A noble teacher who taught from the heart

Mrs. M. A. Silva

“The best teachers, teach from the heart, not from the book” It is with a heavy heart that I write this tribute in memory of my teacher, Mrs. M. A. Silva, who passed away at the age of 83 on September 13, 2008. Rev. Fr. Priyantha Silva, her only son, conducted the funeral service at Christ the King Church, Pannipitiya, in the presence of a distinguished gathering.

I had the pleasure of knowing Mrs. Silva for more than 40 years. I first saw her when she walked into our class as our Grade 7 algebra teacher, at the then St. Joseph’s Convent, Nugegoda. This was in the mid ’60s. I remember her as a very warm person.

At St. Joseph’s we had some wonderful teachers, and Mrs. M. A. Silva was one of them. Her career at St. Joseph’s spanned at least a quarter century.

Throughout her long period of service at St. Joseph’s Convent, Mrs. Silva discharged her duties with calmness, devotion and thoroughness. She was kind and sympathetic and always accessible. She was a noble woman, and distinguished and highly professional teacher.

It is strange that we appreciate what our teachers did for us only after we leave school. Mrs. Silva was a teacher par excellence who moulded thousands of lives throughout her career. Her students have distinguished themselves in all walks of life, both at home and abroad. A true daughter of God, she dedicated her life and service to teaching.

I should not omit to mention that she was also a daham pasal teacher for more than 60 years in her own parish church, Christ the King Church, Pannipitiya.

From St. Joseph’s Convent, she was transferred to a junior school as a sectional principal. She was later appointed as principal of the primary section of Vidyakara Vidyalaya, Maharagama. Past pupils of these schools have vivid memories of her selfless service.

Thank you, Mrs. Silva, for being a great teacher and for the wonderful things you did for your students. Your lessons have made a lasting impression. You were not only my teacher, you were also my friend. Your dedication has given me strength and courage to succeed.

I will never forget how you visited me at home when you heard about my mother’s death.

We praise and thank God for your life.

Farewell till we meet on that beautiful shore.

May your soul rest in peace.

Lilamani Amerasekera

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