My uncle, the great artist, my teacher and friend STANLEY KIRINDE On Friday, February 13, 2009, I received a phone call from my father around 9 o’clock in the morning. He said that Aunty Ira had called him and said that Uncle Stanley was not well and he wanted me and my mother to go [...]

The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka



My uncle, the great artist, my teacher and friend


On Friday, February 13, 2009, I received a phone call from my father around 9 o’clock in the morning. He said that Aunty Ira had called him and said that Uncle Stanley was not well and he wanted me and my mother to go to their house as soon as we could. Uncle Stanley had had a stroke a few years back and I thought it might be a recurrence of that.

But the scene that greeted us when we got to his house was totally unexpected. My aunt crying… a solemn crowd gathered around the house… My cousin Kumar, with tears in his eyes related the events as best as he could. The previous day Uncle Stanley had worked on one of his paintings after dinner and gone to bed around 10 p.m. as was his habit. The next morning, when he didn’t come down for his morning tea, my aunt had gone to check on him. That’s when she knew… He had passed away peacefully in his sleep…

February 13, 2014 marks the fifth death anniversary of Stanley Kirinde who besides being one of Sri Lanka’s most reputed and foremost artists, was a loving father, a distinguished member of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service, and most importantly to me personally, he was my favourite uncle.

As a little girl I spent many a day at Uncle Stanley’s house watching fascinated as he created his beautiful works of art. But I would sometimes make some comment like “your horses look like cows” to which he would respond laughingly saying “what do you know about painting”. But following such comments he did make corrections when he thought no one was looking.

Though as a child I was surrounded by Uncle Stanley’s paintings I never realised what an exceptional artist he was. At that time he was to me the uncle who annoyed us on trips by asking the driver to stop the vehicle every now and then so as to capture some interesting view on the sketch book that accompanied him on his journeys. I would watch with fascination as he later magically recreated from his sketches the beauty of nature in oils or water colour.

My father once asked Uncle Stanley to do a portrait in oils of my sister and myself. After making me sit for hours while he tried to capture my likeness on canvas he gave up saying “you can’t be painted”. I guess my fidgeting around didn’t help the cause. But finally he did complete the painting which now very proudly hangs in our living room.

I remember listening to the stories he would relate from the vast store of knowledge he had of history, of the Jatakas, of politics and of course his beloved art. Through listening to him in fascination, I believe I learnt more from him than from school.

As I grew older, the feeling dawned on me that my kind and crazy uncle was indeed a great artist respected by many, and at times I regret that I didn’t get to know him well enough. After his death I helped Aunty in sorting out his personal belongings. Going through the paintings, line drawings and sketches he had created through the years stretching back to his school days I realised what a remarkable person my Uncle was.

Though a great artist, Uncle Stanley could still be very child-like. Every time we visited him at home he would come down the stairs asking “What did you bring for me” and I would reply “Myself and all my love”. And no one enjoyed going out to dinner more than my uncle. Whenever there was a birthday in the family, he would ask, with excitement written all over his face, “Shall we go for dinner?” It is these little things that we miss so much and even though five years have gone by the memories are still strong.

Time can take out many things, make them apart, but it will never take my memories I’ve treasured….deep within my heart

A dedicated teacher, she was loved by her students

Daya Weerackody 

My elder sister Daya passed away last August, at the age of 96. I had two elder sisters and the younger of them had passed away a few years before.

In her early years, Daya lived in my mother’s village, down South and she got very close to our maternal relatives, whom she held in high esteem.

Daya was on the staff of Anula Vidyalaya, Nugegoda, from the inception of the school and retired after many years of exemplary, devoted, service.

She was an English Trained teacher, and she excelled in imparting this language to her students. She was loved and revered by her students for her devotion and dedication to teaching.

My sister remained unmarried. Finding a partner, she believed, was totally the responsibility of parents. Good proposals did come, but destiny decided to keep her single throughout her life.

She was simple and gracious and her simplicity was admired by all who knew her.

May she attain the supreme bliss of Nirvana!

Nirmalee Weerackody

He created a colourful world especially
for children

Gamini Samarasinghe Gunasekara  

It is about a month, since Gamini Samarasinghe Gunasekara left us and crossed the great divide to the world beyond. His death has been a great loss to his near and dear ones and to all who knew him. I find it difficult to express my sorrow adequately.

He had humane qualities and he was very generous with his help and guidance to others. His doors were always opened to those who visited him. When offering a meal to anyone at his house, one or two dishes would always be prepared by him.

He received his education at Rahula and Nalanda and after his graduation he was employed at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation formerly Radio Ceylon and later joined the Bank of Ceylon. He served as manager at several Bank branches through which position he helped many who came to him for assistance and guidance.

He excelled in art and could easily translate any idea or picture in his mind into a painting. He had a regular exhibition stall during the Colombo Literary Book Exhibition. His aim was to pass on his knowledge and experience to budding artists.

He successfully translated a couple of books too.

Children loved to gather around him eager to listen to his anecdotes and stories that were mostly his creations. He would relish their innocent enjoyment and laughter.

I hope that his wife and sons will be able to get over the sorrow of his loss.

May he attain the supreme bliss of Nirvana!
Gokul Samaranayake

Share This Post


Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.