A legal colossus
D.W. Abayakoon, P.C
It is with a heavy heart that I pay tribute to my dear friend Advocate D.W. Abayakoon.
Mr. Abayakoon came from a distinguished family. He strode the legal profession like a colossus and in recognition of his competence he was awarded "silk" and made President's Counsel.

He was quiet and soft-spoken and always trod the straight path. His genial manner and gentle disposition won him many friends. The fact that he was elected President of the Bar Association a few years ago speaks volumes for his popularity.

He was actively engaged in politics and represented a ward in the Colombo Municipality for many years. At the Colombo South by-election in 1978 he was the unanimous choice of the SLFP as its candidate. However, the LSSP was not bent on supporting him as a common candidate.

It was in this climate of uncertainty that Harischandra Mendis and I persuaded Mr. Abayakoon to contest the by-election. Having understood the ground situation, he stood by the party and accepted the challenge.

Though unsuccessful, he was able to poll a large number of votes. This was a tribute to the strength, courage and loyalty of Mr. Abayakoon.

As a busy professional and social worker, he interacted with people from all walks of life. What was remarkable about him was that even while moving with kings he never lost the common touch and always had his feet firmly planted on the ground. He was concerned about the problems that his less-fortunate brothers and sisters faced in their day-to-day lives and was never hesitant to offer his services.

My long and close association with Mr. Abayakoon made me realize what a wonderful human being he was -- simple, endearing, erudite and honourable.
May he attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana.

M. Haleem Ishak

A wonderful Dad
Lionel Anthony Senn

Dear Dad, it is a year since you said goodbye. But it seems like yesterday. I find it hard to believe that you are not with us anymore. I miss that loving look and tender smile that used to light up your face when I came home to see you. I never thought that you would leave us so soon.

I thank God for giving us a wonderful Dad who was with us for 89 years and shared all our joys and sorrows, making many sacrifices for us. Dad you were a kind and simple man. All that is left now are golden memories and silver tears for a Dad who will live in our hearts and minds for many more generations to come.

Lord help us through our grief and loss
Through valleys deep when Dad is gone
Then heal our hearts,
renew our joy
Grant us the strength to carry on.

Yvonne Garneys

We remember her with gratitude
Pearl Fernando
Mrs. Pearl Fernando, the eldest daughter of the Jayasuriya family was born in the village of Pethiyagoda on October 24, 1933. Pearl was the Deaconess of the Methodist Church who devoted her life to God.

She was a popular figure at all church functions of the South Ceylon Synod, Sunday school and Junior Wesley Guild rallies. She selected the best students for dramas, playlets and Christian programmes.

She loved all children and encouraged them to do everything the correct way. She served at Welimada, Badulla, Seeduwa, Minuwangoda, Raddoluwa, Dalupotha, Horagasmulla and Polwatte.

Her Mission House was open to all devotees and Christian workers of the circuit gathered at her residence to get their problems solved. Everybody knows that she gave priority to God's work during all hours of the day, irrespective of her family problems.

In all disputes she came forward with God's guidance. After retirement in September 1996 from Horagasmulla church, she came to her residence at Pethiyagoda and helped the church there.

We remember her with gratitude for all she did for the Methodist Church.
May her soul rest in peace.

Rev. Leslie Dareeju

He lived a full life
B.J. Karunatileka
He is not here;
but faraway
The noise of life
begins again
And ghastly through
the drizzling rain
On the bald street,
breaks the blank day.

He was my faithful friend and after 50 years of association, Karu has passed on, leaving a void in my life. His eldest brother told me at the funeral that Karu had referred to me as his friend of a lifetime! I am happy to know that he thought of me that way, although he never told me so himself.

We first got to know each other at the Wesley College hostel at the tender age of 14.
During my university career at Peradeniya, we lost contact but resumed our friendship in the 1960s when I was employed as a management trainee at Levers and he was a medical rep for Organon Laboratories. Our friendship blossomed and grew because of a wide range of common interests. We both pursued marketing careers.

We actively participated in the affairs of the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing, the Wesley College Old Boys' Union and the Havelock Sports Club where we functioned as presidents in successive years, not having ever played rugby in our lives! We also shared a passion for English Literature.

In the Wesley hostel, Karu was mainly remembered as a raconteur and throughout his life he retained this knack of story- telling. He liked to exaggerate and embellish his stories for greater effect and in his school days was given the sobriquet 'Puller' by our mutual friend, Clinton Rodrigo.

Hostel days were carefree but had some discomforting associations. Karu used to say that "acute hunger"' was his most enduring memory of hostel life! It was this sensation of hunger that once motivated him to team up with a group of pranksters led by the irrepressible Clinton and steal a big bunch of bananas from the Vice-Principal's compound.

In his working life Karu proved that he was made of "sterner stuff". He rose from the modest position of medical representative to become the Managing Director of J.L. Morison, Son & Jones within a relatively short period of time. He had an incisive mind, the gift of the gab and a disarming nature, which were considerable assets in his career as a pharmaceutical manager. He befriended several medical specialists who eventually became close friends.

He loved to entertain friends in the early years of married life at his flat by the sea in Dehiwela. In more recent times, he entertained us mainly at the Capri where he was a very senior and respected member.

Karu had many hobbies and interests. He probably had one of the best collections of postage stamps in Sri Lanka and would spend hours organizing and reorganizing it. He was also an acknowledged expert at solving cryptic crosswords. He used to win crossword puzzle prize money with monotonous regularity and was once even interviewed by a newspaper on this skill.

He lost his beloved wife, Cynthia, about 13 years ago. Immediately after her death he became a wreck but with time he was able to come to terms with his loss. Karu's greatest pride was his son, Nalin. Nalin and his wife, Tharanga, showered Karu with an abundance of care during his illness.

Karu retired from Morisons two years ago and immersed himself in humanitarian work.
As a director of Helpage he was signing cheques from his sickbed only days before he died.

I know that he lived a full and satisfying life but his death at the age of 66 was untimely. It would have been good to see him batting longer.

Frank Samaraweera

Undying love
Nihal de Silva, SSP
As another year dawns
We find it difficult to believe
That we lived three years
Without you to guide us.

We remember with aching hearts
Your sensitive ways
The caring person you were
And the gentle way you kept us close.

Our hearts ache with a dull and throbbing pain
Each time we come home
And you are not there to hug us
We weep that we shall never feel again,
Your loving arms around us
We are immensely grateful

For the time God gave us with you
Our lives enriched
Having had 'You' for our Father
And today when we kneel at your grave
Look down on us
And whisper, "I love and miss you both".

With undying love and gratitude.
Harshini and Nalaka

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