Lilian G. Jayaweera, a founding member of the Saukyadana movement and pioneer of the Sri Lanka Girl Guides Association, was recently honoured with a special award in recognition of her service to Saukyadana and the Sri Lankan community. The award was presented by the Sri Lanka Saukyadana Movement at their 50th Anniversary celebration held at the Girl Guides' Headquarters in Colombo.
Born in Deyaninawela, Kandy in 1930, she was educated at Mahamaya Girls' School, Kandy, Ananda Balika Vidalaya and CMS Girls' School, Kotte.
After successfully completing her SSC Examinations, she received her first appointment as an English teacher at Kirillawala Maha Vidyalaya, Kadawatha. She later transferred to Talahena Maha Vidyalaya, Malabe, where a Girl Guide Company had been established in 1945. In 1951, she married Mr. H W Caldera, and by 1952, she was working as a Guide Captain under Miss. Iris Blacker who served as an advisor to the Sri Lanka Girl Guide Association (SLGGA) at the time.
Mrs.Jayaweera accompanied Mrs. Blacker on her travels around the island as a translator, and together they conducted training for teachers and developed Guiding in remote areas. In 1956, Mrs. Lilian Jayaweera's commitment to her work earned her the title of District Commissioner and Trainer. She tirelessly continued to promote Girl Guiding across the country and introduced it to many schools and colleges, including the Mirigama Teachers' Training College. As a Diploma Trainer of the SLGGA, she travelled to Singapore, Malaysia, Egypt, India and Pakistan, and represented Sri Lanka on a global platform. In 2006 she was appointed as the Provincial Commissioner of the Western Region.
Over the years, she has extended her humanitarian work beyond the sphere of guiding and made an active contribution to society as a founder member of the Saukyadana Movement. Mrs. Jayaweera was also instrumental in starting a Girl Guide company at Welikada Prison in 1999, alongside other welfare and rehabilitation programmes. She is presently a visiting lecturer of English at the University of Colombo.