for sharing knowledge and for selfless service. He bore the stamp of a rock-like stability. Unassuming and honest to the very marrow of his bones, he never veered from the path he chose to walk. His magnitude, like a well-tailored coat, sat easily and lightly on his shoulders. He never pressed his advantage and was ever content to take a back seat. He has proved to us that the only two sources of human virtue are energy and intelligence - the greatest legacy.

We seek solace in the assurance that he has not left us but simply moved on, leaving us a fragment of his genius and a flash of his soul.

- Thilaha Yoga Nathan

Teacher, politician, Cadet Officer, actor and social worker

The 100th birth anniversary of Major A.P.M. Peiris, a superb teacher, politician, Cadet Officer, actor and social worker fell on March 20.

Born in Koralawella, Moratuwa, he had his education at Richmond College, Galle. He had a distinguished school career under the tutelage of Rev. W.J. T. Small, then Principal of Richmond.

Later he took to local politics and was the youngest member of the first Urban Council of Moratuwa for a short time. Then he opted to join the noble profession of teaching in 1924. After training at the Teachers' Training College, he joined Prince of Wales' College, Moratuwa, as an English teacher.

In 1932, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant of the Ceylon Cadet Battalion and was placed in charge of the Junior Division of the college contingent. In 1936, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

His interests were wide and varied. In 1937, as an actor, he played the role of Mark Antony, when the staff and students of Prince of Wales staged 'Julius Caesar'.

As a social worker, Major Peiris was a Board member of the Waag Wardene Samithiya in Koralawella and one-time Superintendent of the Sunday school at St. Peter's Church, Koralawella, in the late thirties.

In 1943, he succeeded Capt. A.V.S. Fernando, as Officer Commanding Contingent. In 1944, when he was in charge of the Junior Division of Prince of Wales there was a record of successes, with the cadets winning five out of six Battalion trophies and annexing the C.L.I. Challenge Cup for all-round efficiency. In 1946, when he was the O.C. Contingent in charge of the Senior Platoon, his cadets won the coveted Herman Loos trophy for the most efficient platoon in the island.

In 1947, Lt. Peiris relinquished duties as O.C. Contingent and in recognition of his efforts, he was promoted to the rank of Captain and Quarter-Master of the C.C.B. when it was made a corps consisting of three battalions in 1950.

Capt. and QM Peiris was later promoted to the rank of major and commissioned as the first Commandant of the 3rd. Battalion of the Ceylon Cadet Corps. In 1953, he was put to the reserve of the Cadet Corps.

I was a lance-corporal of the Junior Platoon and Cadet of the Senior Platoon, which won the 'Herman Loos' and was the House Captain of Goonewardene House which won the inter-house athletics championship in 1948 when Major Peiris was in charge of the house.

For several years, Major Peiris was editor of the Prince of Wales College magazine 'The Cambrian' and was first Hony. Secretary of the co-operative society established in 1946.

In the early fifties, he was the headmaster of the Middle School. In 1959, from June to August, Major Peiris was Acting Principal and remained Vice Principal till his retirement in 1963.

Major Peiris was a stern disciplinarian and sound educationist. By his own example he inculcated in his staff and students the importance of punctuality in every aspect of the performance of their duties by starting and finishing one task on time. He instilled in the minds of the young, the cardinal values of "mens sana in corpore sano".

In December 1986, some of the past officers of the Ceylon Cadet Corps were invited when Major and Mrs. Peiris celebrated their golden wedding.
P.H.S. Mendis

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