ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 13

From mouth-watering dishes to many a funny skit

Ivy Fernando

She was the matriarch of our locality; the children on their way to school used to call her Ivy Darling – and a darling she was. Not like Chekhov’s Darling, but one that loved children passionately. Some of the tiny tots who used to wave to Ivy Darling to say ‘Bye’ on their way to school are now parents themselves. It was incredible how she kept her spirits up even though confined to a wheelchair for a score or more.

Her talents were manifold – be it organizing island tours, making mouthwatering dishes or acting in many skits during picnics. I was lucky to visit many untrodden ways of our beautiful island home by joining her tours. She was indispensable at Princess of Wales OGA picnics. Her friends still talk about how she appeared at a fancy dress parade and an old crocs rally as a latrine coolie – every minute detail of the costume and action was followed to the letter - the ekel broom, khaki shorts, dirty bucket with its horrible contents!

She loved us all and all of us loved her. It was heartrending for me to witness her last days confined to bed with The Eternal Footman hovering over her. Many a time I visited her bedside to say a silent prayer and say a word of comfort to Iona, her daughter and my cousin who looked after her with such devotion.

She even gave up her job to be with her mother towards the last days of her life. Shenu, Ivy Aunty’s grand-daughter was the apple of her eye. As I am their immediate neighbour, every day like clockwork I heard her farewell to Ivy Aunty before she left for work. “Noni I am going, God bless you!” It was really like a wake up call to me.

I had to go abroad for a short spell when Ivy was literally breathing her last. Both Iona and I felt that she would enter the portals of the Pearly Gates before my return. But somehow Ivy Aunty held on till I returned. Call it fate, call it divine providence or whatever – but I was there to bid her that last tearful farewell.

Ivy’s passing away left a void in the hearts of all those who had the privilege of associating with this great lady. But we are happy that she is not suffering any more.

By Mirelle

Top to the page

Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.